From shaking hands with Royals to meeting showbiz stars backstage, the Mayor of Cheshire East has had little time to spare while in office.
But now it’s time for personal reflection, for Councillor Margaret Simon will be handing over the Mayoral chains to Deputy Mayor, Councillor Gordon Baxendale, following her full year in office on May 12th.
Councillor Simon, who is the very first Mayor of the newly-formed Cheshire East Council, said: “It’s been a wonderful experience and an absolute pleasure.
“Along the way I’ve met some incredibly talented and dedicated people who have inspired me to get involved with their good work.”
Rarely has the Mayor’s diary been empty, with anything between two and four appointments per day.
The highlights have included meeting camp comic, Julian Clary, who brought his Lord of the Mince show to
The two of them hit if off after they discovered their shared passion for dogs, as the Mayor is a strong supporter of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
But it’s not just those in the public eye who’ve made being Mayor of Cheshire East Council so special for her.
She added: “It’s ordinary people who dedicate their lives to good causes, such as the Crewe Bangladesh Welfare Association who are doing such wonderful work to integrate their members into the wider community.”
Councillor Simon supported the Association’s first birthday party in January and gave a speech at the colourful event attended by other dignitaries from across the region.
Sometimes the role of Mayor has been quite emotional, for example she recently attended a street naming ceremony in honour of a very special man.
Quick-thinking Crewe train driver, Eric Goode, saved the lives of hundreds of passengers after his train collided at 100 mph with another train almost a quarter of a century ago in what became known as the Colwich Rail disaster.
Eric Goode was the only victim of that tragedy thanks to his ability to skilfully brake his train into the crash and minimise the wreckage.
The Mayor officially opened
She said: “It was so moving to hear about this individual’s bravery and to then meet his sons who’ve gone on to live fulfilling lives in the knowledge that their father was a brave man and saved the lives of hundreds of people.”
During her tenure, the Mayor has also welcomed Royals to Cheshire East, the last being the Countess of Wessex, Sophie Rhys-Jones, and the Duke of Gloucester.
She added: “Welcoming Royals to Cheshire East has also been one of the highlights of the role, although I’m always a little nervous beforehand, but the excitement of the event soon takes over.
“The whole year has been a splendid time, meeting and greeting people from all over the area and sharing stories about their good work.
“When I look back, I’d like to thank all the people who have invited me to their events and made me feel so welcome, and to my colleagues at Cheshire East Council who have worked so hard to make things run smoothly.”
Councillor Gordon Baxendale will officially take up office on May 12th during a special Mayor Making Ceremony in Tatton.
- The words Mayor derive from the Latin word Magnus meaning "great".
- The office of Mayor, together with the Domesday Book and the feudal system, were brought to this country by the Normans.
- Such an office had existed on the continent at least since the fifth century.
- During the Middle Ages the Mayor held the position of the Custodian of the Peace and would preside over the borough’s civil and criminal courts.