Published: August 14, 2011
Burnham's Civic Service shines spotlight on town's 'unsung heroes'

Seven residents from Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge were presented with awards to recognise their work for the community during the town's annual Civic Service on Sunday (August 14th).

Graham Cook, Frankie Gratton, Mike Ross, Rosemarie Parsons and three members of the Pusil family - Pat, David and Sarah - received awards, having been nominated for their years of community work with numerous groups - read full details here.

The Mayor of Burnham and Highbridge, Cllr Michael Clarke, was joined by The High Sheriff of Somerset, John Cullum, in presenting the awards at the ceremony at St Andrew's Church.

The service was preceded by a procession through the town (pictured above) and was followed by a Civic Reception at the Princess Theatre and Arts Centre.

The church was filled with a congregation of 200 dignitaries, community leaders and representatives from local groups.

Cllr Clarke thanked the seven residents for their "huge commitment and dedication to the community over many years."

And John Cullum told "After terrible scenes of rioting in some parts of the country during recent days, it is wonderful to see strong communities like this. Burnham and Highbridge are very fortunate to have such a super community spirit."

During the service, Nina Wylde, a gold medallist at the 2011 Highbridge Festival of the Arts, gave a powerful performance of Mozart's Alleluja, which prompted loud applause.

Readings were given by Cllr Neville Jones - who also recapped the past 25 years of Civic Awards in Burnham - followed by prayers from various community representatives.

They included Mayor's Cadet Petty Officer Corey Hayes, Cllr Dennis Davey, BARB's Brian Nicholls, Denise Berry from the Highbridge Festival of the Arts, and both Charlotte Tolley from Burnham Dreamscheme and Abbi Fear from Highbridge Dreamscheme.

Cllr Clarke said he was delighted with how the event had gone.

"It was a superb afternoon. I was proud to be Mayor for this 25th service and to have handed out the 100th award. All seven of the recipients richly deserve their awards."

The Civic Awards winners with the Mayor, Mayoress and High Sheriff

The ceremonial procession through Burnham town centre before the service

The procession wended it way from The Princess Theatre to St Andrew's Church

Burnham's MP Tessa Munt was among the 200-strong congregation

St Andrew's was filled with over 200 civic representatives from across Somerset

Town Clerk Eileen Shaw was thanked by the Mayor for organising the event

Bristol String Quartet provided music during the Civic Reception in The Princess

Charlotte Tolley from Burnham Dreamscheme and Abbi Fear from Highbridge Dreamscheme read prayers during the service

Colourful displays of flowers at the Civic Reception were prepared by Highbridge U3A's Jean Williams, assisted by Kay Lloyd


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