The Mayor of Harrogate’s column with Councillor Anne Jones

Another busy month for your mayor as I weave my way from local events to some further afield which found me recently listening to the Invictus Choir at Catterick Garrison in support of the High Sherriff’s Help for Heroes fundraising event.

Remaining outside the District I had the pleasure of attending the Queen Elizabeth Barracks when the Lord Lieutenant appointed his Cadets for 2017/2018 to Sea Cadet Charlie Davies of Scarborough, Army Cadet Natalie Dixon of Stensall and our very own Air Training Corps cadet Joseph McKernan of 58 (Harrogate) Squadron, take a bow young man.

Meanwhile back on more local turf I cut the ribbon on the splendid new Harrogate High School, a superb facility for our future citizens.

Staying with the young people of the our District I attended the National Citizen Service awards at the Royal Hall which was rather like a Radio One Road Show but thoroughly enjoyed by the young award winners.

I have had the pleasure of attending two events at the magnificent Ripon Cathedral, at the beginning of the month I joined celebrations for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and the Country Land Association at the Harvest Thanksgiving Service and more recently the Commemoration of Founders and Benefactors Celebration marking 1,350 years since Wilfred built and dedicated his church in Ripon.

Sadly I cannot list all the events that I attend as I would need a full page for the Mayor’s column but some events like the Dress to Impress, Disability Action Yorkshire 80th anniversary dinner, the excellent Inaugural Harrogate Neighbours, Hand in Hand Ball, the Rotary Club 1030 District Conference and Gala Dinner along with the Soroptimist International 84th Annual Luncheon were pure joy to attend.

I also could not end a list of events without mentioning the truly magnificent Harrogate Decorative and Fine Arts Golden Jubilee Lecture, Caravaggio, The Final Years by the incomparable Andrew Graham-Dixon, quite breathtaking!

I have welcomed the superb new affordable Accent Group homes built by Miller Homes in Killinghall, the Mother Shipton bronze statue to accompany Blind Jack in the Market Place Knaresborough and the Girl Guides for their Thanks and Recognition event held at Harrogate Ladies College.

However, the most emotive welcome went to the members of 426 Squadron Canadian Royal Armed Forces as we gathered at Stonefall Cemetery to lay wreaths and acknowledged the loss of Canadian life in the Second World War.

The visiting party were guests of Wing Commander Newbould, Linton on Ouse.

One of the guests, former Flt Lt Harry Hepburn, 96 years’ young and still a real charmer, was a navigator with 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron at Linton on Ouse and flew 32 missions.

In April 1945 Harry was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by King George VI. Harry’s grandson, Major Chris Hepburn, who is a current serving pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), accompanied him on the visit.

The Worshipful was truly honoured to meet you Harry.