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Speech given by Sally Raven at the Commemoration of her Retirement on 28th May 2010

This is how it all started


A friend, Greta, who is here tonight, knew I was interested in becoming a Parish Council Clerk, and sent me the advert for this post.

Radley was in Berkshire at the time I was appointed – and I went on a training weekend in March 1974 to learn all about being a Clerk. But the three things which stick in my mind are:

  • I met a lady who was then Clerk at Sandhurst Town Council and we are still great friends today;
  • I saw coloured television for the first time;
  • And the pyramid of profiteroles on the desert table at the Sunday Lunch.


So no hope for me really!

But I was lucky – I had a Council with a group of very experienced Councillors. I did not feel quite so lucky when they all decided to leave at the same time some years later – nothing to do with me I hope.

But it is good that three are here tonight – which is really great – David Buckle, Alan Clark and John Green


Some things change:

Training now consists of a modular course, leading to a higher level course to allow Parish Councils to become qualified Councils – provided of course that sufficient people stand to be elected (which is the most difficult part I think), on to a university degree and just recently a professional institute has been set up.

 But some things do not – I was going to read out a list of Memorable Things during the last 36 years – but you will be pleased that I am not going to do this.

Just to say how things do not change.

  • When I started we met in the old wooden hut in Lower Radley and there was talk about the need for another village hall and discussions were taking place with Radley College regarding the siting of a new hall in Gooseacre – does this ring a bell.
  • Early on there was a public meeting with National Power and total agreement to filling in the lakes (although I have to say that the PC always wanted one lake to remain) – and the PC has just finished a four year fight to retain Thrupp Lake.
  • Allotments were wanted early on in my appointment and the Parish Council is now trying to find land for more allotments.

I have always regarded Radley as my “hobby” – not really professional, but it has been a very enjoyable and stimulating period of my life. I am leaving behind a very vibrant Parish Council determined to do its best for the Radley community and I wish the Councillors and the new Clerk all the best for the future.

Luckily I will continue to have links through the Parish Plan so I will not lose touch completely.

My understanding is that if you receive a gift you should also give a gift – and I have a small gift for the Parish Council, which I would like to present now. Just some clipboards for the Garden Competition judges – with a selection of pens which I have picked up during Parish Council business!
Many thanks to you all for coming this evening.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/speech-given-by-sally-raven-at-the-commemoration-of-her-retirement-on-28th-may-2010/