My term of office begins on the day of Mayor Making, Monday 15th May. Marlborough has a way of conducting this event that invokes the past and has a sense of drama. There is a great sense of history being the 707th named Mayor, a very long tradition. You get more and more nervous through the day as the evening approaches. Once it begins you are just carried along by it and it seems to go quite quickly. You follow the outgoing Mayor to the parlour, don the red robe and when you emerge back in to the throng you realise that you are now the Mayor and actually have a meeting to run! Fortunately, the Town Clerk, Shelley Parker, is on hand to make sure you do not forget anything. The celebrations that follow, with family and friends are then most enjoyable.
The next job, a week later, is to chair the first Town Council on 22nd May, more familiar territory this and all goes well.
The first engagement of my new role follows the next day, on the 23rd May, when I attend the AGM of the local branch of Mencap. An enjoyable evening and a relaxed introduction to the role. It is an honour and a privilege to be their President for the year. I'm told I will be judged on my disco dancing at a later event.
Wednesday 24th May is a busy day, first a drive to Devizes in the morning to meet up with members of one of my adopted charities, Julia's House. I was given a one-to-one tour of this new children's hospice before it becomes operational, in July 2017, and was amazed at the sophistication of the equipment and facilities. It will serve those in our community who are unfortunate in that they have a very sick child but we are truly lucky to have such a facility available and I hope it brings great comfort to those who use it. We will be organising a fund-raising event in Marlborough Town Hall later in the mayoral year.
Then, in the evening the Mayoress and I dress up to attend the Mayor making in Chippenham which has a 24-member Council. This was a good opportunity to meet some of the other new mayors from around Wiltshire for an informal chat and was an enjoyable evening.
This week has been somewhat overshadowed by the terrible events in Manchester on Monday 22nd. We joined in the minute's silence on Thursday 25th with the flag at half-mast and sent a letter of condolence to the Lord Mayor of Manchester.