Wiltshire Publications

Vote for Westbury’s Person of the Year

THE nominees for White Horse News’ Person of the Year 2014 competition have been shortlisted, and now readers are being asked to cast their vote on who they think should be crowned the winner. In our last issue, White Horse News asked readers to nominate their ‘Person of the Year’ – somebody in the town who deserves recognition for their outstanding actions over the past year or who has had the biggest impact on life in the town. Below are the nominations. You can vote by simply emailing your choice to news@whitehorsenews.co.uk or by filling out the form on page 3 of  the newspaper and returning it to Westbury Visitor Centre in the High Street or send it to White Horse News, 31 Market Place, Melksham. SN12 6ES The deadline for voting is 5pm on WEDNESDAY 21st JANUARY.



Ian is the chair of Westbury Music and Arts festival and helps lead a team of dedicated volunteers to put on a spectacular event for the town. The festival in 2014, Westbury’s seventh, was hailed a triumph after record numbers attended the 29 events held over 16 days in 15 venues.

Under Ian’s leadership the festival was more inclusive than ever, catering for a wide range of music and art tastes. The event was also given a £6,000 boost after Ian successfully gained a grant from the Arts Council, an impressive feat in a time when their funding was being cut. This helped make it the town’s best festival to date.

Ian has also worked tirelessly for the town over a number of years as a councillor, a governor at Dilton Marsh Primary School, a volunteer for Crosspoint and an unofficial IT consultant for charitable causes.

He is also actively involved with All Saints Church and helped with the TransWilts campaign.

Ian said, “My nomination is surprising to me, and a bit embarrassing, because there are many people who do so much for Westbury. I don’t do much on my own. But with that in mind, it is pleasing that any nomination recognises the work done by the various groups I supported during 2014 which I hope improve and develop Westbury.”



Sally is the community area manager for the Westbury area and is  involved in many parts of the community from schools and the children’s centre right through to activities for older people.

Sally has helped address local issues within her job, as a volunteer and as a resident.  These include making people more aware of local heritage, more kissing gates to make walking routes easier and even dressing as a suffragette as part of the town’s Great War commemoration.

She worked with groups such as the White Horse health centre, Matravers, the police and the community area partnership on a publicity campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse, staged a well attended health fair and worked alongside community members to help formulate proposals for a community campus.

Sally is also a member of the committee for the Westbury Music and Arts Festival and the Heritage Society and she is currently writing a book about  Rebecca Smith – Westbury’s tragic child poisoner.

Sally said, “It is a huge honour to be nominated  and totally unexpected. I am passionate about Westbury – and really committed to working hard to make more people believe in what a great place it is to live and work, so this nomination really means a lot to me.”



Daphne works tirelessly as a volunteer for Westbury Day Centre where she has been involved for 14 years.

As part of her role she looks after the elderly as well as helping out at Grassacres Hall – the home of the day centre.   She has helped fundraise for Grassacres where they have recently been able to install a kitchen after a successful fundraising effort.

The day centre has 44 members, all of whom have become accustomed to Daphne’s kind nature and willingness to help others.

She said, “I am humbled and very honoured to have been considered for Westbury Person of the Year. I believe there are many people more deserving than me but it does mean a lot that I have been nominated for such an award.”

Her nominator said, “Daphne is so kind to all individuals and nothing is ever too much trouble. So many people are grateful for her efforts and she deserves to be recognised for her hard work.

“I can’t think of anyone who would be more deserving of such an award than Daphne.”



Leander is a musician who helped raise £11,000 for the Royal United Hospital’s Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit after he auctioned a guitar which he had signed by world-famous artists.

He also took part in the Westbury Music & Arts Festival where he performed a Westbury to Westbury show. It involved performing on stage in Westbury, New York, before flying back to perform in Westbury, Wiltshire – all within 24 hours.

He said, “I am honoured to be nominated but there’s a wealth of people doing far greater things than me, from being firefighters or doctors and nurses through to working tirelessly all year round as a volunteer for a charity; but I really enjoy everything I do so I see that as a reward in itself.

“Much of my work also involves many other individuals who may never gain the recognition towards their contributions. I guess I would have to dedicate any nomination or award to the many folk I have had the pleasure to work with.”

His nominator said, “Leander is a Westbury man with the town’s best interests at heart. He has done some amazing things for charity and for Westbury, he deserves to be recognised for this.”



Sean served the Westbury community for 20 years as a town crier, after his mother volunteered him, before stepping down in 2014.

He is chairman and secretary for Westbury Wheelers, a club with 180 members who help cyclists of all abilities. Sean also organises Southwick Parkrun, a free 5km run with has an average of 170 runners each week and he is secretary of Avon Valley runners which has 447 members.

Sean said, “I am both surprised  and honoured to receive this nomination.  2014 has been a great year to which I owe so much to so many.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people are prepared to volunteer precious time for the fulfilment of others and it’s down to that fact that we have a great clubs locally.

“I would like to thank each and every one of them not least my four supportive grown up children, Ben, Grant, Sheridan and Cameron.

“I am inspired by my family who have motived me to have the confidence to volunteer myself. Biggest thanks goes to Fiona who is always an inspiration to me and a great support in everything I do and most of what I say.”


Chris is one of the stalwarts of the West Wilts Youth Sailing Association, which is based in Westbury, and has been helping to run the club for more than 30 years.

He is a committee member, senior instructor to the group’s young sailors, and boson, a role which involves maintaining the club’s boats and buildings.

The club was devastated after an arson attack in 2014 but Chris helped co-ordinate the return to Westbury lake for all of the town’s young sailors. Being retired, he spent many weeks, working full time to get the club re-opened and to get the children back on the water.

His nominator said, “He already does all the thankless tasks at the club and we all take him for granted. All the WWYSA committee have worked hard this year; the fire was a major setback at the beginning of the season but we got back to normal within three months – thank you all of you too but I think the effort he put in would make Chris a very worthy Westbury Person of The Year.”

Chris said, “I’m very surprised to be nominated – but very honoured. We’ve got a fantastic committee at the club and this nomination should be for all of them, not just me; it’s a reflection of the hard work they all do. It’s very much a team effort.

“This was a difficult year for us with the fire but we’ve come through it and now the club’s got a really bright future.”


Simply email your vote to news@whitehorsenews.co.uk (please include the name of the person you are voting for and your own name and address) or fill in the voting form on page 3 of this week’s newspaper.

The deadline is 5.00pm on Wednesday 21st January