March 2020

High Sheriff Awards 2019/2020

At the end of a High Sheriff’s year in office he /she may choose to present some High Sheriff awards to congratulate and thank those individuals or organisations that have made a significant positive contribution to the community. In Rutland, these awards are normally presented at the Declaration ceremony. Richard and I hope that I might be able to present these to the recipients at one of his events later in the year.  

I have given High Sheriff Awards to the following:

Peter Davis  – for producing Rutland in Concert (involving over 450 schoolchildren in Rutland) on behalf of the Rutland Music Hub.

Judith Gilboy – for setting up and running the charity Peppers that offers a ‘safe place’ for those with mental health conditions.

Flt Lt Jackie Lawrence – for leading the Rutland Air Cadets.

Nichola Resoli – for setting up and running 1st Barleythorpe Brownies for girls aged 7 – 10 years.

Rutland Sailability – to the many volunteers who enable those with a disability to enjoy ‘freedom afloat’ on Rutland Water.

Alex Wilby & Claire Crowley – for setting up and running Root & Branch Out, which engages in projects within the community around food, the outdoors, nature and the environment. 

I heartily congratulate and thank each and every one of these people for the amazing work that they have done to enhance our community in the past year.

Thursday 19th March Installation of new High Sheriff of Rutland

Past High Sheriff (Margaret Miles), Robert Miles, Pat Cole, High Sheriff of Rutland 2020/21 (Richard Cole), Andrew Brown JP, High Sheriff’s Chaplain (Rev Rachel Watts), Under Sheriff (Kate Blank)

Today, Thursday 19th March we held the Declaration ceremony for the new High Sheriff of Rutland, Richard Cole.  Due to the current Corona virus, the planned event in Oakham Castle on 2nd April had to be cancelled. Instead, outside Oakham Castle, we gathered the few legally -required people for this Declaration : the incoming and outgoing High Sheriffs, the Under Sheriff (Kate Blank) , the  JP witness (Andrew Brown JP) and the incoming High Sheriff’s Chaplain (Rev Rachel Watts). Richard read his Declaration , a few words were said by both incoming and outgoing High Sheriffs and the relevant paperwork was signed. The outgoing consort supplied a glass of bubbly with which we ‘toasted’ Richard and wished him and his wife Pat, all the very best for his year in office.

Thurs 12th March.     Charity Presentation evening at Oakham Castle

Representatives from 14 charitable organisations receiving cheques from the High Sheriff of Rutland Fund

This evening I held my High Sheriff’s Charity Presentation evening in Oakham Castle. The purpose was to both thank and celebrate all those who work with charitable groups in our county. Representatives from over 40 local charitable organisations attended together with a number of other interested individuals and donors.  The occasion began with tea and cake, giving the 120 guests the opportunity to socialise with one another. During the presentation hour, I presented 14 charitable groups with cheques, using the funds that had accrued in the High Sheriff of Rutland Fund following some church service collections and kind individual donations.  I was able to give a brief overview of many of these groups, whilst five others spoke themselves (sometimes with the addition of a video) explaining the purpose of their group and often seeking further volunteers. Sir Laurence Howard (President of the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation) gave a great address reminding us of the importance of supporting others and explaining how the Community Foundation can help donors and recipients. The evening concluded with people enjoying another hour of socialising and finding out more about individual charities. It was a delightful way to enable a few charitable organisations to promote their work and to network with other similar organisations. We are very fortunate in Rutland to have so many willing and active volunteers, but more are always needed.

Charitable organisations that received funds from the High Sheriff: 1st Barleythorpe Brownies, Rutland Sailability, Root and Branch Out, Out of Hours Club Rutland (OHCR) , Rutland Community Ventures, Knight School, Rutland Rotaract Family Service Centre, Key Access Rutland Enterprise (KARE), Peppers, East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme (EMICS), Oakham in Bloom, Uppinghham Hopper, For Rutland and Warning Zone.

Fri 13th March.   Arts for Rutland Prizegiving 

Arts for Rutland held their Open Art Exhibition Preview evening on Friday.  There was a wonderful variety of art on display using very different mediums and styles. Before the prizegiving , two young talented musicians entertained us with singing and flute-playing. Prize-winners were announced by Peter Davis (Vice Chair of the Arts for Rutland group) who reminded attendees that grants can be available for those in Rutland requiring funding for their art activities. Congratulations to all artists who had their work on display – and of course special congratulations to the prize-winners. 

Fri 13th March    100 years of Lady Magistrates celebration

This afternoon I attended an event at the Town Hall, Leicester to celebrate 100 Years of Lady Magistrates in Leicestershire and Rutland. Dr Anne Logan gave a fascinating talk about the history of female magistrates. Dr Logan is a historian specialising in 19th and 20th century British social history and women’s history. She has been a lecturer at Kent University since 2001 and completed her PhD thesis titled ‘Making Women Magistrates: Feminism, Citizenship and Justice in England and Wales 1920 – 1950’ in 2002. The talk was followed by tea, hosted by the Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Leicester giving us the opportunity to meet many of the Lady Magistrates in Leicestershire and Rutland.  Martin Pantling JP and Liz Mitchell JP produced a very interesting booklet for the Magistrates Association: 100 Years of Lady Magistrates in Leicestershire and Rutland. Additionally, Martin and Liz organised the centenary weekend, which started today and continued with other events including a creative theatrical performance from the first court to be presided over by a female magistrate, Ada Summers, on New Year’s Eve 1919. 

