Opening of the Mike Heywood Green Speech by Councillor Brian Silvester. 30/9/2012.
We are here today to re-name this village green as the Mike Heywood Green, which appropriately is next to Mike's house and to witness the unveiling of a wonderful mosaic that celebrates the many aspects of Mike's varied life. The mosaic was created by local artist, Nancy Torr. It has been funded by the Parish Council, Willaston Scouts and by funds raised at an event I held in the village a few months after Mike passed away. Thanks are also due to Parish Councillors Wayne Lewis and John Flackett for arranging the siting of the mosaic.
It is sign of the high esteem that Mike was held in that so many have turned out for the un-veiling this afternoon.
Mike was a wonderful, lovely man. He was gentle, quietly spoken, kind, patient and caring.
He worked tirelessly for the residents of Willaston, for the Parish Council, for the Scouts, for Willaston in Bloom and a variety of other groups and other organisations.
Whatever event you went to in the village he was almost always there, showing support, commitment and giving a word of praise.
Mike was elected to the Parish Council in 1996 and became Chairman in 1999.
It was at this time I was elected as the Willaston Borough Councillor and when I got to know Mike.
As soon as you met Mike it was like you had known him all your life.
He was always so friendly, welcoming and helpful.
Mike worked hard to improve the Parish Council's playing fields in the village and was delighted when £50,000 worth of grants were obtained to refurbish the children's playing area.
It was opened in 2009 by the then Mayor of Cheshire East, local Councillor Margaret Simon and Mike as Parish Chairman.
Mike was concerned about speeding vehicles in the village. Because of this he was the a prime mover in getting the county and borough council and the police to use willaston as a pilot for the community speedwatch scheme. He was also very concerned about litter in the village and he formed a litter pick team and they regularly went around the village keeping it clean and tidy.
In 2010 the Parish Council purchased a gold chain of office and Mike proudly wore it in his role as first citizen of the Parish. He was instrumental in reviving the Village Fete in 2010 and it was a great success.
I was delighted that during my period as Mayor of Crewe and Nantwich in 2008/9 I was able to award him a special Mayor's Oscar for his excellent work in Willaston for so many years. He was a very worthy recipient of the award in the Civic Hall at Nantwich but he collected it in his usual unassuming way, wondering what all the fuss was about.
Mike was the Chairman of the Willaston in Bloom Committee and worked hard with his team to make the village look really beautiful with hanging baskets and flower borders everywhere in time for the judging process. All the hard work paid off however and the village has won numerous Britain in Bloom awards over the years which are proudly displayed at the entrances to the village.
Mike was the membership secretary of the wrenbury branch of the British Legion.
He was a great believer in the principles of the British Legion and proudly led the remembrance day service on the village green here every year.
Mike was a local character who worked really hard for the village he loved for so many years and local residents really appreciated his tremendous efforts on their behalf.
He always had a friendly word for everyone and a ready smile, which seemed to just emerge from his bushy beard.
He was a shining star, a very honourable man and a dear friend to all who knew him.
Mike was 'Mr Willaston' and Willaston has not be the same without him.
His passing left an enormous gap that has been very hard to fill.
I would now like to ask Mike's and Judy's grand children to unveil this magnificent mosaic and to re-name the Village Green as 'The Mike Heywood Green'.