Close-knit village community near Harborough plant tree to salute community stalwart

Residents turned out on a stormy day to pay a heartfelt tribute to Lawrence Dale
Front, Lawrence Dale during the tree planting in recognition of 38 years service he has given to Wilbarston as councillor and long standing chairman of Wilbarston Parish Council.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTERFront, Lawrence Dale during the tree planting in recognition of 38 years service he has given to Wilbarston as councillor and long standing chairman of Wilbarston Parish Council.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Front, Lawrence Dale during the tree planting in recognition of 38 years service he has given to Wilbarston as councillor and long standing chairman of Wilbarston Parish Council. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The grateful people of a close-knit village near Market Harborough have planted a beautiful tree to salute an indomitable community stalwart.

Villagers in Wilbarston braved strong winds and rain yesterday evening (Monday) to say a huge thank you to Lawrence Dale.

Residents turned out on a stormy day to pay a heartfelt tribute to his “outstanding service” to the village after he served on the parish council for an incredible 38 years.

Lawrence and Libby Dale.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTERLawrence and Libby Dale.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Lawrence and Libby Dale. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Lawrence, who was chair of the council for many years, finally stood down last year after almost four decades of selfless service.

A disease-resistant elm tree was planted overlooking the stunning Welland Valley and as the weather cleared delighted Lawrence added the final symbolic spadeful of earth.

People then quickly sought the shelter of the village hall for refreshments as they swapped story after story about just how much the local pillar of the community had done for Wilbarston over nearly 40 years.

Parish councillors past and present as well as representatives from the village school, church and village hall were among those who pitched up to salute Lawrence at the very special occasion.

Left, Lawrence Dale during his thank you speech at Wilbarston village hall.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTERLeft, Lawrence Dale during his thank you speech at Wilbarston village hall.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Left, Lawrence Dale during his thank you speech at Wilbarston village hall. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“He has been or is still actively involved with all of those.

“This was a notable show of affection from the people of Wilbarston for a much-loved and genuinely respected towering stalwart of our community,” said Cllr Nick Richards, chair of Wilbarston Parish Council.