With sadness, the Pond Management Committee reports the retirement of two long-standing members of the team, Peter Applewhite and David Wilkinson, but we would like to take this opportunity to thank them both for their commitment and hard work and to celebrate their achievement in both preserving and conserving an area of natural beauty in our village. The good news is that they will both continue to work for the Friends and the pond as volunteers.
Peter Applewhite had indicated his intention to retire at the June AGM, but due to changing circumstances has stood down earlier than anticipated. Peter has been involved with the Friends for many years, and has been Chairman for twelve, since when he has been the outward face and the driving force behind our activities. His many responsibilities on behalf of the Friends are too numerous to mention here, but he was very keen to promote and keep the profile of the Friends as high as possible. In 2003 he introduced and has since written our newsletter, Splash, and he has provided regular articles for the Biddenham Bulletin, now The Loop, giving updates on the activities at the pond and helping to galvanise action against planning proposals with potentially adverse impacts on the pond and its rural setting. He would also give presentations to local organisations and was a regular contributor at Parish Council meetings. In 2013 he embraced social media, by setting up the Friends website and Facebook page and thereafter kept them up to date with news, events, and activities.
David, a committee member for seven years but a volunteer before that, has also decided that the time has come to retire. David was the practical man on the committee, the person who was happy to get his hands dirty and knew how to fix things. He would probably not consider himself a natural committee man, but he had clear insight as to what needed to be done. He was in his element on work mornings, where he was never happier than when he was in the pond removing reeds! He would also be the first to volunteer for ad hoc work sessions when more technical tasks were undertaken such as the re-laying and re-pointing of walls or renewing the jetties, saving the committee a lot of money by not using outside contractors.
Peter and David’s retirement now means that the committee only consists of three people. We ideally need six people to share out tasks and the organisational activities behind the scenes, and we are therefore making one more urgent request for new committee members to come forward. If you value the village pond and what we do to preserve and conserve it, and have some time to spare – we meet in the evening 4 times a year – then please do get in touch. In the meantime our next meeting is on 23rd October, when we will be reviewing the activities currently undertaken to identify those that are core and to decide whether we have sufficient resource to continue.
If you feel that you can help us, please contact Jane Knight 01234 330173, Paul Godden 01234 344081 or Chris Jones 01234 211759. Alternatively, if you would like to find out more, we will be in the Three Tuns on 31st October between 6.00 and 7.00pm, where you can meet us for an informal chat.