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Reflections on a memorable year

In May 2000 I had the honour to be elected Mayor of Warrington and thus began a very memorable year for me with Nev as my Consort.

The role of Civic Mayor is completely non-political. The Mayor is the town's first citizen; Chairman of the Council; the Council's representative at all events, both within and outside the Borough; and, most important of all, is the Queen's representative in the Borough and on all civic ceremonial occasions, at which the Mayor is preceded by the mace, which bears the Royal Coat of Arms, and the Sword.

The council elects the mayor at the Annual Council meeting in May and since 1985 the ruling Labour Group has only selected labour councillors to be mayor. Being a Conservative councillor I never expected that I would ever become mayor, but when I was offered the opportunity I was very pleased to accept. It is a very great honour and this showed that the members had confidence in me to do the job and represent the Borough.

The office of mayor is a fulltime job and requires total commitment. There is no time for a personal life. The five previous lady mayors had all chosen to have ladies as their mayoresses, so Nev was the first Consort. The mayoress's chain is a beautiful piece of Victorian jewellery and completely unsuitable for a man, so we had to purchase a more appropriate new chain which we donated to the Borough.

Amongst the duties of the mayor there are the many civic events in the Borough e.g. Walking Day, Remembrance Sunday, Civic Sunday, Regimental Sunday, and numerous civic visits to other Boroughs in Cheshire, Merseyside, Manchester and Lancashire and military events.

There is a social round of civic services and mayoral balls and dinners which are all very enjoyable, and we developed many friendships particularly with the Cheshire 'chain gang' which we renewed recently with a visit to Dublin. There are many community events in the Borough, carnivals, walking days, festivals and special celebrations. We visited sporting clubs, social clubs, community clubs and association and society events. Wherever we went, in every ward, very friendly people made us very welcome.

The mayor is either patron or president of many societies and associations in Warrington. This brought many invitations to attend concerts and amateur dramatic productions-in the best seats of course! The district has many talented musicians and singers in its orchestras, bands, choirs and choral societies. In particular our association with the Warrington Male Voice Choir took us to a series of concerts in Northern Ireland along with Terry Waite and his wife. The concerts were their effort to help build bridges across the sectarian divide using music and some powerful homilies from Terry based on his terrible experience.

We also accompanied the choir to Berlin and Leipzig and had a fabulous and educational week. Leipzig and area is an historic musical region, the home of many composers, but in particular J.S.Bach who was organist and choirmaster at a local church where the choir sang at evensong. Leipzig is a beautiful city and Saxony is well worth visiting.

We visited many primary schools and playgroups quite often taking the civic regalia to show the children and tell them the history of the chains. Little children are very innocent and ask questions such as "Has the sword killed anyone? Reply 'not yet!', and looking at the chain, 'Did you win that?'. Little girls even curtsied because they thought I was the Queen!

I am often asked what was the highlight of my year which is difficult to answer with so many events to remember, but, not in any order, we had a visit from the Princess Royal to a youth event at the Peace Centre, we attended the installation of the Bishop of Warrington, Bishop of Birkenhead and Bishop of Stockport at York Minster, Bob the Builder helped me to switch on the Xmas lights and Nev enjoyed lunch with Graham Gooch and Clive Lloyd. But on a personal note my highlight was going to Buckingham Palace to receive from Her Majesty The Queen the MBE, awarded 'for services to the community in Cheshire'.

We received many people at the Town Hall, the majority being local people who had achieved a distinction or were representing a multitude of groups. Special guests were the Mayors from nine towns in the Nachod region of the Czech Republic; the Mayor of Auckland, New Zealand; the Mayor of Recife, Brazil; the Mayor of Omagh, Northern Ireland; the youngest MP from Soweto, South Africa; the Archbishop of Liverpool and Heads of Christian Churches in the Mersey region; and the daughter of Mr Monks, the donor to the town of the Golden Gates, who visited Oughtrington Hall where she lived as a child.

As Mayor and Consort we carried out over 700 engagements during the year, and for that time we put mayoral duties first over our personal lives-no holidays! I feel privileged and proud to have been entrusted with the office of mayor. It was an unforgettable experience.


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Newsletter 2002
· Newsletter Reminder

· President's Letter

· Memories of Henry

· Golf 2002

· Memorial Walk

· Old Students Fifty Club

· Rambling Programme 02/03

· Future of the OSA

· Certificate Evening

· Road to Southend Pier

· Reflections

· Births/Marriages/Deaths

· AGM 2002

· 1967 School Intake celebrate reunion


Page last updated: Thursday, 2 May, 2002
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