On Saturday it was my privilege to say a few words at the topping out ceremony for the new hall in Fulbourn. Along with Jim Paice, Tony Orgee, the Parish Council and lots of locals we enjoyed a cup of tea before braving the wind and rain to witness the ceremony. You can read my speech below:
“Topping out is an ancient Northern European tradition in which a Yew tree is placed in the highest room of the building and a bough from the tree is raised as high as possible. The tree symbolises the unity and wholeness of everyone involved and raising the bough reminds us all to reach for the highest qualities in whatever we do. This traditional, non-religious ceremony is a time when all the different people involved in the building come together and wish the enterprise and everybody involved well – both now and in the future. And your are all here today.
Today feels a lot safer than the last time we were here. If I remember correctly Jo and I were at the controls of a violently swinging digger. I’m not sure who was most worried me or the people stood in front of us.
This new hall symbolises what is so good about Fulbourn. Fulbourn is a village where people work together. Where the community values where it lives. Where your excellent parish council drives through improvements, creating a positive place to live, a place where people want to live.
There are too many people to thank for all the hard work to get to this stage. It really should be a big thank you to the whole village. But I can’t let this pass without a special mention for Richard Townley and Ron Ward and the team who have worked tirelessly to make this project a success.
This Townley Memorial Hall Trust will add a great new facility to this village. A village that is proud of itself and one that must be protected from too much change that might threaten the special nature of Fulbourn.
I have recently been approached by a developer to support a 4000, yes that’s right, a 4000 house development on the outskirts of Fulbourn. I was clear that I did not think the village would welcome such a large development. We must all band together to ensure the village is not swamped.”