Forty-five people were delighted to sit down to Marlborough’s Christmas Day lunch in the Town Hall – and a further five who were unable to attend had meals delivered to them in their homes.
Sun streamed in through the windows of the Town Hall, the Christmas tree sparkled and the fragrance of mulled wine filled the air. Over forty volunteers ensured that guests had everything they needed.
Organiser, Vicky Ellis, told marlborough.news: “This event is what Christmas is for me. I’ve been part of it since 2002. It’s all about giving back to the community. It means so much. It’s like a big family get together for Christmas Day.”
Vicky’s grandparents, Nigel and Joy Kerton, started the Christmas Day lunch seventeen years ago after hearing that a Marlborough resident had been alone with a tin of salmon and a piece of bread on Christmas Day.
This year, guests at the Christmas Lunch enjoyed a three course meal. Mark Shire and helpers were steaming away in the kitchen in order to offer roasted red vegetable soup, turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pud.
Guests were also presented with a foody bag to take home for tea together with a present from Father Christmas. They also had the chance to win a prize in the Christmas Bingo.
All prizes were donated by members of Facebook’s Marlborough Noticeboard.
Adding more Christmas spirit to the proceedings was keyboard player, Alan Prytherch, with his spotty dog, Mac.
Mayor Mervyn Hall, with his helper, granddaughter Genevieve, also dropped by to wish everyone a Happy Christmas.
However, this year’s lunch was not without a touch of sadness. George Johnson, 93, who marlborough.news interviewed last year and who was intending to attend this year, died on Christmas Eve. He had enjoyed the Christmas lunches since 2009 – the year his wife died.
Vicky and her committee comprising of mum Claire, Mark Shire and Jess Nixon had been busy organising the lunch since October.
“I’m lucky to work with such a fantastic committee,” commented Vicky.
The lunch could not take place without sponsorship from so many local businesses and individuals who provided the food, drink, crackers, centre pieces for the tables, insurance and paramedic support. The Town Council provided the venue free of charge.
Looking around the Town Hall, Nigel Kerton said: “My family have done a remarkable job. It looks like the Ritz. Splendid!”
This was echoed by those enjoying their meal and the company.
Linda and Alan Williams who have been at the lunch at least six times said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. We only wish more people could come and join in.”