I had only a vague awareness of the Goose Fair Dinner and so to get an invite from my friend and amazing colleague Nigel Cook was a genuine surprise. To then find myself receiving one of four awards was incredibly special. The tribute from Cllr Cheryl Barnard was just lovely and like all those kinds of speeches you wonder how someone can say all the nice things but omit your weaknesses.
I appreciated the reminder to my commitment which continues for “learning” in science, in the City’s Cultural standing and especially to literacy.
To receive an award of recognition is always special BUT to receive from your peers, from colleagues you have worked with is genuinely the absolute best. I cannot thank the City Council enough – not just some recognition of my time working with them but my time in the City as a teacher and school leader. It was genuinely overwhelming and today, the day after, is slightly more overwhelming as I cannot keep up with the Facebook messages, private messages and Twitter. Yes, you read that right even I can’t keep up with twitter. I don’t feel “Unsung” at all – that stays in my mind with the likes of school receptionists who had to make difficult calls to families about closures or positive tests in a pandemic; to cleaners who went the extra mile and quietly double checked the cleaning; to heads who often worked through the night to make sense of plans and of Gov last minute changes; to fellow NCC officers who went to visit the homes of families in need – the vulnerable those with SEND………I could go on.
So I hope then that this will do – thank you for all the comments/likes/retweets etc It does mean a lot. At the dinner were very many of the genuinely great and good of the City; many of whom I have worked with, many I have learned so much from (I will post on this in due time). Officers, leaders, politicians – and the DNA thread is the double thread of Nottingham and Service – where else do Council leaders go and pick up litter, where else is the voice of the City handed to an incredible young poet Ravelle-Sade Fairman and a young musician Ellei Stainsby where else is service at the vital personal level the ethos – right from those at the top?
Last night I was very proud of Nottingham City, and stood amongst more deserving winners. I was very touched by the recognition and very grateful for the help and support of so many people present there including my wife Jane. As I said when I left the City Council if anything was achieved it was thanks to the team, the shoulder’s of others and TEAM – you know who you are
As we left, one of those City ‘Fathers’ a big character and yes a great servant to the City asked for a photo with Jane and I to send to his daughter who I taught, he asked another person who is also a very significant prominent and effective local leader if he would oblige. ‘Of course, how do you know John?” ‘He taught my daughter’. “Well that’s fascinating as he taught my son!”
Job done. QED
If you are interested the picture of Goose fair is by Noel Denholm Davis (1876–1950) painted in 1910 primarily a portrait painter, Davis was born in Nottingham, where he studied at the School of Art for five years in the 1890s and was then at the Royal Academy Schools. He painted the likes of Sir Jesse Boot; Captain Albert Ball; General William Booth; and he painted the incredible frescoes in the Council house
These are historical names from our City, each a great servant and I’m proud to have worked with many local leaders who continue that tradition. Thank you
Ive now had three amazing send offs……. promise no more