Wokingham's parade marshal steps down after nearly 20 years

Published: 25 Jun 2014 15:000 comments

WOKINGHAM’S parade marshal has stepped down after 19 years.

Maurice Chapman, who has stepped down after 19 years as Wokingham parade marshall is presented with a framed montage of photographs of events in which he has been involved, from town mayor Cllr Martin Bishop.

Maurice Chapman, who turns 85 in July, took on the role in 1995, after the previous incumbent, Frank Pyke, fell ill suddenly.

He was asked by the town council to continue, and has been at every Remembrance Parade, Winter Carnival parades, Civic Sunday parade ever since – as well as at a host of other civic events.

The role involves helping organise the parades and directing the event and people on the day.

Mr Chapman, a great-grandfather of five, said: “I enjoy them all [the events]. I enjoy doing it as I am doing it for the town and I get on well with everybody and I got to know a lot of people in the town through it.

“The parades have got bigger with more and more people watching. It is a very interesting job.”

Mr Chapman, who lives in Woosehill with his wife Vera, officially stepped down from the role at this year’s Civic Sunday parade, held earlier this month. Mr Chapman is a former parade marshal for the Wokingham Royal British Legion.

To recognise his service over the years, town council members clubbed together to present him with a special cane – much like the one he used at the official ceremonies.

They also presented him with a framed montage of photos from his time as parade marshall.

Town mayor Cllr Martin Bishop said: “We had it especially engraved for him. He was speechless, it was definitely a shock!

“In all these years he’s kept us councillors looking smart and our shoes shiny.”

The council said Mr Chapman would still be invited as a guest to key events.

-Do you think you could fill Mr Chapman’s shoes? Wokingham Town Council is now looking for a new parade marshal.

The new person would ideally have experience of standard bearing, or a background in the Forces. They should be organised, reliable, and have a good attention to detail.

They would be required to wear a suit, bowler hat, and gloves, and carry the parade marshal cane, which will be provided by the council.

If anyone is interested in this role, please ask them to contact Nikki Payler on 0118 974 0882 or email npayler@wokingham-tc.gov.uk

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