They do say that time flies when you are having fun and the past month has proved testament to that as I have had the pleasure of visiting events ranging from almost A to Z which commenced aboard the TS Cleopatra in the company of the immaculately presented Sea Cadets of Harrogate – a joyous occasion.
The mayoral diary is brimming with invitations but one mayor can only be in one place at any one time.
Hence the need for a reliable deputy mayor and consort and mine come in the shape of Cllr Christine Willoughby and her husband Andrew who visited the Rossett School Summer Spectacular at the Royal Hall and the St John Fisher’s celebrations at Harrogate Theatre, reporting back to me that the events were of a high calibre.
Meanwhile, your mayor was attending a plethora of other events, the Police Treatment Centre, offering sterling support for our thin blue line, Ashville College Art show, exhibiting a stunning display, helping Berwins bid farewell to long-service colleagues and attending several school and college speech and prize-giving occasions which presented me with a rare opportunity to meet former Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes and Nick Chester of Renault Formula 1. You don’t get such opportunities in the regular day job!
The songbirds of King Edward Choir from the city of Barrie, Ontario, were in town, singing their way around the District to the enjoyment of all.
A sombre and emotional event saw us pay our respects at the Stonefall War Graves to hundreds of young Canadian airmen lost to the Second World War.
I have also made several visits to local schools, the Von Trapp Family classic was pure joy at the excellent Starbeck School Concert and the school summer fairs at Coppice Valley and Woodfield resulted in a handmade book for the Mayor, who apparently lives in a castle, created by four and five year olds.
The sterling work of volunteers continues at a pace. People have raised monies is some very inventive ways, enduring hours of discipline at the recent Yogathon in aid of St Michael’s Hospice, the Friends of Harrogate Hospital held a fabulous Big Picnic event in the Valley Gardens and I had the pleasure of a tour of Starbeck in preparation for the In Bloom judging and also supported Harrogate In Bloom and the Business Buddies initiative as we build to the Champion of Champions judging on Yorkshire Day Tuesday 1 August.
I was delighted to support the long overdue recognition of one of Britain’s pioneering road builders, Blind Jack of Knaresborough, resulting in the unveiling of John Metcalf Way along a section of the A658 thanks to the determination and dedication of Bernard Higgins and members of the Knaresborough Tri-centennial anniversary committee.
Bringing a busy month of appointments to a crescendo saw the mayor and consort attend the 159th Great Yorkshire Show in the company of the President Lord Middleton, show director Charles Mills and chairman Nigel Pulling to name but a few.
The generous hospitality of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society was second to none.
On the second day of the show one of the guests was invited to join the Yorkshire Regiment for Beating the Retreat. There were chains of office on display from far and wide and I feel honoured to welcome previously unseen mayors and consorts from Calderdale, Sheffield, Bradford and Rotherham to our beautiful Borough.