Mayor’s Blog September 2023
31 October 2023
The month began with the opening of the new Lions Charity book shop in Martells. This is a fantastic local resource, helping re-use old books, provide affordable books, and raise funds for the Lions. The generosity of Martells is truly appreciated for making this venture possible.
I was then honoured to be made a Rotarian and give a talk to the Rotary Club about my career as a councillor and time as Mayor.
Later that week, I had the joy of officially opening the new Stone Quarry Cafe at its new home in Stone Quarry. This great local facility looks amazing in its new home, and the partnership between MSDC, Clarion, and Sarah is to be applauded for bringing it to life. I was joined in the opening by our MP, Mims Davies, and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant.
As Mayor, you are president of several charities, and I therefore involved myself with their AGMs this month: Grenestede Talking News, Disability Access, and EGMAF. It’s always humbling to hear more about the amazing work our local charities do, and a pleasure to meet their members and the people they help.
On the 17th, I had my Civic Service at St Swithuns. This had been an event I was really looking forward to, and it didn’t fail to deliver. The church was full with friends, family, dignitaries, and fellow councillors. The service was beautiful and meaningful to me.
The following week was the first of my solo charity fundraisers, a quiz night. The night was a sellout and even had a waiting list! The quiz was run by Cllr Belsey, who was fantastic! My wonderful wife did the catering to keep costs down; she was incredible, and I don’t know how she did it! The event was a huge success, and we raised over £1000 for my charity. Thank you to everyone who attended.
Later that week, we had the Macmillan coffee morning at the hospital, and I attended to open the event and judge the cakes! Being Mayor can be a tough job, but cake always helps!
Mayor’s Blog August 2023
30 September 2023
August was a quiet month as Mayor, but it started with a bang, the last East Court Live. The previous two events had been incredible, so the pressure was on.
It didn’t disappoint! The weather was kind to us, and the wonderful people of East Grinstead turned out in their thousands to support us.
We had a fantastic selection of local music, and even the Bubble House was a real hit with the kids.
Again, everyone was very generous, and we raised over £1100 for my chosen charity, QVH.
I then attended the East Grinstead Art Society exhibition at Glen Vue. There were some fantastic examples of local talent, and it was a joy to attend and see the works of art.
I also had the great pleasure of having my official portrait taken by the very talented Kate Murrell, lead photographer at QVH. She took the portrait in the grounds of the hospital, which I felt was a nice nod to the charity and the fact that I work there. The portrait is now hung in East Court, which has been a lifetime ambition of mine.
I knew September would be busier, and therefore managed to enjoy some downtime.
Mayor’s Blog July 2023
27 July 2023
After the whirlwind that was May, June was a time to settle into my new role as Mayor. The month started with a jam-packed diary, with more engagements coming each day. It was clear that June was going to be a busy and fulfilling month ahead.
Kicking off the month, there was a briefing by the Lord Lieutenant in Chichester. The session provided valuable insights into the role of the Lord Lieutenant and how we can collaborate effectively. I felt truly honoured to attend such an informative event.
Our first East Court Live event was a tremendous success! The turnout was fantastic, and we were blessed with outstanding weather. Together, we managed to raise over £1500 for my chosen charity, QVH. This marked the highest amount ever raised at an East Court Live event. Thank you, East Grinstead, for your unwavering support!
Throughout the week, I had the privilege of attending an Age UK fundraiser at Carlo Lounge and celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Crawley Mariners Yacht Club at Felbridge. The latter held a special place in my heart as I’ve been a member of the club for over three decades.
One of the highlights of the month was the town’s first KidicalMASS Community Cycle ride, which Cllr Steve Ody organised. Witnessing over 150 participants of all ages, from toddlers to eBike riders in their 90s, cycling through the streets of EG was truly heartwarming. The community spirit was infectious, and I was even brave enough to cycle with them despite facing mild reprimands from the Town Clerk for wearing my chain on the bike.
