Wivenhoe Town Mayor, 2003/04
I was born in North Wales, but grew up outside Croydon, attending a local girls Grammar School. I started work at the age of 16, in a local bank, and shortly afterwards joined the Civil Service. At the age of 19 I started training as a nurse at the London Hospital and completed nearly two years, when I met my future husband. He was a student, and, together with our young son, we moved to Wivenhoe and the University of Essex in 1969.
Life in Wivenhoe in the late Sixties and early Seventies was a heady experience, with a thriving artists� community, exciting student life and the pleasure and interest of becoming part of life in a village. After my marriage finished, I became a mature student at Essex, as well as a mother, and found the opportunity of progressing my artistic skills both in sculpture and, later, in painting.
In the early Eighties I married Keith, and had another son, which gave me the chance to make a new group of friends, much younger than myself, who had children of my new son�s age. Shortly after this, my elder son married and had children of his own � my two wonderful grandchildren.
About six years ago, I joined the Town Council, where I took a particular interest in Landscaping, Planning and facilities for young people in the Town. I belong to a number of local clubs and associations, and have tried to be an active participant in events as diverse as the Concerts in the Park and equipment for the children�s play areas. I currently work full time as a Teaching Assistant at a Junior School in Colchester, where I am also a Governor. I have continued to study a variety of courses, including City and Guilds certificates (Ordinary and Advanced) and a Certificate in Education. Fortunately, I have now completed these, and have cleared my desk for my year as Mayor.
My theme for the Mayor�s Charity Fund this year is the quality of life in Wivenhoe � what makes it such a special place to live in? Why do so many of us stay on and make it our home, and why do so many who have left, return to settle down here? I will be looking at the various clubs, associations and support networks that help make our Town such a wonderful place to bring up our families � and looking at ways in which we might be able to make it even better. With these points in mind I am looking forward to a busy but interesting year. We have an exciting new Town Council consisting, partly, of original members and, partly, new � which promises to be an interesting mixture, and which, I hope, will bring great benefits to the community.
Click here for a monthly account of Cllr Gilli’s year as Wivenhoe Town Mayor