AFTER a lovely holiday on the Scottish Isle of Arran, our Mayoral week began last Sunday morning in Preston.
Louise and the kids and I attended the Guild Mayor’s Civic Procession.
Although full of “pomp and circumstance” what made this event special for me, was that the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu was there and I had the honour of meeting this remarkable man afterwards.
Following this, we all went to the JMO Sports Park in Blaguegate Lane, Skelmersdale.
Here, I had the honour of officially pening this great facility and I met another remarkable man, who had laid the pitch at Wembley Stadium!
On Wednesday, Louise and I were back in Preston.
This time to attend the Guild Mayor’s Ball.
This was a truly grand affair and I must confess I was a bit embarrassed when it was our turn to be applauded into the Guild Hall. But never let it be aid that Mayors and Mayoresses are stuffy, as we all agreed to entertain the guests with a Mayoral Conga, and we hadn’t even had a drink!
On Thursday morning, Louise and I collected donations in Ormskirk Market on behalf of the RNLI. This was quite poignant, as when we were in Scotland, a family drowned in a sea loch when their canoe capsized and that sad event brought home the importance of the RNLI to our island nation. In the evening, we all went off to Hilldale Parish, to officially open their QE2 Jubilee field. Having been granted Jubilee Field status, this beautiful little community asset will now be protected for ever.
Saturday morning saw us all back in Preston again, this time to attend the adjournment of the 2012 Preston Guild. When the Guild next occurs in 2032, we will all be 20 years older, so it was nice to have witnessed this rare event as Mayor. Being Mayor, however, is often humbling and so it was on Saturday afternoon when we all went to Skelmersdale. The occasion was the inauguration of a new Minister, Rev Richard Preston. He appears a very decent man and I wish him all the best in the coming years as he does God’s work in Skelmersdale.
On Sunday afternoon, I officially opened a Bandstand Marathon in Ormskirk. This was one of 500 such musical events across Britain to mark the end of London 2012 and it was great to see Ormskirk involved. My week ended with my Civic Service in Ormskirk Parish Church. It was great to see so many people there, including representatives from all our Armed Forces and the Scouts.
Thank you all, for helping to make this such a special day.