Q&A: Alan Hawkes of Rotary in Saffron Walden

Alan Hawkes, Secretary of Rotary in Saffron Walden

Alan Hawkes, Secretary of Rotary in Saffron Walden - Credit: submitted

How would you best describe your job or role in the community?

My main role now is through my membership of the Rotary Club; I’m now the secretary. During the worst of Covid the Club asked me to be the liaison with local charities and organisations, such as the Foodbank, Citizens’ Advice and the Salvation Army. It’s puzzling how there can be so much need in a prosperous area.

How long have you lived in the area?

We moved here in 1982; apart from a short period renting we’ve lived in the same house since then.

What would you do if you were mayor for a day?

I’d want to get out and about and learn more about how residents and businesses see their lives in relation to the town.

What is your favourite landmark in the area?

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The whole area as a landmark. I can walk out off my garden onto the ridge to the north, which rises higher than the Gogs. It’s a tremendous view over the countryside.

What is your favourite pub?

As a pub to have a beer with friends it’s The Kings Arms on Market Hill.

Which shops do you rely on?

For food shopping, Waitrose, but we also buy in the market, from Saffron & Sage, from our independent butchers and fishmonger. Harts as a quality bookshop.

What is your favourite place to go and eat in the area?

At lunchtime, the Cross Keys. For dinner, The Restaurant on Church Street. For snacks and coffees in the day, Kims is our favourite.

What is a perfect day in Saffron Walden for you?

Well, a perfect day would involve time in the garden, but in town it would involve meeting friends around lunchtime; in the evening going to a film at Saffron Screen, or a performance at Saffron Hall.

Which places would you recommend to visitors?

Bridge End Gardens and Audley End House. There’s the Museum and Fry Art Gallery. I’d suggest going to the villages. Ashdon has the wonderful Ashdon Village Museum.

Who is your Saffron Walden hero?

I don’t have one. There are so many people, unsung heroes if you like, who give a tremendous amount of time to supporting the community. With so many societies and charities everyone can find something to join in.

What do you most love about Saffron Walden and Dunmow?

What I love about Saffron Walden, Thaxted and Dunmow is their sense of self-containment, which gives each their own character. That is harder to find in conurbations.

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