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PHOTOS: The mayor’s Thanks A Million afternoon tea

Celebrating the tireless work of groups, organisations and individuals who help to make Driffield a great community to live, mayor Mark Blakeston hosted a Thanks a Million Afternoon Tea to show his gratitude for their efforts.

The event, which took place at The Old Town Hall, at the Bell Hotel was attended by representatives from community groups and organisations who have invited Cllr Blakeston during his year as mayor to share in their work to help make Driffield the thriving community it is.

Guests enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea of sandwiches, savouries and scones and were entertained by members of Driffield Ukulele Band who played an array of musical favourites and added to the celebratory atmosphere of the event.

As his term as mayor comes towards its end, Cllr Blakeston who has attended more than 100 engagements in Driffield over the past year, said he wanted to thank those people for all they do for Driffield and for helping to make his mayoral year so special.

He said: “When I was elected as mayor, I said I wanted to support local and I thought as I was coming towards the end of my year, rather than do a traditional civic event, it would be nice to get all those people together that create the community in Driffield by volunteering their time or going that extra mile in their business and just say thank you.

“It was a wonderful afternoon and I was delighted that so many people came along and enjoyed it.”

During the afternoon, Cllr Blakeston presented former mayor and Driffield town councillor Amanda Croft with a bouquet of flowers and thanked her for her time with the council.

He also presented outgoing town clerk Claire Binnington with flowers and thanked her for her 25 years as clerk of Driffield Town Council.

Deputy mayor Cllr Gillian Helliwell then took to the floor to thank Cllr Blakeston for his year as mayor and expressed the town’s gratitude for his commitment and dedication.

He was presented with photographs of his year as mayor and his consort and wife Sarah also received a bouquet of flowers for her support over the year.

Town crier Brian Fairfield led three cheers for the mayor who received a standing ovation from the guests.
Cllr Blakeston added: “Community is the word I would use to sum up the afternoon.

“Whether you are running clubs for young people or looking after the vulnerable, elderly or supporting veterans or running businesses that go that little bit further to promote Driffield, the common thread that runs through it all is community.

“The guests on Saturday afternoon were just a fraction of those who give their time and effort to the town; they were the people that have interacted with me over the past 12 months, but that sense of community is what in my mind makes Driffield a great place to live.”

During his year as mayor, Cllr Blakeston has supported his chosen charities of the year – the Yorkshire Wolds Railway and the Driffield Navigation Trust.

Both organisations were represented on Saturday afternoon.

David Taylor, of Driffield Navigation Trust, said it was a marvellous gesture by the mayor to recognise, and thank people for what they were doing for Driffield.

He said: “The trust has always had great support from Mark for our efforts to maintain, improve, and make the historic canal fully navigable again.

“We were really pleased when he chose Driffield Navigation Trust as one of his charities, and he has shown his support in many ways during his year of office.

“The trustees were delighted to be thanked by Mark, but they and everyone else who attended the event, were thrilled to recognise his tremendous efforts for the good of Driffield.”

Matthew Brown, from Yorkshire Wolds Railway, added: “We would like to thank our mayor, Cllr Mark Blakeston for choosing the Yorkshire Wolds Railway as one of his chosen charities.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mark who has always given us his full support.

“We were delighted to be given the opportunity to join with other volunteering groups over the weekend at the Thanks a Million Afternoon Tea.

“To see everyone brought together like that made us feel very proud to be part of the local community. Thank you, Mark!”

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