Chairman of Maldon District Council reflects on his friends in the district – past, present and future

  Posted: 13.09.21 at 09:35 by Charlotte Lillywhite

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In his latest regular column, the Chairman of Maldon District Council, Councillor Mark Heard, discusses his memories of the district and the people who made them.

Born in Maldon and living here for 38 years, I could be regarded as a ‘Maldon’ man. Before that I lived and worked in Epping for five years, however, I was a Burnham Boy for my first 20 years and it still holds a special place in my heart.

I was therefore delighted that my wife Victoria and I were recently invited by Sally Harbott, Commodore of Burnham Sailing Club to the clubs annual Cocktail Evening. The club was formed in 1930 by a small group of yacht crews and local marine business people and is still going strong today.

Upon our arrival we were warmly welcomed by Rear Commodore Jeff Welsh. I admit I felt slightly uncomfortable as people inside were standing closer together than I would normally like these days and it still feels awkward not shaking hands - so I was really grateful that the current Mayor of Burnham (and District Councillor) Vanessa Bell ushered us into a large, open sided area covered by a gazebo.

Meeting a colleague, you know well is always welcome and Vanessa introduced my wife and I to some of her colleagues, one of which was Burnham’s newest Town Councillor Duncan Rawlinson and his wife Claire.

We spoke about Burnham Town Council, issues in the district and the perceptions of Maldon District Council and I really enjoyed their company and I hope we meet again soon.

Later in the evening an impeccably well-dressed man with gleaming black shoes, club tie and blazer strode purposefully towards me saying. 'I think I know this young man' I immediately recognized him as John Mellard a past Burnham ‘Gentleman’s Hairdresser’. John now 85, is a very well-known and highly respected Burnham man, President of Burnham Sailing Club, Rotarian and croquet player!

John spent over fifty-three years in his Barbers Shop, near Coronation Road, almost opposite M Halliday the then local Coal and Coke Merchants at 163 Station Road and close to the old International Stores (Now The Polash) and King & Hines hardware shops. My memories flooded back, and I had a lovely talk with him about my role and times past and present. I felt privileged that he approached me in such a friendly way and it was good to see him so well.

My Maldon Crest collar pin supplied by Maldon’s Plume School was well spotted by the membership secretary of the club as I was leaving - Past-teacher Mrs Liz Tolhurst taught PE & IT at Plume and was also warmly remembered by my wife.

Sitting down at home later, I considered the people who I have encountered that evening. Those from the past, those in the present and those whom I may well know better in the future. I’m very grateful to Burnham Sailing Club for the invitation.

Councillor Mark S. Heard
Chairman of Maldon District Council

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