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Mayor honours winners of awards

Thirteen local people have been recognised by the Farnham community for their outstanding services to the area, in the annual Services to Farnham Awards. The awards highlight the work carried out by individuals for the benefit of Farnham. The Mayor of Farnham hosted the ceremony which took place on Monday 24 February in the Council Chamber at Farnham Town Council.

“Among this year’s winners we have some amazing people who have dedicated themselves tirelessly and for many years for the benefit of others in and around Farnham. They include those contributing to areas as diverse as music and culture, village and town life, the environment, karate, family support, guiding and horticulture. It is an absolute pleasure to honour this wonderful group of local people who do so much for others,” says Councillor Pat Evans, the Mayor of Farnham. “I would also like to thank those who nominated them so that we can share our winners’ stories with others,”

Each of the winners was nominated and seconded by members of the public, a friend or colleague who were required to set out their reasons for nomination. All nominations were considered by a panel of judges and its decision was presented to the meeting of Farnham’s Full Council in January for endorsement.

The Mayor presented each winner with a medal and certificate, which were inspired by Sir Ray Tindle, founder of the Tindle Newspaper Group.

The recipients of the 2020 Services to Farnham awards are as follows:

Mrs Rachel Britton

For Services to Farnham through Guiding

Rachel Britton has made an enormous impact on Guiding locally, having provided exceptional service for almost 20 years. Rachel has run the Rowledge Guides for over 20 years and started a new Rainbow unit some five years ago.

She has held a range of other roles including District Commissioner and Division Commissioner each of which she served for three years. She is now continuing her commitment to the London and South East Region as an international advisor.

Generations of parents are grateful to Rachel for what she has done to develop young people into fine citizens. This award recognises the selfless time she gives to the young people of the town.

Mr Vic Cracknell

For Services to Farnham through music

Vic Cracknell is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has dedicated years of his life to providing performance opportunities to others.

For well over a decade, he has hosted live music events, open mic nights, sing-a-longs, jam nights, and stages at local music festivals, with the aim of promoting the talents of local musicians within their local communities for others to enjoy.

As well as supporting performers, Vic gives his time to perform in care homes and elsewhere.

Aside from performing, Vic now has ‘Vic’s Music Matters’ column in the Farnham Herald promoting local artists and music in the form of a ‘Surrey Songwriters’ Spotify playlist.

Without Vic and his commitment and passion, Farnham would definitely not have the strong music presence that it does, and would be much less vibrant.

Col. Jack Crawford

For Services to the community of Wrecclesham

Jack Crawford has been Chairman of the Isabella Schroder Trust in Wrecclesham for over 20 years and a key volunteer in the local community.

Under Jack’s leadership, the Trust financial affairs have been re-organised to ensure it continues to operate in a secure and sustainable way ensuring that the legacy of Isabella Schroder can continue to support the Wrecclesham community in the future. During this time hundreds of local individuals have been supported in times of need.

Amongst other activities, Jack has been Chairman of the local branch of Christian Aid since 2003 ensuring it carries out its tasks effectively and efficiently.

Jack has made an important contribution to Farnham and is a worthy recipient of the award.

Mr Anthony Goodall

For Services to the environment and Farnham

Anthony Goodall has been a tireless campaigner to improve the quality of life and environment in Wrecclesham.

As one of the founders of the TRASH Campaign 20 years ago to ensure the local community had a voice on issues relating to the Alton Road Sandpit and landfill activity, Tony’s knowledge, drive and commitment has made a real difference in minimising harmful impacts.

Tony demonstrates his passion for the well-being of his local community in other key local campaigns and he is also Secretary of the Wrecclesham Village Society.

Tony’s personal unerring dedication in making Wrecclesham a better place to live and taking on thankless tasks should be celebrated and he much deserves this award.

Mrs Louise Granville-Jones

For Services to the well-being of the Farnham community

Louise Granville-Jones started volunteering for Home-Start in Waverley over 20 years ago and has supported over 800 local families who faced a wide variety of difficulties including coping with disability or mental health issues, loneliness/isolation or needing help with a child’s development and learning.

Louise is passionate about making a difference, adapting the way she works to meet individual needs in a caring and understanding way. Louise was key to helping expand the Home-Start service across Waverley, giving advice to the other co-ordinators and providing consistency and continuity.

It is much to Louise’s credit that families and referrers have stressed the importance of her contribution and how she has made the impossible possible.

Dr Alan Hunt

For Services to Farnham through the Farnham Carnival

Dr Alan Hunt has made a central and critical contribution to one of Farnham’s key annual community events, the Farnham Carnival, for over 20 years.

Alan’s drive, enthusiasm, dedication, hard work, organisational skills and leadership have seen the carnival grow from strength to strength and his experience will be irreplaceable.

Whilst his humility may not allow it, Alan has earned the title of Mr. Carnival as without him and his efforts the carnival may no longer exist.

Alan is without doubt worthy of this recognition for everything he has contributed to the Town and its cultural life.

Mr Michael McAleenan

For Services to the Andrew Windsor Almshouses

Michael McAleenan has given long service and dedication to the Andrew Windsor Almshouses.  

