Marlborough's Christmas Day lunch: more lunchers, many volunteers, good neighbourliness - and good cheer

Written by Tony Millett on .

Organisers (l to r) Vicky Ellis, Lisa Farrell and Alison Bates with the Mayor and MayoressOrganisers (l to r) Vicky Ellis, Lisa Farrell and Alison Bates with the Mayor and MayoressFifty-seven members of the older generations sat down to the annual Christmas Day lunch in the Town Hall - tand hat was more than last year.

But this year Marlborough residents were joined by some older guests from Hungerford.  Their Christmas Day lunch was oversubscribed, so Lisa Farrell - a Marlborough Town Councillor - and her team of organisers found room for some of Marlborough's neighbours.  And there was a welcoming party standing-by to see them safely into the Town Hall.

Upstairs those waiting for their lunch were entertained by a brass trio.  Alex Arkwright is Marlborough College music department's head of wind, brass and percussion - and now head of performance too.  

He brought son Joe and daughter Eleanor to make up the family brass trio and play some rousing carols and Christmas favourites - while in the kitchen chef Mark Shire and his helpers were working hard to get the lunch to the tables on time.

The Town Mayor, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton and the Mayoress, Mrs Susan Barrett-Morton, were there talking to lunchers and thanking the large team volunteers - among them some Christmas elves.

Lisa Farrell told Marlborough.News they had received a huge amount of support from the town. Andrews the Butchers donated three turkeys and Sumblers provided the ham and beef.  Marlborough College gave most of the other food.

The Arkwright Family Brass Trio entertainsThe Arkwright Family Brass Trio entertains  Chef Mark pauses during mashing dutiesChef Mark pauses during mashing duties  Barstaff Andy Webb and Andy RossBarstaff Andy Webb and Andy Ross

The Waitrose Community Matters green token scheme gave a healthy donation and the Town Council provided the Town Hall free of charge.

Again this year bingo was planned for after lunch entertainment - and among the prizes for this year's raffle was a bumper hamper provided by Axford Garage.  An innovation this year were the quiz sheets on each table to help pass the waiting time before lunch.

Drivers led by Justin Cook were standing by to take the seven home deliveries to those unable to make it to the Town Hall.

Marlborough's Christmas lunch has been copied by other Wiltshire towns - and it remains one of the town's best and most thriving traditions.  Long may it last.

Ready for the last arrivals...AND LUNCH!Ready for the last arrivals...AND LUNCH!