On Thursday 19th May 2016 I was elected to be the Mayor of Darlington, with my wife Councillor Doris Jones B.E.M as my Mayoress. This blog is intended as a journal of the engagements carried out by the Mayor and Mayoress with occasional comments.
During his time in office, Brian will carry out approximately 350 civic engagements - in effect, dedicating a year of his life to the Mayoralty. This leaflet [pdf document] outlines the role of the Mayor; his main aims; the charities, organisations and people he is supporting; and how your help and support can make a really huge difference.
The Mayor’s Role – Speeches
The role of the Mayor is to assist you in celebrating and recognizing achievements and milestones. As the First Citizen the protocol should be for the Mayor to formally open an event or welcome guests or maybe present awards. Given the numerous and varied events each year we appreciate that every function is unique. Please feel free to contact the Mayor’s Office if you need to discuss arrangements. If the Mayor is asked to speak then background information is always welcome.
- Back to Hartlepool this evening for a joint concert by the Hartlepool Male Voice choir and the Hartlepool Ladies choir. A great repertoire and a very enjoyable evening. I was sitting next to the Mayor of Hartlepool who usually sings in the choir but decided to have a night off, so I was serenaded right through the programme by Rob, aided and abetted by Ken the Mayor of Stockton.
- A big day today. My Civic Service of Thanksgiving for my Mayoral year. I decided to hold it in St Andrew’s in Sadberge and afterwards in Sadberge village hall. I was honoured to have the Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon as a guest along with 16 civics from Northumberland down to North Yorkshire. The service was conducted by Reverend Mark East, vicar of St Andrew’s and Reverend Sheilagh Williamson my Mayoral Chaplain. The sermon from Sheilagh was wonderful, aimed at people who carry out public service and with a pointer towards me and my year as Mayor.
- One of the most enjoyable aspects of being Mayor is attending Citizenship ceremonies. Today there were 14 recipients and I was joined by Deputy Lieutenant Dame Della Smith and Deputy leader of the council Cllr Steve Harker. As in previous ceremonies, all recipients were highly delighted to become British citizens.
- A sad day today. We attended the funeral of former Councillor and Mayor Eric Roberts. Eric was an absolute gentleman and will be remembered with fondness. I was amazed, listening to the eulogy, by just how much Eric had packed into his life from his early days in Halifax through his time in the RAF, his cricketing days, interest in Sport especially rugby to his time in Freemasonry and of course his many years as a councillor.
- Then onto the Copper Beech in Neasham Road to join members of the Darlington Breathe Easy group, one of my Mayoral charities. Following the very successful social evening they had arranged back in March we were presented with a cheque for more than £600 towards my charity fund. Thank you!!
- This evening to Yarm school for a performance of Wet Side Story from the Darlington Operatic Society. We had been looking forward to this evening since seeing DOS performing Spamalot several months ago. We were not disappointed. A fabulous performance by artistes who are as near to being professional as can be.
- This morning we attended the Mayoral handover of the Stockton Mayor at the Forum in Billingham. So, we have lost one of the ‘gang of three’ , and one of the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ trio. Mayor and Mayoress Ken and Linda Dixon handed over to Maurice and Laraine Perry. However, we have certainly formed a long lasting friendship and we still have a week in Spain to look forward to with Ken and Linda and Rob and Brenda from Hartlepool. Best wishes to Maurice and Lariane for an enjoyable and successful year.
- This evening we were guests of the High Sheriff Gerald Salvin and his lovely wife Georgia. Gerard was presenting his awards to groups from throughout County Durham. The evening was compered by Peter Barron with his usual professionalism and was also attended by Vice Lord Lieutenant Alasdair Maconachie.
- Into town this morning to present certificates to students at the Learning and Skills centre in Tubwell Row (the old museum). I was taken care of by the lovely Natalie, one of the tutors, and after the presentation I was subjected to some very interesting and testing questions.
- Just when we all thought we had seen the last of Ken and Linda from Stockton, for a while at least, they turned up at a Brass band concert organised by the Mayor of Hetton. I hadn’t been convinced that this event would work because it was a case of bringing together 25 players with little or no rehearsal and sitting them down to play a varied programme of good music. In the end I had to admit that the standard of the players carried it off really well. Congratulations to the conductor Alan Seymour and to all of the players including some really good soloists.