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The Face Of The Cheltonian Awards Ceremony


Saturday 25th September was a day that will remain with me for the rest of my life! It was an incredible day. But is was also a day that was preceded with that awful nauseous feeling, combined with a dose of anxiety and a huge dollop of trepidation. It was the day of the Awards Ceremony for ‘The Face’ of The Cheltonian and I was a nervous wreck!

On the evening prior I felt physically sick, I couldn’t sleep and all that went through my head during that long night was a series of ‘What ifs...’

What if nobody turns up? The Mayor and the MP are attending, I’ll look a right idiot! What if the overall
winner can’t attend (she had a flight booked for the day before!). What if none of the general public come along to support the event? And so it went on and on through my head, all night long. ‘OMG’ (Oh My God) to coin one of the numerous nonsensical ‘text babble’ (English mauling) abbreviations that should be consigned to the bin. (or that awful illiterate language otherwise known as ‘American’!) What am I going to do?

It was too late, morning had arrived... and with it a sudden panic. Two of the certificates had been inadvertently duplicated. Meaning we were two short and the printers were in Gloucester! Add to that the fact that I still had to collect the trophies and set everything up. (OMG comes to mind again!)

My good lady sets off to Gloucester in a hurry. Whilst I head towards Cheltenham.

I run around to the office and pick up a few bits and pieces, set-up the stands, check the P.A. is all organised and then make my way upstairs to meet my other half who now has all the framed certificates. We pair these up with the trophies for the winners and, as we’re doing this, the Mayor, Cllr Anne Regan, arrives. I head back downstairs with all the boxes and as I step out of the lift... OMG! The place is packed!

Martin Horwood MP is waiting, having ‘exercised’ his green credentials and walked over to the Beechwood Shopping Centre and he is surrounded. It’s a veritable ‘sea of faces’.

A mad dash back upstairs to escort the Mayor back downstairs. And, we’re off...

The Mayor opens the Awards Ceremony with a wonderful speech about The Cheltonian, the competition itself, and the fabulous people of Cheltenham.

We then get in to presenting the awards, starting with 3rd place, then 2nd and finally the winner of each category. Cheers start to go out as winners are announced and the crowds start to swell even more. I happen to glance up and notice that the balcony level is also awash with spectators.

There were some truly magical moments throughout the presentations. One of my personal favourites being when Ruby Wass, our third place winner in the under 12s category, was announced. She was thrilled and took great delight in shaking Martin Horwood’s hand. Whilst JP Benson, the under 12 winner, clearly stole many hearts and Bobby Benson’s dad caused a chuckle as he clearly wasn’t under 12!

Another favourite was when Mike Mudway won the over 50s category. A huge cheer. One I hope that made his day! Emanuel Adducci, our 18-30 male winner, also received a rapturous cheer and was clearly a favourite; especially with the ladies! Likewise was the case for Tom Clark, the 12-18 male winner. And Isobelle Gibbons was a most popular 12-18 female winner. Victoia Ilina, who was the very last person to enter, was a clear winner of the 18-30 female category. Whilst the 30-50 female category was something of a surprise with joint winners Sara Alan-Smith and Ali Chapman.

We also had the Editor’s Choice winners, with Natalie Evans, who was thrilled, along with our shyest entrant, Dora Bucknole, and Amber Cross. Amber unfortunately was unable to attend on the day.

The final award was for the ‘Overall Winner’; and this went to Victoria Ilina who, as you can see from the photographs opposite, was simply thrilled. Victoria was the person to receive the most public votes and the clear overall winner as voted for by Cheltonian’s.

And so there we have it for 2010. The knots in my stomach have finally settled down, but the grin is still a broad one. A huge thank you to everyone who attended, voted and took part. It was a superb day and the anxiety was well worth the final outcome. Thank you Cheltenham!