Saturday, 20 July 2019

HONORARY COMMUNITY MAYOR'S ENGAGEMENTS FOR 2019-2020.



MAYORAL ENGAGEMENTS FOR 2019-2020



Here's a full list of engagements which the Mayor and Mayoress are fulfilling this year. Black text indicates a past engagement, and red an engagement still to come. 

JUNE 2019

Thursday 13th June 2019: Mayor Making at Victoria Hall, Middlewich.

Friday 14th June 2019: Launch of the 2019 Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival, Market Field, Middlewich. Speech

Sunday 16th June 2019: Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival, Market Field.
'Festival Praise' presented by Churches Together. Speech (impromptu).

Thursday 20th June: Official re-opening of Morrison's Supermarket, Middlewich. Speech

Sunday 23rd June: Sandbach Civic Service, St Mary's Church, Sandbach.

Friday 28th June: Boy's Brigade Presentations, Middlewich URC, Queen Street, Middlewich. Speech

Saturday 29th June: Visit to Mid-Cheshire Scout Camp, Tatton Park.

JULY 2019

Monday 8th July: Strawberry Tea with Middle-Wyches WI, The Wych Centre, Middlewich.

Saturday 13th/ Sunday 14th July: Middlewich Classic Car & Bike Show 2019.
Harbutt's Field, Middlewich (Mayor only) Presentation of Prizes.

Tuesday 16th July: Middlewich High School. Prizegiving. Speech

 Friday 19th July: Folk & Boat Festival Volunteer Evening, Victoria Hall, Middlewich. 6pm.

Saturday 20th July: Unveiling and Official Opening of the Brunner - Mond Memorial Garden, Brooks Lane, Middlewich. 1.30pm at the Royal British legion Club. 2pm at Brooks Lane.

Sunday 28th July: Alsager Civic Service, Wesley Place, Alsager.

AUGUST 2019

Monday 5th August: 'Grand Opening' of BARKS & CO, at Hopley House Shopping Village, Nantwich Road, Middlewich.



Engagements will be added to this list as we go through the year. Please note that certain engagements, fulfilled by the Chairman of the Town Council or the Deputy Mayor, do not appear on this list 


OPENING OF THE BRUNNER-MOND MEMORIAL 20th JULY 2019

Middlewich Heritage/Middlewich Town Council

The Memorial before restoration.
(Kerry Kirwan/Middlewich Heritage/Middlewich Town Council)



The Memorial after restoration.

(Kerry Kirwan/Middlewich Heritage/Middlewich Town Council)

20th July 2019 Photo by Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams writes:

It was a poignant moment today. Dave Roberts,
the UK's first Community Mayor, laid a wreath on behalf of Middlewich Town Council. He did us all proud, and I am seriously chuffed to have played my part in bringing this about. I was also blown away by the fantastic work of the Heritage Trust and all those residents (many of them school children) who have worked on the memorial garden. It is absolutely stunning. I am full of love for Middlewich today.


Mike Hunter adds:

A great day and well played to Kerry who played a big part in the restoring of the monument and Garden.




Thursday, 11 July 2019

WHY A COMMUNITY MAYOR? QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS


by Dave Roberts

Why a 'Community Mayor'? 
A question which can best be answered with another question: 'Why not?'
We thought the best way to explain why Middlewich now has an Honorary Community Mayor, and how the new Mayoralty will work, was with a series of questions and answers.

WHY DO WE NOW HAVE AN 'HONORARY COMMUNITY MAYOR'?
Because the Town Council has decided to divide the position of Chairman of the Council into two.
 Until now the Chairman has, for ceremonial purposes, also been The Mayor.
 Under the new system, the role of Mayor is completely separated from the council and he or she  acts as an 'ambassador' for the town, promoting the many and varied activities which take place here year by year, raising money for local charities and supporting the local societies and organisations which make community life in Middlewich so enjoyable and rewarding.
The Council Chairman is thus free to concentrate on his/her role as a councillor, and the chairing of council meetings.
If the Mayor, or Deputy Mayor, is not available to fulfil an engagement for any reason, the Chairman can still represent the town.

