A licence to thrill at Porthcawl Mayor’s charity ball. | News | The Barry …

Thursday, 11 May 2017

By GEM Staff Reporter
in Local People

The theme of the recent Mayor’s Charity Ball at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl was the James Bond movies.

Thanks to the efforts of the Mayor, Coun Robert Lee, his wife and Mayoress Ann, together with the Mayor’s charity organising committee of chairwoman Mary Emment-Lewis, Tracy Hill, Jill Sweet. Erica Beynon and Chris Smart, there was a great turnout of 200 guests.

The Grand Pavilion took on a Monte Carlo appearance, with a James Bond Aston Martin car waiting outside to greet guests as they arrived for a red carpet reception.

They were welcomed in the foyer by the ladies of the organising committee where Bucks Fizz was served to the music of the Porthcawl Community Orchestral String Quartet.

Inside, the main auditorium had been transformed into what can best be described as a scene from Casino Royale, where a clever combination of black and dark red colouring had been used to give a classic effect. Later on in the evening, there was an actual casino, with one croupier playing blackjack and another taking bets at a roulette wheel.

The Aston Martin DBS 1967 was kindly provided for the occasion by its owner, Mr Steven Prevett. The Aston Martin DBS is a high performance grand tourer produced from 1967 to 1972.

Aston Martin models have been used in James Bond films since Goldfinger was released in 1964. The particular vehicle on view outside the Grand Pavilion took part in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in which George Lazenby played James Bond for the one and only time.

The very car that Diana Rigg was shot in!

Guests had been encouraged to dress for the occasion and there were many James Bond 007s in their white tuxedos with bulges under the jacket that could have been due to the presence of a Walther PPK.

There was a bevy of glamorous would-be Bond Girls dressed to the nines.

Among the Miss Moneypennys and the many ‘Ms’, both male and female, there was one ‘Odd Job’ impersonator sporting his characteristic steel brimmed hat from Goldfinger.

Other than Odd Job, there appeared to be very few Bond villains.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Chris Smart and he invited the Mayor of Porthcawl to welcome the guests. The Mayor thanked all those sponsors and others who had supported the event, the entertainers for the evening, the Grand Pavilion and the guests for attending.

He announced that the charities he wished to support were Ty Hafan, Porthcawl Museum, Kidney Research Wales and the Porthcawl Animal Welfare Society.

He invited the Rev Christopher Jenkins to say Grace before dinner was served. Entertainment was provided during the meal by Col Canto, led by Erica Beynon, singing a James Bond medley.

This was followed by the Loyal Toast, proposed by Mary Emment-Lewis.

David Swidenbank made an excellent organiser for both the raffle and the auction that followed. Thanks to his efforts, the latter raised £2,500 alone.

A visit to the Aston Martin headquarters at Gaydon in Warwickshire, raised £800.

Gaydon is a former RAF bomber airfield. So is St Athan, the home of Aston Martin’s new factory, which will provide the company with plenty of runways for testing its new luxury production model, the Aston Martin DB11.

Five other auction items raised over £100 each, helping to bring the anticipated grand total for the evening to over £3,500.

I suspect that this will be a record for such an event and as such, will be a hard act for future mayors to follow.

Following the auction, the Porthcawl Community Orchestra gave their interpretation of the Big Bond Orchestra Experience put together by musical director Jack Bridger.

Jack was unable to attend on the night and guest conductor Clive Adams from the Youth Orchestra took his place.

Matt Davies, chairman and trumpeter co-ordinated the event and the vocalist was Kat Jones.

The Big Bond Orchestra Experience was followed by blackjack and roulette in the casino and the evening was brought to a successful conclusion by Mark and Stuart with disco dancing that carried on into the late hours.

All in all, a great and memorable evening was had by all those James Bond aficionados who attended the event: a following that all started in 1953 when author Ian Fleming created the fictional character James Bond 007, the MI6 secret agent with a Licence to Kill!

Report and photographs

by Keith E Morgan.

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