October 18

Felixstowe Mayor Graham Newman

Chain Gang – News from the MAYOR


Since I last wrote, we have witnessed another month of amazing Felixstowe activities.  It was a great pleasure and privilege to be invited to open the first ever Ferry Fest over the late summer bank holiday weekend.  The launch event on the Friday – featuring local groups The Craze and JS & The Lockerbillies – was a truly memorable evening.  The rest of the weekend was packed with a programme of local art and culture provided mainly by local volunteers.  Although somewhat compromised by poor weather on the Sunday, the event attracted a huge number of visitors to the Ferry, no doubt helped by the free bus service from the town which ran on the Saturday through to the Monday.  Huge congratulations to Laura Locke and her team (Helen Clarke, Jayne Lindill, Tracey Ablitt, Wade Ablitt, Alison Miller & Hilary Richardson) for staging such a superb event.


The following weekend witnessed my 60 Miles on the Prom Cycle Challenge.  I started early on the morning of 1st September, and covered the distance – thankfully safely – in around 6hrs:10mins (5hrs:20min excluding comfort and refreshment breaks).  Many thanks to all those who sponsored me, and donated on the day.  At the time of writing, it looks as though the event will end up making around £1,100 for my two charities (BASIC Life & The Laydens Community Café), but the Just Giving page is still open…


Art on the Prom followed on Sunday 2nd.  Fortunately, we were blessed with excellent weather, which attracted a huge number of visitors to the seafront, and a record number of stalls and exhibits.  The Mayor’s Charity Fashion Show took place on Friday 7th at the Orwell Hotel – courtesy of, and thanks to, the hotel’s management and her team.  The show featured many of the volunteer staff from both my charities parading in some excellent clothes available from the BASIC Life shops.  The Felixstowe Children’s Choir and Ali Mac added to what turned out to be a very enjoyable evening.


The bi-annual Heritage Weekend followed on the 8th & 9th September, again attracting many visitors to the town, and providing an opportunity for residents to see behind the scenes in many of the town’s historic buildings.  Thanks to the Felixstowe Society for all their work in coordinating the various venues into an interesting programme.


The Felixstowe in Flower Awards Night was held at Felixstowe Academy on the 14th September.  This year’s competition attracted a number of new entrants, including participation by a number of our schools, nurseries, businesses and residents, producing a list of very worthy winners of the various categories.  Thanks to the Town Hall staff, especially Sue Faversham, who always go the extra mile to make this event -and the competition itself – a huge success.


Finally, this month, I was invited to speak at the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Breakfast at the Ferry Golf Club on 19th September.  My theme was “10 Years of Investment in Felixstowe – what next”.  In preparing my presentation it became apparent that the best part of £1 billion has been (and is currently being) spent in the town during that period – a significant proportion of it by the Port of Felixstowe, but the remainder by an eclectic mix of the public sector and private business.  Pretty amazing for a town of only around 30,000 residents (with the Trimley villages, according to last census)


Please don’t forget my Charity Quiz Night in St Mary’s Church Hall on Saturday 13th October.  Tickets are only £8 including a fine plowman’s supper, available from the Town Hall, the BASIC Life Shops and the Laydens Community Café.  Why not get a team together and join us?


Very best wishes

Graham Newman
Mayor of Felixstowe 2018/9