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Mayoral News 2013

Mayoral News

Mayor's Civic Day Showcases Fabulous Ferndown

30 October 2013

The day commenced at Superior on the Ferndown Industrial Estate, now Dorset's largest industrial estate. It soon became evident what sort of company would name itself 'superior'! Superior is an internationally renowned manufacturer of precision elastomeric 'O'rings, seals and special mouldings. Mark Wallis, Commercial Director led the party around the Apprentice Academy, the material science laboratory and the manufacturing and logistics areas. Members of the party were singularly impressed by the level of reinvestment in technology, the light and airy architectural design of the offices and manufacturing facilities, the painstaking attention to detail and the ethos of the Academy, run by Jim O’Neil. Currently 18 Dorset apprentices are being trained, the most recent intake being drawn from 5 schools local to Ferndown.

The tour moved on to Knoll Gardens where John Lewis, the Mayor of Ferndown presented a plaque to Neil Lucas, owner of Knoll Gardens in recognition of his excellent support to Ferndown Town Council, particularly in respect of technical advice over the years and the donation of grasses and seats to Ferndown’s Millenium Park. The whole party was captivated by the passionate presentation given by Neil Lucas while touring the four acre show gardens. A 'champion' eucalyptus, the largest in the UK was singled out as well as one of the best oak tree specimens anywhere in the British Isles. Neil's low impact gardening ethos was summed up as 'More wow, less work'. How many gardeners would disagree? Knoll Gardens has become the world-renowned specialist centre for grasses. Neil is pictured with the Mayor of Ferndown and his many Gold certificates from Chelsea. Neil Lucas is a member of the RHS Council with global book sales.

The last stop but by no means least on the Civic day tour was Ferndown Golf Club where the Mayor’s party was treated to a quite delicious buffet lunch and afternoon tea. Afterwards a plaque was presented to Club Captain Barry Vincent in recognition of the club’s Centenary and the contribution of the Club to Ferndown life. It has also retained its place in the world’s top 1,000 golf courses. A moving presentation was given by Martin Stewart of Stewart’s Garden Centre recalling the history of the family’s business, its role in the history of Ferndown and principally its involvement in the building of Ferndown Golf Club. Martin’s father was a previous Captain of the club. Current Club Captain Barry Vincent spoke briefly of the club’s proud history, liberally sprinkled with the names of many golfing greats who have played the course including Harry Vardon, Percy Alliss, Peter Alliss, Sir Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam. Given the family links, Ferndown Golf Club hosts the Alliss-Merlo charity golf day every September which benefits many disabled young people in and around Ferndown and Dorset.

A fascinating talk on the history of Ferndown was presented by Mike Fenner and the Civic Day concluded with a fun indoor putting competition which raised funds for the Mayor of Ferndown’s chosen charity, Langside School for children with cerebral palsy.

Ferndown’s Mayor Cllr John Lewis was pleased with the smooth organisation of the event by the Town Council office and delighted by the many compliments received from his guests.

“For me, there were two words that sum up all three venues we visited – professionalism and enthusiasm. They are all an absolute credit to Ferndown and reflect well on the town as a whole. Our Civic Day has been a resounding success.”