On Friday 26th February 2021, Christopher Wannell will be taking his last journey on his vintage fire truck, Martha.
Due to the covid restrictions only 30 family and close friends can be allowed to attend the church. We know so many residents admired Chris and would like to pay their respects therefore please find below the route we will be taking Chris on for his final journey. (Please also accept our sincere apologies for any traffic delays caused by the slow moving convoy of 4 vintage fire appliances).
The cortege shall begin at Chris and Audrey’s home at 12.30, on leaving there it will drive slowly along Nore Marsh road and onto Stoneover Lane for 12.34. Continuing to Marlowe Way for 12.38. We will reach the town hall at approx. 12.45 where the cortege will make a left down station road for a short pause outside the fire station. At New road we shall turn right and drive to the far end and back onto the A3102 towards the High Street, finally arriving at St Bartholomew’s Church for 13:00.
If you do wish to pay your respects to Chris please do feel free to line this route but please be courteous of the social distancing rules.
We are sorry that not everyone will be able to attend the service and convey the families sadness that we cannot include all of the people that Chris loved so much. However please do find below the link to Johnson and Daltrey’s Youtube Page who will be streaming the service live and also recording the service and burial.
Johnson and Daltrey Funeral Directors – YouTube
Johnson and Daltrey Funeral Directors on behalf of The Wannell Family
26th February 2021
CHRIS WANNELL – A TRIBUTE
Chris joined Wootton Bassett Parish Council in 1972. This was the year of the transformative Local Government Act and for Wootton Bassett this meant transformation from Parish to Town. This was not the only change of name that Chris was to see for his town.
In the late 1970’s, he was instrumental in modernising the lake which was re-designated as Jubilee Lake in honour of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. During the late 1980’s and throughout the 1990’s he was a driving force behind the Christmas Light’s Scheme.
Of course, from 2007 to 2011 he stood, like so many of us, to pay our respects to fallen service personnel being repatriated through our town. In 2011 Chris was there to see another change of name, this time to receive “Royal” letters patent.
Chris was an active member of the Council, 41 years in total, Wootton Bassett’s longest ever serving Councillor.
It was a standing joke that it would take him hours to walk from one end of the High Street to the other. He would stop and talk, but more importantly listen to those who needed help, or just wanted to pass the time of day. Chris had a finely tuned political instinct founded on a detailed knowledge of what was important to the people of the town.
Whether Parish, Town or Royal his achievements on the Council were too many to adequately cover in these few lines. He was Mayor twice, but even this is as nothing against his greatest achievement, that of being a passionate, advocate of the town he loved and the people he so ably represented.
Chris, we will miss you.
9th February 2021
The Town Council was sad to be informed yesterday of the sudden death of one of its longest serving former councillors and twice Mayor, Chris Wannell. A record of his contribution towards the town will be posted at a later date. In the meantime the town council sends its condolences to Chris’s family.
The town’s motto, agreed by councillors when the name of the town was changed, is very apt at this time: We Honour Those Who Serve.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council