Visit to Oakham Fire Station

 It was a real privilege to meet at Oakham station tonight, the ‘on call’ Firemen for both Oakham and Uppingham Fire stations. These ‘on call’ firemen are trained over 18 months and then offer themselves as ‘on-call’ for approx 90 hours per week. Firstly they have to be fully trained in firefighting, first aid and driving with a blue light – much of this training is undertaken during their ‘holiday’ time from their full-time jobs. Training then needs to be regularly updated and their weekly Monday night training sessions can be used for this. The commitment of these brave men and women is impressive. When ‘on call’ they need to be within 4 mins of the fire staation and ready and alert to take up their duties. Thank you to all who we met tonight and thank you so much for the great work that you do to ‘rescue’ us when needed. 

Nottinghamshire Legal Service

Today the High Sheriff of Nottingham, the Hon Jonathon Teare hosted the Legal Service for his county at St Mary-the-Virgin church, opposite the National Justice Museum. As with other Legal Services, we were treated to some beautiful choral music, relevant readings and a thought provoking address from the Bishop of Sherwood. We also enjoyed singing some well-known hymns, which sound even more magnificent when sung in a cathedral -like building with a full choir.

Afterwards we enjoyed a lunch in the Museum and some good conversations with others involved in the county: circuit judges, high court judges, the Lord Lieutenant (Sir John Peace)  and a few of his deputies. A really great celebration of those that work hard within the county’s justice system.

Rainbows Uppingham Opening

This morning I attended the first meeting of the Uppingham Rainbows. This group is for girls aged 5 – 8 years old and it was lovely to see their excitement on arriving at their very first meeting. The morning started with cutting a beautiful rainbow cake and moved on to some other activities that will gradually build up their skills and confidence. Well done to all those volunteers who help to set up and run this really beneficial group for our young girls. 

Good and New Sale , For Rutland

The annual Good and New Sale took place on Friday evening with a ‘first night’ that includes ‘drinks and canapes’ as well as a first look at the sale items. It was as busy as usual with lots of shopping and socialising taking place. It is great to see all that hard work coming to fruition as shoppers look, try and buy lots of items. Well done to all the volunteers who set up the sale in Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, served on the night and then served again on Saturday!

CPRE 50th Anniversary lunch

Today Robert and I were invited by the Chairman of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Rutland to attend their 50th Anniversary lunch at The Falcon Hotel, Uppingham. This counrtyside charity is passionate about making our countryside a better place for everyone. They care about a range of issues including climate change, nature and landscapes, sustainable transport, farming etc..  Rutland CPRE is a subset of the national CPRE charity and works hard to address local issues so that the countryside is preserved, and yet also evolves, for the common good.

We listened to some very interesting speeches from Malcom Touchin, (Chair of CPRE Rutland) and Su Sayer CBE (Chair of the board of CPRE Trustees ). The latter looked back over the last 50 years and reminded us of the countryside issues that CPRE Rutland had been involved with during that time. 

Assembly at Great Casterton Primary School

Today is World Book Day so all the pupils at Great Casterton Primary school were dressed as their favourite character from books. They looked really impressive and the range of books covered was superb. I arrived in my court dress which blended in beautifully with the pupils’ attire ! As with other schools, I talked about my role as High Sheriff and enjoyed the variety of questions that they asked me. A thriving school. 

 Honours Symposium

This evening the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland  invited the Honours office from London to speak to a group of people about the Honours system. It was a very informative event and we are encouraged to put forward those people who ‘go the extra mile’ and act in a way that benefits the community. This is a good British honours system that acknowledges and celebrates the great activities of so many in our country. 

Assembly at Empingham Primary School

Today I met some of the pupils at Empingham Primary School as I took their morning assembly. This took place in their school hall that was adorned with a wide variety of projects completed by the children covering history, health , electricity and mindfulness . I talked to the children about the role of a High Sheriff in years gone by and today in Rutland. We also looked at the different responsibilities that we all have but that respect and kindness are key everywhere. The children were alert, engaged and friendly – a great village school with just over 80 children. Thank you very much for inviting me to join you all today. 

Talk at Rutland Agricultural Society 

 This evening the Rutland Agricultural Society held its second talk. Dr Alastair Leake from the Allerton Research and Educational Trust spoke on: Climate Change and Carbon Footprint. His talk was illustrated with helpful slides that discussed the work of the Allerton project that has understaken key research over the last 25 years on the effects of different farming methods on wildlife and the environment. Over 90 people attended the evening and from the questions asked and the chat afterwards, it was regarded as a very informative and interesting talk on very topical issues.  If you wish to become a member and attend these talks free or if you wish to attend as a non-member then please visit their website here.

Turning Point, Rutland at Rutland Community Hub

This morning I met with Jo Hall (Hub Manager)  and Janice Conlon (Recovery worker) from Turning Point, Rutland in the Rutland Community Hub. Turning Point is a social enterprise that helps those with drug and alcohol issues to recovery.  Everyone they support has a dedicated recovery worker, who helps each to find their own individual path to recovery. They offer a wide range of treatment options to address the needs of the individual and to help people move forward into a healthy and happy future in their control. They are just starting a CA (Cocaine addiction) group. If you or anyone you know might benefit from the help offered here then please contact through their website: ………… can easily be made on line or you can call 0116 293 8078