THATCHAM’S town clerk is retiring after 11 years in the role.
Elaine Hare, who originally joined Thatcham Town Council as deputy clerk in December 1999, said that she decided to stand down owing to “age and a very long bucket list”.
Mrs Hare said she had enjoyed her time as clerk and that the job was “so diverse there is no opportunity to get bored”.
She said: “I feel very privileged to have headed a team of staff who are always prepared to give that little bit extra; their commitment to the town council and the community is so commendable.
“Although I live in Tadley, most of my waking life is spent in Thatcham.”
There have been many fond moments during Mrs Hare’s time as clerk, including the Olympic torch procession in 2012 and the Royal School of Military Survey being granted the freedom of Thatcham in 2011.
Mrs Hare said that many events held special memories, especially the Thatcham Festival. “There are so many talented people who live in Thatcham and it is wonderful to see them take part in the events,” she said.
“Of course there are some memories that were not uplifting. In 2007, when so many people were affected by the floods in Thatcham, it was heartbreaking to see the devastation caused.”
Mrs Hare also reflected on the deaths of former councillors and colleagues “all of whom did so much for the community during their lifetimes”.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News in 2000, Mrs Hare said she was impressed with the amount of facilities in the town but thought that there was not a lot of community spirit, something she said she wanted to help improve.
Now, after 16 years of the ins and outs of Thatcham, Mrs Hare said she thought she was wrong to make the claim at the time.
“It is a very special place with so much to offer; it appears to me that there are so many clubs and organisations to meet the needs of the community and something for everyone no matter what age,” she said.
Mrs Hare said the town council had been proactive in organising and coordinating events with other groups and that many were now firm calendar fixtures, including the Thatcham Family Fun Day.
As for the town council’s profile, Mrs Hare said this had been raised through the internet but residents were still confused by the different roles carried out by the town council and West Berkshire Council.