Student singers star at Mayor’s Pendley bash

Talented students from Tring Park School for the Performing Arts displayed their star quality as Mayor of Dacorum Bert Chapman hosted his annual civic reception at the town’s Pendley Manor Hotel on Friday night.

The sparkling sextet performed a medley of familiar show tunes from the pen of Cole Porter and other songwriting legends as the guests sat down to eat.

Tring Park students who performed for the Mayor of Dacorum's civic reception at Pendley Manor, March 2013. Gabrielle Lewis-Dodson, Megan Bancroft, Gabbrielle Jones, Ed Chun, Connor Jones, Rhys Shone

Tring Park students who performed for the Mayor of Dacorum's civic reception at Pendley Manor, March 2013. Gabrielle Lewis-Dodson, Megan Bancroft, Gabbrielle Jones, Ed Chun, Connor Jones, Rhys Shone

Further entertainment was provided after the meal when popular town auctioneer Stephen Hearn expertly canvassed bids for attractive lots donated by the incentives firm Grass Roots Group, based just a stone’s throw from the Pendley reception room, including designer watches and jewellery.

A pre-dinner tombola and the auction pledges are expected to have raised more than £1,500 for the Mayor’s chosen charity for his year in office, Ian Rennie Grove House Hospice Care.

Former chief executive of the charity Robert Breakwell was the guest speaker, describing to the audience the nature of the unknown saints who play such an important part in the success of charities and other community groups. They included, he said, St Uffer, St Alwart, St Reetcollector and St Amina, paying tribute to the many roles filled by volunteers in the hospice’s day to day life.

The mayor picked up the theme of saluting the borough’s voluntary sector in his address. The strength of Dacorum’s voluntary sector and the range of the work it achieved placed it among the best in the country, which was a source of great pride, he said.

Looking back over an amazing year which included both celebrations for the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the welcoming of the Olympic torch to Hemel Hempstead, he also made a point of including the borough’s observance of Remembrance Day a solemn and memorable highlight of his year in office.