FOR three decades, Penny Waterfield has been at the very heart of the community in Baughurst.

On Friday, 27 October, Penny marked 30 years in the role of clerk at Baughurst Parish Council.

To celebrate the occasion, Penny along with parish councillors and members of the community, had a party at Heath End Hall, in Heath End Road.

On display at the celebration event were an array of old photographs, press cuttings and minute books as well as an artwork timeline of her role throughout the years, produced and stuck around the walls by Penny’s daughter, Joanna.

In her 30 years of service, Penny has seen the village change and evolve, as has her role with the council.

She told The Gazette: “The very first minutes I took were on a manual typewriter, which just shows how much things have changed.

“For the first six months I was at the point of giving up on several occasions as I thought I was out of my depth, but something just clicked, and I have really enjoyed being in my position.”

Since being established in 1894, Baughurst Parish Council has only had seven clerks, with Penny now the longest-serving person to have filled the post.

Serving as a secretary of various different groups around the village has helped Penny maintain strong relationships to aid with shaping the community she serves.

She added: “I have never really viewed this as doing a job, it is just something I have really enjoyed doing.

“During the celebrations there was a lot of reminiscing, and it’s interesting to look back on everything I have been involved in on some level.”

At the end of the evening, Councillor Martin Slatford, on behalf of Baughurst Parish Council, presented Penny with a card signed by all present which imitated her gift – a replica of the millennium tapestries which hang in the hall.

County Councillor Derek Mellor, unable to be present at the event, had a large bouquet of flowers presented on his behalf.