Celebrities Abound at Last Weeks Charity Auctions

The last two days of last week were rather glowing with stardust in one way or another.  On Thursday afternoon I drove to Birmingham Town Hall for a Charity Auction as part of a glittering Gala Dinner on behalf of Baby Lifeline – The Mother and Baby Charity.  The seasoned Radio and TV broadcaster Nick Owen hosted the event with Guest Speaker, the inimitable Hugh Dennis, bringing his own brand of comic genius to proceedings. Sandwiched in the middle will be the auction with the star lot most likely to be exclusive use of a box at Ascot on the 5th of October (my birthday if you have a pencil and calendar to hand !) with £1,000 in the kitty for food and drink and it’s for up to 18, yes, eighteen people. It’s possibly the most valuable single lot I’ve been entrusted with and thanks to the Gooding Group, such magnificent generosity.  I got the job after a similar event where members of the Poldark crew were on the top table so when Christian Brassington (that ‘orrible Vicar) was asked for a recommendation for an auctioneer he put them on to me.  It’s a long drive up to the Midlands and back through the night but for such a great cause, it’s a no-brainer.

The next morning at around 9 o’clock I was on road closure duty followed by setting-up for my home town, Axminster’s Summer Festival known as The Cherry Fayre and it’s main event, Axminster’s Big Dinner.  It’s all around the town centre and the Church Green in the afternoon and evening providing food, drink, fairground attractions and music for everyone !  The celebrity ‘thank you’ for this event goes to the Environmentalist Warrior Chef, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, who arranged for his nearby River Cottage team to step-in and put on an exciting and free pasta-making workshop for youngsters who produced the dough, cut the shapes and cooked the end product before gobbling it all down.  It’s great for us as a company to support the whole Cherry Fayre Week organised by local community organisation, Light Up Axminster CIC, and when a tv legend saves the day at the headline part of the celebration because he cares about the event and the young townsfolk, it couldn’t get much better.

Graham Barton