Published: August 4, 2010
Burnham and Highbridge Civic Award winners unveiled

Former Mayor Mike Murphy is among four community-spirited residents in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge who have this week been named as winners of Civic Awards.

Mike Murphy, Lyn Burland, Nita Buckler and Ron Parker have been named by the Town Council as recepients of the annual awards. The awards will be formally handed to each of the four during Burnham and Highbridge's annual Civic Service this coming Sunday (August 8th), to be held in St Andrew's Church, and followed by a reception in the Princess. takes a look at each of the four's work below.

Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy served as a member of the Town Council from 1995-1999, becoming Mayor in 1998. During his term of office, he established the Youth Town Council and was involved with the first national youth town council conference in Brean.

Some fourteen years ago, Mike founded the Cultural Arts Development Society (CADS) which organises the successful free concerts held in Manor Gardens (and from time to time in Highbridge), such as Jazz in the Park, Picnic in the Park and Folk in the Park to name but a few. He is also a member of the Folk Fest committee, which organises the popular Folk Fest each year.

For nine years Mike was a member of the Regeneration Partnership for the joint parish, two years as its Chairman, and helped to create and deliver lighting in the Manor Gardens, the gardens at Alpha House in Highbridge, the information panels on the Esplanade, the Burnham to Highbridge cycle path, and You-are-Here panels, some of the successes delivered by the partnership.

For many years he has been the Chairman of the Highbridge Chamber of Trade, and oversees the Christmas lighting in that town, and he is a past member of both the Lions and the local Rotary Club.

Mike also runs his own business in Highbridge so it is all the more noteworthy that he still finds the time to be involved in working for the community in this way.

Lyn Burland

For over 25 years Lyn has been instrumental in the success of Burnham-on-Sea’s last remaining local carnival club, the Hillview Junior Carnival Club.

Currently the Club’s treasurer, every year Lyn organises and participates in all of the activities needed to raise around £15,000 needed for the club to take part in the November carnivals. From running the club’s fundraising stalls at various fetes and donkey derbys, she also undertakes, along with other club members, stewarding duties at many local pop festivals. Every year, she also makes over 25 fantastic costumes for local children to wear in the carnival.

Lyn is reliable, responsible and highly respected by all club members, and without her hard work, the club would not function. She is also highly respected amongst “Carnivalites” county-wide.

For her, Carnival represents hard work all year round, not just two weeks in November, and she has been nominated to receive this award in recognition of her outstanding contribution, not just to the local carnival club, but to carnival itself.

Nita Buckler

Nita Buckler has been involved with the Scouting movement since 1987, firstly as a helper for the Burnham on Sea Scout group’s band, which involved many dedicated hours of support, especially in transporting members across the country for competitions.

For over thirteen years she acted as a Beaver Helper and Leader, organising activities for up to thirty young people at a time.

She has selflessly spent many hundreds of hours in community fundraising to boost funds, aiding the completion of the building and furnishing of the new scout headquarters at the BASC ground. Known throughout the Burnham on Sea scouting group for her passion for the welfare of members, for keeping the group fed and watered when out on activities, she took active retirement from duty in 2009 but is still a member of the support group, and provides a much appreciated uniform and badge service from her own home.

She has been a member of the Burnham District Pantomime society for over 30 years, and the children’s branch of the society, being a committee member and Hon Treasurer for most of that time, a Governor for Burnham Infants School, and an active fundraiser for the Liver Foundation, having lost her only daughter to a liver condition many years ago. Nita has been important to the local community in helping its young people to develop into successful adults and is recognised as a generous, warm kind soul. Nita is pictured above with Mary Matthews during a recent presentation to mark their retirement as Beaver Scout leaders.

Ron Parker

For over 40 years Mr Ron Parker has been the honorary treasurer of the well-established Highbridge Angling Association and the North Somerset Association of Anglers, devoting much of his spare time to this important leisure facility, which is so enjoyed by people of all ages.

Not only does Ron prepare the Associations’ accounts, he also deals with all the necessary licenses. He has also worked hard to improve fishing sites for able-bodied and disabled fishermen and women.

Only last year Ron was instrumental in obtaining a grant to improve both the Apex Park and Walrow Ponds, facilities that attract anglers from many parts of the South West. He was present at the official opening, as pictured above.


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