DIDN'T THE OLD-STYLE MAYOR DO ALL THE THINGS THE NEW-STYLE MAYOR WILL BE DOING?
Yes, and with a great deal of success. We have had some very effective and popular Mayors over the years who have done a lot to promote the town and support local community life.
The new Mayor, though, will be able to concentrate solely on these things, without having to take into account any of the political considerations which have hitherto been part and parcel of being Mayor.

DOES THE COMMUNITY MAYOR HAVE TO MAKE SPEECHES?
Of course! It's a major part of the Mayor's duties to make speeches at events in Middlewich and further afield. To quote from the 'Mayor's Handbook':

Throughout the term of office the Mayor will be required to:
Preside at the Town's Civic Functions; promote the town of Middlewich, always in a positive manner; deliver speeches with confidence; handle interviews (press, radio and possibly TV); network and socialise without prejudice with all members of the local community.


IS THE HONORARY COMMUNITY MAYOR OUR FIRST CITIZEN?
Yes. To again quote from the 'Mayor's Handbook':
The precedence afforded to the Mayor is part of the general law of the UK. 
As the Mayor is the first citizen of the town, only HM The Queen, members of the Royal Family and the Lord Lieutenant take precedence over the Mayor at events in Middlewich.
The Mayor of Cheshire East will take precedence over the Mayor of Middlewich unless Middlewich Town Council is hosting the event.


DOES THE COMMUNITY MAYOR ATTEND COUNCIL MEETINGS?
He or she is entitled to do so, but only on the same basis as any other member of the public.
The Mayor has no role at council meetings and he, or she, is not a councillor.

ISN'T THIS THE END OF A LONG TRADITION OF MAYORS OF MIDDLEWICH?
Not at all. Under the new system the Mayor has exactly the same status as Town Mayors all over the country, and exactly the same status as previous Mayors of Middlewich. He or she also has, when it comes to ceremonial and community matters, the same status as all the Chairmen of the Council dating back to Henry Seddon in 1894.
And that 'long tradition' of Middlewich Mayors is probably not as long as many think. In fact it only goes back as far as 1974 - a total of forty-five years - when the Town council came into being as the successor to the old Middlewich U.D.C. 

HAVE ANY OTHER TOWN COUNCILS  GONE DOWN THIS ROUTE?
As far as we know Middlewich is the first town in the country to appoint an Honorary Community Mayor. However several councils, including a few local to us, have expressed an interest in doing the same thing.

IS THERE A 'MAYORESS'?
Yes. Until now the title has been 'Mayor's Consort', a continuation of the title used by the M.U.D.C. until 1974. 
The Town Council has agreed on the term 'Mayor's Companion' as a replacement, although, for this year at least, most people seem to prefer the term 'Mayoress'.
Obviously in future years, when the Mayor's Companion can be male or female, this won't be the case.

WILL THERE BE A DEPUTY MAYOR?
Yes Arrangements are in hand to appoint a Deputy Mayor, who will automatically become Mayor after his/her  year as Deputy. 

CAN ANYONE BE COMMUNITY MAYOR TWICE?
We've suggested to the Town Council that, in the interests of fairness, and in order to give everyone from all walks of Middlewich life the opportunity to be our town's first citizen, no-one should be able to serve more than one term as Community Mayor. This principle seems likely to be adopted.

CAN THE SITUATION BE REVERSED AND THE 'OLD SYSTEM' RE-INSTATED?
That's entirely a matter for the Town Council.
We hope that this new type of Mayoralty will be so successful that no one will want to go back to the previous system.

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If you have any other questions about the new Mayoralty, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Please note that the information given here has been gathered together by me, Dave Roberts, and opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Many thanks to

Jonathan Williams

Helen Pask-Watkinson

Nicci Anthoney

Denise French

Rachel Pendleton




Monday, 1 July 2019

MIDDLEWICH'S CIVIC INSIGNIA

THE SEAL OF THE URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL OF MIDDLEWICH 1897
 Middlewich Town Council


by Dave Roberts,

The Civic Insignia of Middlewich, by which we mean the chains and badges of office worn by the Mayor and Mayoress (or Mayor's Companion) and the Deputy Mayor, are quite magnificent and bear comparison with those found in any other small town.

