Hello and welcome to my new column for the Bury Free Press. When I was a journalist, I would often refer to the Abbey Gardens as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of our wonderful town.
But Bury itself, in my humble opinion, is Suffolk’s jewel and is starting to get the recognition it deserves. When the New Year’s honours were announced, editor Barry Peters praised some of the town’s own unsung heroes.
Since then, it has been heartening to read the healthy festive figures from the arc shopping centre and also the success of giving an extra day, well a Thursday night, to the Christmas Fayre weekend.
Amid all the good news, the plight of Bury Town was a particularly worrying one. I have never stopped being a fan of non-league, especially marvelling at the dedication and commitment of the band of volunteers every club possesses.
As you will have read, the town’s football club has fallen on hard times. First and foremost, Bury Town deserve credit for fronting up about their problems, not trying to hide anything and pledging to learn any lessons possible.
The statement made last week by chairman Russell Ward was typically frank, admitting to a ‘tight cashflow situation’ as the club continues to feel the economic pinch.
As a football fan, I wish everyone at the club all the best – and will be doing my small bit by committing to going to more games before the season ends.
Two of our local pubs also deserve praise – the Masons Arms and the Woolpack – for pledging to buy a season ticket.
These are shaky times, but the club will be fine. Away from the football, and a fine manager in Richard Wilkins, they have an excellent and committed backroom staff, both board members and volunteers.
This is headed by Russell who talks of having ‘rekindled enthusiasm’ for the task at hand. A chairman who I have seen first-hand give his all for the club – even to the point of flipping and serving the pre-match burgers when most in his position would be hob-knobbing counterparts.
With that kind of commitment from the top down, Bury Town’s future is in safe hands.