Together with my Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ody, I engaged in a joint talk with the East Grinstead Society. The group’s active involvement and genuine care for our town were evident as they raised several engaging questions, spanning topics from the water fountain to pedestrianisation and housing supply.
On the 15th, I visited “health watch” at King Centre, an enlightening event that brought together numerous charities serving our town. I learned about their essential work and the challenges they face. The tour of Kings Centre further deepened my understanding of its struggles and the incredible facilities it offers.
I presided over my first special council meeting as Mayor in the Council Chamber, marking a significant milestone in my mayoral journey.
School summer fairs began on the 17th, with the Halsford Park fair setting the bar high with its exceptional organisation and wonderful atmosphere. Witnessing the teachers’ dance and even venturing into the balloon tent added to the delight of the event.
A humbling and inspiring event was when the Mayoress and I attended a special service at St. Swithun’s, honouring the Street Pastors. Their life-saving work and the positive impact they’ve had over the years deeply moved us. We look forward to joining them on patrol in October.
East Court hosted the Armed Forces day, a great opportunity to showcase the town’s close relationship with the armed forces. The kids loved being able to sit in the real life plane and the virtual reality trailer. Also great to be able to honour the RAF nurses who train at QVH and we had the privilege of laying a wreath.
An evening of cultural appreciation awaited as I attended a performance of Mikado by the East Grinstead Choral Society at Chequer Mead. The show’s quality and professionalism left me thoroughly impressed.
As a former Sackville student and professional photographer, I was eager to attend the Sackville School GCSE and A-level art and photography exhibition. The creativity and exceptional standard of the works displayed by our talented young adults in the town were truly inspiring.
Wrapping up the month, I attended an early screening of the St. Swithun’s Art Festival at the church. The event showcased remarkable local art from our community and local schools.
June passed by in a whirlwind, and there was hardly a moment to rest. In the midst of it all, I had the unforgettable experience of attending the premiere of Tom Cruise’s newest Mission Impossible film in Leicester Square, along with some previous Mayors. Walking the red carpet and meeting Tom Cruise was an extraordinary day out.
As July unfolds, I look forward to sharing more adventures and stories with you. Stay tuned for my next update, as it’s shaping up to be another exciting and bustling month ahead!
Mayor’s Blog June 2023
22 June 2023
I’ve been asked to write a blog about my year as Town Mayor. I thought I would start by introducing myself!
Hi, my name is Frazer, and I have lived in East Grinstead all my life. I attended Chequer Mead and Sackville Schools, and at the age of 18, I started running my own family portrait studio on High Street. I’ve owned and operated Hamilton Studios for almost 25 years now, and I recently built a studio at home.
Last year, I started working at QVH as a Medical Photographer. It’s a privilege to work at such a world-renowned hospital with such inspiring staff.
I live in East Grinstead with my wife and three daughters. The youngest is in year 5, the middle one is halfway through her A-levels, and the eldest has just finished her first year at university.
I was first elected as a councillor in 2017 after the sad passing of Cllr Bob Mainstone. I love serving as a councillor and being able to serve our lovely town. After serving as Deputy Mayor last year, I was lucky enough to be re-elected this year, and on the 15th of May, I achieved a lifelong goal of becoming Mayor!
Becoming Mayor of East Grinstead is wonderful, exciting, and humbling! I’m so excited for the challenges that lie ahead of me. This year my Mayoral Charity is the QVH Charity helping children and adults who have suffered burns and trauma. I will be hosting several events throughout the year to raise funds for them.
I hit the ground running with an event in my first week—a STEM challenge at Ardingly between the senior schools in Mid Sussex, Sackville, and Imberhorne. It was a great success. I was also excited to open the new British Heart Foundation store on London Road. The new premises are lovely, and all their stock was from local donations!
June is looking even busier. Please pop back to catch up on more of what I get up to over the coming year.