WINCHELSEA enjoyed perfect weather for it’s Easter Monday Mayor Making ceremony.
The even supports Winchelsea’s claim to be the smallest town in England to still have a Mayor and Corporation.
Mayor Stephen Turner welcomed the assembly which included:- The Deputy Lieutenant, The High Sheriff, The Chairmen of Rother District Council, East Sussex Council and Icklesham Parish Council; The Speaker of The Cinque Ports the Mayor of Rye and the Mayor of Hastings.
The ceremony was held in the Winchelsea Court Hall where since 1665 The Mayor of Winchelsea and officers of the Corporation have been appointed on Easter Monday in a ceremony established for more than seven hundred years.
The proceedings follow an agenda largely unchanged over time and, following the traditional Town Clerk’s address from Melvin Pett, the Mayor announced the appointment of two new freemen of the town in Gillian Alexander and Dr Michael Mc Fadyean in recognition of their services to the community of Winchelsea. He presented them with certificates commemorating this event before they made the customary oath.
The Mayor reported on his past year in office which had begun with him also taking on the role of Speaker of the Confederation of the Cinque Ports succeeding Roger Neaves who had done so much in the Jubilee year.
The Mayor and Mayoress said they had been overwhelmed with the sense of being part of a much wider community as part of the Confederation.
He said: “It is good to be able to spread the word about our wonderful town and encourage people to visit to attend events held by our clubs and societies, concerts in the church, cellar tours and others.
“It also helped to promote our own charity for the Pipewell Gate Appeal. So far the Corporation has received just over £5,000 towards the project.”
The Mayor was presented with his Past Speakers Badge, donated by Robbie Gooders in memory of her late husband John Gooders who served as Mayor and Speaker in 2006.
The Mayor nominated his deputy John Spencer and, after thanking retiring Jurats John Dunk and Alan McKinna for their service to the Corporation, announced Jurats for the forthcoming year.
He appointed the Town Chamberlain and Town Sergeant, Bernard Dibble and Neil Clephane-Cameron, the Town Clerk Angela Hill, who succeeds the present clerk Melvin Pett.
Appointments were made for the Mayors Chaplain, The Revd. Canon Robin Whithead, coupled with a thank you to David Page who had been chaplain prior to Canon Robin’s appointment as Rector of Winchelsea. Kieran Baker will continue as Mayor’s Cadet.