Sun shines on ancient Mayoring tradition

Winchelsea Mayor Making.'01.04.13.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY
Winchelsea Mayor Making.'01.04.13.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY

WINCHELSEA enjoyed some rare March sunshine for its historic Mayor Making ceremony on Easter Monday.

Continuing a tradition dating back more than 700 years, local man Stephen Turner assumed the mantle of Mayor of the town and corporation.

Stephen grew up in Winchelsea and ran a popular tea rooms with his family. He still plays for Winchelsea Cricket Club. Stephen follows in the footsteps of his uncle Douglas H. Turner, who was the Mayor of Winchelsea from 1982-83.

A ceremony at the Court Hall saw Stephen accepting the robes and chain of office from outgoing Mayor Roger Neaves.

This year also saw a new Town Clerk being appointed. Melvyn Pett takes on the role following the retirement of Malcolm Pratt after 28 years of service to the town.

A break from tradition involved Revd David Page who was both the first member of clergy since the 19th century and the first Mayor’s Chaplain to be elected a Freeman.

Stephen chose Jurat John Spencer (Chairman of the Conservation Society and cricket enthusiast) as his Deputy Mayor.

The ceremony concluded with a social gathering and refreshments in the New Hall.

Winchelsea lays claim to being the smallest town in England and the only town to still have a Mayor and Corporation.

Stephen said: “I have always been involved in the activities of the town and as a councillor look to represent the interests of residents as part of the parish council. The role of Mayor is something I will be delighted to take on as a new challenge representing the town as a member of the Cinque Ports Confederation.”