The Mayor's chain and seal has been in continuous use, year after year, since 1897. The badge worn by the Mayor's Companion (formerly the Mayor's Consort) is of more recent vintage, having been gifted to the former Middlewich Urban District Council in 1954. This year, the first year of Middlewich's Community Mayor, the badge has taken on a completely unforeseen and very personal significance for Lynne Hardy, the first Mayor's Companion. But more of that later.

It's a privilege to be able to show you, possibly for the first time ever, exactly what our town's insignia look like, and we're very grateful to the Town Council for allowing us to do this.

Middlewich Town Council
The chain and seal of the Middlewich Urban District Council was presented to the town by local industrialist and philanthropist Sir John Brunner to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.
There is an inscription on the back of the seal recording this fact, but unfortunately our photographic skills do not permit us to show you a clear picture of it. Here's what the engraving, now somewhat worn by the countless suits, ties, waistcoats and dresses of past Council chairmen and mayors, actually says:
Presented to
The Town of Middlewich
by
SIR JOHN TOMLINSON BRUNNER, BART. M.P.
FOR THE NORTHWICH DIVISION OF CHESHIRE

In Commemoration of the Sixtieth Year of
The Reign Of Her Most Glorious Majesty

QUEEN VICTORIA

June 1897

Middlewich Town Council
The council's seal and motto, which was used on the Urban District Council's letterheads and documents until the council ceased to exist in 1974, is borrowed from the coat of arms of the France-Hayhurst family of nearby Bostock Hall.

The crest as used on Middlewich U.D.C. paperwork prior to 1974

The design was also used by the Middlewich Heritage Society in its early years, the society going to the trouble and expense of having a printing block of it made in those pre-computer days.



Evidence of the family's influence in the town can also be found in the Parish Church.

Courtesy of St Michael & All Angels, Middlewich

The coat of arms itself is now used on the sign outside the popular Hayhurst Arms pub and restaurant in Bostock.

Courtesy of THE HAYHURST ARMS

Virtus Semper Viridis translates as
'Virtue is always flourishing' or
'Virtue is always green'


When the Town Council came into being in 1974 it applied to use the seal and motto but this was refused on the grounds that the council which used it originally had, effectively, ceased to exist, meaning that the design had become the property of the Crown.

Many town councils, presumably being in the same position, decided to go to the expense of having new insignia made with the town council's name and newly created coats-of-arms on them, but Middlewich sensibly decided to carry on using the original UDC chains and badges, creating a pleasing sense of continuity and a link with the past. This policy also, of course, saved the council a not inconsiderable sum of money.

Obviously, though, the old design couldn't be used on council paperwork, hence the creation of the council's now familiar logo.




MIDDLEWICH HIGH SCHOOL


Eagle-eyed readers will, by now, have realised that the local High School badge
also has a familiar look to it


Middlewich Town Council


Here's the full chain and insignia, as worn by the Mayor. Bottom centre, just above the seal, is the Brunner crest. Does anyone know how Bibe Si Sapis translates into English?

UPDATE: We're grateful to Garnet Marshall, who is a member of the Brunner Lodge in Middlewich and tells us:

It's the motto from the coat of arms of the BRUNNER family. It translates to "if though art wise, drink"

Sound advice.


Middlewich Town Council

This will be familiar to anyone who has ever attended Sir John Deane's College, or its fore-runner, Sir John Deane's Grammar School. Sir John Brunner was a great benefactor of the school and the family crest is incorporated into the coat-of-arms still used by the college.


Courtesy of SIR JOHN DEANE'S COLLEGE

You'll notice that the college's version is missing the 'Red Hand' in the top left hand corner. During my days at SJDGS the hand was included in the badges on our blazers and there were always dark mutterings about some supposed connection with the Irish Loyalist movement, as the symbol was thought to be 'The Red Hand Of Ulster'. A simple misconception, it turns out. Sir John's red hand simply indicated that he was a Baronet. The school quietly dropped the symbol from its badge some time in the sixties, presumably to avoid such conjectures. To save any further confusion, the Red Hand of Ulster is a right hand, while the red hand indicating a Baronet is a left hand.

