Guest columnist: Raise a glass to those who must work over Christmas

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

I would like to wish all readers of the Worksop and Retford Guardians a very merry Christmas.

On a personal note, I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my extended family, getting some rest, and enjoying Christmas food and drink.

Not everyone is able to do that over Christmas of course, such as those who have shifts over the festive season or work in the emergency services.

Thank you to those people who do work over Christmas, keeping us safe or the country ticking over.

I hope that you also get some time off with family and friends.

One of the most enjoyable things about being an MP at Christmas is getting to spend some festive time with local schools, churches and other groups.

I was, for example, kindly invited to serve and have the Christmas dinner at St Augustine’s school in Worksop.

These special events always really make Christmas for me.

The Christmas card I have sent out this year – to other MPs, ambassadors and friends – shows a Christmas painting by Elaine Nash of Sturton-le-Steeple.

I chose the painting not only because it is a classic local Christmas scene, but also as it serves as a reminder of the significance Bassetlaw will have over the coming years.

John Robinson, from Sturton-le Steeple, along with locals from Worksop and the surrounding area, will be commemorated in 2020.

That is the year which marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims in America.

They were religious and political non-conformists who risked their lives, and at times lost their liberty, in their struggle to create a new society.

Whilst on board the ship to America they signed the Mayflower Compact which set out the basis for the type of society that they wanted to create.

This vision can be linked to both the foundations for the constitution of the United States of America and the model for parliamentary democracy.

As the elected co-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for the Mayflower Pilgrims, I want to ensure that Bassetlaw plays its full role in the events and activities that are being planned for 2020.

There are 28 million US citizens who can identify an ancestor who was on the Mayflower.

And Bassetlaw must be an essential part of the historical tourist trail that is being established throughout the country

Local preparations are already underway which include plans for establishing tour routes, interactive holograms, exhibitions, and a sound and light show.

We have all of this to look forward to.

In the meantime, I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas from the Mann family.