I had the pleasure of stewarding two fantastic events this weekend, and I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on how things went.
Olympic torch relay
Just when it mattered most, the rain ceased and called a temporary truce whilst the Olympic torch shone its light through Preston.
It was good to see so many people turn out in support of all the torchbearers who each had an amazing story of courage or citizenship to tell. They had been chosen for their fortitude in overcoming injury or illness and dedication to their communities by way of fundraising or pure hard work. This was a day they won’t forget, and it was memorable too for all those who managed to drag themselves out of bed at some unearthly hour to cheer on those inspirational people.
The Guilders, who were stewarding the event as always, received no trouble at all from the good-natured crowd. It was our pleasure to be there.
Full marks to the organisers of Preston Mela for making the right decision to move this event from Avenham park to the Guild Hall. It probably would have been cancelled otherwise.
At very short notice, every nook and cranny in the Guild Hall was transformed into staging, a variety of performance areas (both large and small), workshops and stalls. A group of Guilders arrived at 7am to lend a hand and were amazed to see that a combination of the Guild events team (Tim Joel, Toni Worley and David Bilton) and the Mela Committee had done a huge amount of pre-event work on Saturday evening.
Already, tables had been set up, leaflets printed and signs just about ready to be put in place. There was still lots to be done, and as the saying goes – ‘many hands make light work’, and there were plenty of willing hands. Everyone from organisers to volunteers got stuck in, what a team! By the time the public arrived at 11am, everything was running like clockwork, though I suspect there was still a fair amount of improvisation and ‘seat of pants flying’ going on behind the scenes.
The highlight of the morning for me was the bacon butties. I have no idea who made them or who paid for them – but I know all the volunteers ate them! Thanks very much.