Coincidentally, Sir John Brunner died exactly one hundred years to the day that this article was written, on the 1st July 1919.

Around the Mayoral chain are fourteen medallions with the names and dates of Chairmen (and they were, as you can imagine, all men) of the Middlewich U.D.C. from 1897 until the end of the Great War and on into the mid-1920s. They read like a roll-call of (almost) every well-known Middlewichian name you can think of and are (running anti-clockwise):

HENRY SEDDON 1897-8, 1902-3

THOMAS HULME 1898-9

WILLIAM JONES 1899-1900, 1908-9, 1909-10

JAMES WILLIAMS 1900-1, 1910-11

THOMAS SUMMERFIELD 1901-2

GEORGE WILLIAMS 1903-4

EDWARD BAKER HARLOCK 1904-5, 1911-12, 1921-2

WILLIAM BOOSEY 1905-6

FRANK ALBERT LIDBURY 1906-7

JAMES SMALLWOOD 1907-8

CHARLES LAWRENCE 1908-9

JOSEPH POWELL 1912-13, 1924-5

JOSEPH ALBERT HULME 1913-14

OSWALD BARKER WHITEHEAD 1914-19

Middlewich Town Council

The Middlewich UDC Consort's chain of office and badge. From this year the term Mayor's Consort has been replaced by 'Mayor's Companion' - though most people seem to prefer the term 'Mayoress'.

Middlewich Town Council

The Consort's insignia is of much more recent origin, having been presented to the Middlewich U.D.C. in 1954. And thereby hangs a tale...

The 'Mayor's Companion' (or Mayoress) for this, the first year of our town's Community Mayoralty, is my partner, Lynne Hardy.

Lynne originates from Huddersfield and has lived here for thirty years.

For nearly all of those thirty years her best friend was Ann Hough, a very well-known and well-loved Middlewich lady.

Sadly Ann passed away last October, and is very much missed by her family and her wide circle of friends including, of course, Lynne and I.

So imagine Lynne's feelings when we examined the civic treasures we've been looking at here, and she found that on the back of the insignia she will be wearing throughout this year were inscribed the words...


'Presented to the M.U.D.C.

by

MISS ANNIE HOUGH

of

MIDDLEWICH

1954'

A happy coincidence, to say the least, and there couldn't be a better omen for the first year of this new and, we believe, unique type of Mayoralty.

But does anyone know who Miss Annie Hough was? Attempts to find out have all come to nothing so far and, for obvious reasons, we'd love to find out something about her. 1954 is, after all, within living memory. If you remember Annie, or know anything about her, please feel free to contact us.

Finally, just a word about the terms used in this article. I am, as you'll have gathered, no expert on civic insignia, heraldry, family crests and coats-of-arms and the like. I've used the terms I thought appropriate. If you know better, please don't hesitate to get in touch and put me right.

There is, incidentally, one piece we haven't shown you, and that's the badge worn by the Deputy Mayor. We hope to add a photo of this in the near future.

I very much hope you've enjoyed this glimpse of our town's beautiful civic insignia.

With grateful thanks to:

MIDDLEWICH TOWN COUNCIL

DENISE FRENCH

NICCI ANTHONEY

JONATHAN WILLIAMS

This article also appears on THE MIDDLEWICH DIARY

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

HOSPITAL RADIO INTERVIEW 23rd JUNE 2019



We were at the Sandbach Civic Service on the 23rd June 2019, and at the reception at Sandbach Town Hall I ran into a familiar face from my days on Radio Leighton, the hospital broadcasting service for Leighton Hospital, Northwich Victoria Infirmary and the Elmhurst Care Centre in Winsford.

Stewart Green, who has been a presenter on the station for many years and spends  hours of his spare time gathering interviews and other items of interest for the station, was keen to find out all about the role of the town's first Community Mayor, and we also touched on Roman Middlewich, Remembrance Day, and memories of hospital radio programmes of the past.


Please follow this link to hear the interview:


STEWART GREEN - HOSPITAL RADIO INTERVIEW

(SOUNDCLOUD)


RADIO LEIGHTON WEBSITE