Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans meets a famous musician from the 1970s, visits a local agricultural show and attends the renowned Ribble Valley Beatherder festival
This month I attended the Reform Club in Pall Mall to celebrate the 50th birthday of an old chum from Florida. He is married to an astronaut, who has been on the space station twice, and he only invited a small number of family and friends for this landmark birthday. One of his friends, who is a space nut, is a chap introduced to me as Peter, but it soon dawned on me that I should have known that he is a famous musician of the 1970s. See if you can guess his name by looking at the picture with him in the centre – and can you name any of his hits?
I met with Michael Tupper who is a relentless campaigner for those with sight issues. He came to see me about why the NHS are still not sending out communications to patients who have requested larger print. It does defy common sense that parts of the NHS can’t understand how vital this is.
I have always loved attending agricultural shows and visiting the Goosnargh and Longridge Show reminded me again of the importance of farming and the environment and how it enriches our daily lives. I met with the dedicated staff at the Ribble Rivers Trust, who work alongside school children and farmers ensuring the maintenance of our valuable rural eco-systems.
An old favourite of mine dropped into the Commons to support charities that look after children. Roland Hailwood is a long-time supporter of young people in our area and who better than the Clitheroe Town Crier to shout out their needs?
I was presented with two awards this month relating to the pub industry.
The first is Beer Parliamentarian of the Year – I met famous beer author Roger Protz, who is no stranger to the Ribble Valley. Secondly, I was presented with the Local Pub Award for my work recognising the importance of pubs in communities. I am proud that my campaigning has been recognised in this way, and I promised that I would be drinking my pint at my local, The Swan With Two Necks, from the pewter tankard – I kept my word the following Friday!
Fifteen thousand people took part in the prestigious Beatherder festival this year. The weather was hot and the crowds thronged to listen to the music and generally enjoy the weekend camping in fields or day tripping to the showground. My neice, Lydia Hughes, was performing again alongside her husband Cisco and The Orange Circus Band. They were brilliant and got the crowd up and dancing, but not me – I know my limitations in that quarter!
Finally, the summer is really here and the Valley looks amazing with the blanket of greenery on full show to those lucky enough to live or visit here.
We had an amazing festival of sport from the thrilling cricket to the tennis and Formula 1. Britain is at its best when we hold these competitions and even better when we win them – so well done England, Wimbledon and Lewis Hamilton. You did us proud! If you watched any of these events in your local pub you will understand why I am such a champion of ensuring their glorious future within our communities.
Happy summer everyone!