Winning is not everything, it is just the start of a journey
ROYAL WOOTTON BASSETT
BRADFORD ON AVON
We live in momentous times, but national politics aside, we must work together for the good of our communities, says Neil Henty.
Sometimes the weeks fly by and nothing really seems to happen. But not right now. We live in extraordinary times, we are living through a period of history that will keep historians busy for hundreds of years, and most probably more.
Each and every day, via 24/7 news and through social media, the intricate webs of political intrigue are laid bare, paths are forged and blocked, whispers are amplified, truth exposed and obfuscated in equal measure. From the outside looking in it must seem a fascinating, confusing, volatile muddle.
The democracy we hold so dear has been severely tested. But it will survive, in one form or another, I am sure. It might be that by the time this is published we will have a clearer idea of the path the country will take in its relationship with Europe, whether that be part of the EU or not.
as good as the stories it shares, and my hope is that we can uncover many wonderful tales to share with you.
Sometimes, the best stories appear out of the blue. Such was the case only a few weeks ago. An email popped into my inbox, out of the blue, the results of which you can read in this month’s issue. A real tale of daring-do, bravery and social conscience – it never ceases to amaze me how the people of Wiltshire impact on the wider world, and they will continue to do so, I have no doubt. Not all about winning This column will go to press before the Wiltshire Life Awards take place, but will be published post-event, which makes writing about them here slightly difficult. I can say that all those shortlisted have impressed our judging panel and I know that choosing winners proved challenging.
BERWICK ST JAMES
BROAD CHALKE TOLLARD
Above: Wiltshire Life keeps you in touch with what’s going on, wherever you are in the county
Maizey. Congratulations Emma, and to all the team at Bonita Racing Stables. Festival season Festival season is well and truly upon us. The next few months are packed with things to do. As the weather warms, and as spring heads towards early summer, there is a natural instinct to head out and to ‘revel’, and Wiltshire has a healthy share of the festivities this year.
We each have our own views on what we would like this relationship to be, and whatever happens there is no doubt that we will look back on the past few months with a mixture of incredulity, disbelief and wonder, whether you voted to leave or remain.
These are interesting, confusing, worrying, hopeful times, depending on your personal circumstance and view. What is clear is that in the coming months and years we will all need to support each other so that we can move forward positively.
On a lighter note, am I the only one who finds themselves wondering who will play the main characters from the Brexit years in a film adaptation? Who will Gary Oldman receive an Oscar for portraying, I wonder? The power of stories I recently met with a regular contributor and while talking generally about the county, about publishing and journalism, we started talking about stories we had covered. A magazine, in my opinion, is only
It is a cliché to say that everyone on the shortlists is a winner, but it is undoubtedly true and we are very pleased and proud to both support and recognise the great talent, enterprise and initiative on offer across the county, and we thank our sponsors who make this possible. It is right that we celebrate the best our county has to offer and we will continue to do so.
Nominations for the 2020 awards will open later this month, so please keep an eye on the website and social media. If you are thinking that you’d like to enter or nominate someone, then we’d like to hear from you. There are many deserving groups and individuals out there, so don’t hesitate.
Talking of winning, the office tuned in and listened to the Cheltenham Festival on the 14th March and we listened in as Paisley Park was led home by Aidan Coleman to win the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle for trainer Emma Lavelle. Readers will remember that Emma featured in our January issue, when Georgie Green visited her yard in Ogbourne
We have featured a number of these festivals in this issue, from the Wylye Valley Art Trail, which brings art to the masses, to the return of the Salisbury International Arts Festival, from the Devizes Arts Festival to the Downton Cuckoo Fair, and more. Folk festivals, literary festivals, art festivals, music festivals, food festivals, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
What is clear is that festivals like these would not be able to take place without the help of countless numbers of volunteers. When you factor in the brilliant work undertaken by volunteers working in the charity sector, there are a huge number of people in Wiltshire who are willing to go the extra mile for others.
We should be extremely grateful to all those who willingly give up free hours (and not so free hours) to ensure that this is a county where locals and visitors alike can come together to have fun, to live, learn, dance, dream, relax, participate, and more.
Thank you, together you make the world a brighter place. WL