A HOST of youth groups in Malmesbury are to receive handouts from the mayoral appeal.

More than £4,400 was raised by former teacher Catherine Doody during her year of office with a series of events.

“I was really, really pleased with the total,” she said as she prepared to hand over the chain of office to new mayor Patrick Goldstone this week.

The money is being divided between youth organisations and the town hall.

Among the groups to benefit are Athelstan Players’ junior section, who want to buy new costumes, the cricket club, which intends to spend the money on new kit for coaching and the youth football club to provide new footballs for the start of the next season.

Malmesbury School is to have a new hand-held stereo recording device to help its young musicians and the music academy which meets at Malmesbury Primary School plans to buy an electric drum kit.

Some of the money will also go to the Embroiderers Guild which is creating new wall hangings and a sculpture to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of Eilmer the monk’s flight.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of Malmesbury School in particular,” said Mrs Doody. “Every time I have been mayor they have done a concert for me.”

She also paid tribute to staff at the town hall who had helped to co-ordinate the events.

Former North Wiltshire District Councillor Mr Goldstone, who was due to take over on Tuesday night as the Standard went to press, last held the office in 2004/5 and has been chairman or vice-chairman of all the town council’s committees.

The grandfather, who works at Malmesbury Primary School, is married to Frances, the chairman of the River Valleys Trust and a former secretary of the carnival committee.