Recognition for market town economy champion

Winchester City Council has recognised Bishop’s Waltham resident Robert Shields CBE for his outstanding contribution to the economy by presenting him the prestigious millennium egg award.

Robert, a Bishop’s Waltham resident for over 20 years since his retirement, was thanked for his for his efforts as part of the Parish Council and Town Team. Over a number of years Robert has worked with others in the town to introduce a number of projects that increase footfall and encourage residents to shop local.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic Robert was instrumental in the town’s emergency response, setting up teams to support the vulnerable with their shopping, maintaining hand sanitising stations in the town and recruiting volunteers to help people with social distancing.  

Cllr Lucille Thompson, Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

“Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more appropriate time to recognise one of our resident’s commitments to the vitality of this fantastic market town. Creative, committed and determined Robert has shown us what is possible when a community comes together to support its high street economy. As we move to recovery we all look to this commitment as an example of what can be achieved.”

Robert, added:

“I am one of a band of volunteers that make up Bishop’s Waltham Town Team, working together to ensure local residents support their High Street.  I’d also like to recognise my wife as it’s only through her extreme patience and unfailing support, that I have been fortunate enough to devote so much of my time to organise local activities.”

The Egg is Winchester’s equivalent to the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Oscar for the local economy. It is awarded in celebration of local people and organisations that have made a significant and sustained contribution to the economy of the District. The ornate egg was crafted by Jeremy France Jewellers in 2000, who then donated it to Winchester City Council for use as an annual award. 

The Leader of Winchester City Council also recognised last year’s winner Ken Macartney, who sadly is no longer with us but was awarded the Millennium Egg in 2020.  Mandy, Ken’s wife, accepting the award on behalf of her husband who was a very worthy winner.