As Chairman for over seven years, his dedication to the role has steered the Charity through a £500k restoration project, fundraising and managing the essential works.

Michael’s attention to detail and countless hours on site, ensured that the project was a success, and completed on time and within budget.

Michael has given invaluable service to the Charity both as a Trustee and as Chairman, providing great leadership.

Michael has made a significant contribution both to the vulnerable almshouse residents and to Farnham as a whole and much deserves this award.

Mr John Negus

For Services to Farnham through horticulture

John Negus is one of Farnham’s horticultural gems. He has been involved with the Victoria Garden, a multi-award winning entry in Britain in Bloom, since its formation 20 years ago.

John is not only their horticultural advisor but so much more, a volunteer who practices what he preaches.

John was an inaugural member of Farnham in Bloom’s Community Group promoting community-led projects and is a key facilitator of initiatives such as Bloomin’ Kids, Bloomin’ Friends and Bloomin’ Litter.

In addition, John has helped with the Bourne Conservation Garden since its inception and with the setting up of Bishop’s Meadow Trust. John is also well sought after as an expert gardener and horticultural specialist, being a long-standing gardening journalist and broadcaster.

John’s selflessness, kindness, passion and enthusiasm and his effortless ability to lead by example make him a worthy recipient of this award.

Mr Graham Noakes

For Services to the cultural life of Farnham

Graham Noakes has made an immense contribution to the life of Farnham since he moved to the town in 1984.

Graham has served as chairman of Round Table, and President of the 41 Club twice, and for ten years, was Chairman of the Farnham Youth Choir, helping shape it into one of the top 50 choirs in the world, winning Gold at the European and World Choir Games.

Graham’s charitable service has included the Round Table fireworks for some 35 years, being a governor of Hale School and Heath End School and being publicity officer for the Farnham Ramblers.

He was a member of the Farnham Chamber of Commerce committee until he retired in 2017 and is a trustee of the charity Mind Body EDS and is chairman of the Farnham Carnival.

Graham is very conscientious in everything he does and is highly respected for his advice and guidance. He is truly a man of Farnham and most worthy of this award.

Mr Graham Precious

For Services to the community of Rowledge

Graham Precious has worked tirelessly for the community of Rowledge for over a decade.

As a long term member of the Rowledge Village Fayre committee, the Rowledge Village Hall Trust and as Chairman of the Rowledge Residents’ Association, Graham has done much to foster a positive community spirit for the benefit of all.

He has maintained close links with Farnham Town Council and other organisations in the area and also contributed much to the history of the village from his own research.

Graham has selflessly worked to enhance the quality of life in Rowledge over many years and played a key role in establishing a flourishing village community which will be a lasting legacy of his contribution.

Mr Chris Shepheard

For Services to the heritage and history of Farnham

Chris Shepheard has made an immense contribution to the life of Farnham over the past 50 years. As a local historian, author and photographer he has made an important contribution in chronicling Farnham life.

Chris was instrumental in founding the Rustics group of volunteers at the Rural Life Centre, before becoming a trustee and the director taking the museum from strength to strength.

Chris has made a significant contribution to the Farnham Visitors’ Forum and as a Trustee of Farnham Castle and the Farnham Building Preservation Trust. Chris was the inspiration for the Farnham Walking Festival and has created and leads walks on the town’s history.

He brings great pleasure for readers through the regular Peeps into the Past column in The Herald.

Chris deserves this award as an outstanding Farnham resident working tirelessly for the benefit of its community.

Mr Norman Smith

For Services to the Farnham Brass Band

Norman Smith joined Farnham Brass Band soon after moving to Farnham in 1987 fulfilling the role of Principal Cornet for most of that time, leading the section, providing guidance and encouragement to his team, playing solos and, with his famously sweet tone, adding a bit of class to performances.

Norman’s loyal leadership has been a mainstay of the band and he has become an integral part of the Hale Remembrance Service playing the Last Post and Reveille every year for 30 years.

Norman also supports other local bands including Haslemere and Basingstoke when short on players.

Norman’s contribution to the Farnham Brass Band enabling it to perform up to 20 times every year at local community events including the Farnham Carnival, local fetes, Music in the Meadow and Farnham in Bloom Winter Celebration make him deserving of the Services to Farnham award.

Mr Barry Wilkinson

For Services to Farnham through Karate

Barry Wilkinson has taught karate in the town to hundreds of children and adults for more than 50 years. Barry studied karate in the UK and Japan and set up the Farnham Karate Club in 1971.

He formed the England Wadokai Karate-do Renmei (EWICR), has taught throughout Europe, Ireland and the Far East and is Vice President of the Federation of Wadokai Europe.

At 8th Dan, Barry has one of the highest grades in Europe and is respected throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

He has helped put Farnham on the sporting map as a pioneer in his chosen field and has brought pleasure, fitness and a sense of pride and confidence to several generations of karateka.

Barry has made an enormous contribution, and much deserves this award.

Nominations for the 2021 awards can be made at any time before the panel meets in the autumn of this year. See the Services to Farnham page.

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