As Christmas approaches and 2018 draws to a close, I am reminded of what a fantastic year it has been for Woodley.
Each year I am increasingly amazed at the great community spirit that exists across Woodley. As an active user of Social Media, it is heart-warming to see a Woodley resident reach out for help and advice by posting a problem and then to see the number of useful suggestions of help follow. I cannot think of anywhere else I would want to live.
One of the most remarkable events for me this year was the Centenary celebration of the end of WWI on Woodley’s Memorial Ground. Over 2,000 residents attended the event to mark their respects for all lives lost in wars. The Town Council organised refurbishment of the memorial gates, while permanent display boards were put up, dedicated to those local soldiers who had lost their lives in WWI. Thank you to all who attended and contributed to create a fitting memorial.
The annual ‘switch on’ of the Christmas lights in the town centre was also a remarkable event and marked the first year with the tree in a brand-new position at the north end of the town, providing more space for people to enjoy this annual event. The TCMI did a great job in organising this celebration, with mulled wine, roast chestnuts and mince pies enjoyed by all. The carol singing led by the Woodley Concert Band was excellent and, again, the community spirit was out in full force.
Other marvellous Woodley events include our usual fantastic Carnival with amazing floats, the Christmas Extravaganza, regular town markets, the Woodley Festival of Business and other local community events, as well as Woodford Park being awarded Green Flag status – the first park in Wokingham Borough; it is clear to see why residents love living in Woodley.
However, none of that can be achieved without huge numbers of volunteers and organisations that always do their ‘bit’ behind the scenes; whether that is the litter pickers and other volunteer groups who help to keep our streets and parks clean and tidy, or the community groups that ensure Woodley is such a lovely place to live. On behalf of all Woodley residents, I would like to thank you all for the countless number of hours you give to our community.
We have some new and exciting events planned for 2019, to add to the already popular timetable.
I would like to wish all Woodley residents a great Christmas and a very happy New Year.
Keith Baker, Woodley Town Council Leader