Farewell as term as Mayor comes to end
I am sitting in my study looking out at the rain in the middle of “lockdown”, thinking of what has happened since I took office as Mayor of our wonderful town of Wetherby two years ago.
I attended over 100 engagements during my term of Office.
These are a few that hold special memories for me and help me to get through this difficult period.
My first duty was to hand over the princely sum of £1 to buy the land for the Devil’s Toenail. Yes, it is only two years ago since Wetherby Town Council purchased the land. It is down to the wonderful bunch of volunteers who have created such a magnificent asset for our Town in such a short time.
In my role as Mayor of Wetherby I represented Wetherby on two Yorkshire Days on August 1. This is an auspicious occasion where all the Mayors of Yorkshire meet to celebrate and promote the historic county of Yorkshire. Needless to say that on these two occasions I took the opportunity of promoting Wetherby and encouraging people to come and visit.
Sandra and I have had the pleasure of helping to celebrate three 100 year birthday celebrations; all were truly emotional occasions.
We visited all the five schools in Wetherby for various events ranging from summer fairs to Xmas Fairs, the burying of a time capsule and my personal favourite, the judging of a baking competition.
I was honoured and very proud to open all the refurbished playgrounds at Halfield Lane, Nidd Approach and Scaur Bank in autumn 2018. I was particularly pleased that I was not asked to test the zip wire, but did have to ascend the pyramid climber at Scaur Bank! I have had immense enjoyment in seeing all of the playgrounds being used and enjoyed, although it is extremely frustrating that they are out of action at the moment.
Wetherby’s first Whole Town Open Day on 13th October 2018 was a huge success. It was Wetherby at its best and shows what can be achieved when the whole community comes together. I particularly enjoyed visiting all the activities around the town. Well done to the Welcome to Wetherby team.
Along with many thousands of other people I also remember the day the para-cycling races came to Wetherby last September. It was a pleasure to meet so many friendly and interesting people not only from the UK but from further afield who, without exception, commented on our amazing community spirit. Another example of the volunteers in Wetherby delivering such a spectacular display of bunting throughout the Town.
Unfortunately, the annual big lunch held at Sandringham Park fell victim to the Lockdown. This event is organised by the Friends of Sandringham Park who do a wonderful job in looking after the park and receive numerous awards for their efforts.
Another annual event that I enjoyed attended is the switching on of the Wetherby Christmas lights. I will forever remember getting the crowd to form a “Mexican wave” which was swiftly dubbed as “the Wetherby wave”! I do hope that life can be back to some sort of new normal by the time of this event later in the year.
In these difficult times it was sad that my term of office had to come to an end without being able to meet in person all the people who have made it such a wonderful and enjoyable two years.
I do hope that my successor as Mayor, Coun Neil O’Byrne enjoys his term of office as much as I have.
I would just to like to leave you with by saying time flies when you are enjoying yourself. The last two years have certainly flown.