Anne Forbes, last year’s deputy mayor, was elected unopposed at the previous week’s full meeting of Berwick Town Council.
“I am humbled and proud to be mayor of Berwick-upon-Tweed,” she said. “It’s a real honour for me.”
She thanked her fellow councillors for their support in appointing her to the prestigious position and is looking forward to an exciting and busy year.
“I will work hard to promote Berwick-upon-Tweed and to move us forward,” she said.
“I would like to meet as many people as possible so if they are having an event and they would like the civic party to attend, please contact the mayor’s secretary and we will do our very best to attend.”
Her husband, Tony, will be mayor’s consort for the coming year with good friend Martin Warner as sheriff and Carroll Warner as sheriff’s lady.
“Martin is a local man who does a lot of voluntary work and would help anybody out,” said Coun Forbes.
“He has a sense of humour and, like me, he is extremely proud to represent our town.”
Martin said: “I never expected this honour, although I am a Berwicker through and through.
“I hope and pray that I will serve you and the people of Berwick well.”
Coun Robert Bruce was elected as deputy mayor after winning a 10-4 vote over Coun Karin Graham.
He said: “I am proud to be deputy mayor of this vibrant and diverse town. I expres my sincere appreciation to you all for placing your trust in me. I take this very seriously and will try to serve Berwick to the best of my ability.”
Berwick and District Cancer Support Group, better known as Berwick Cancer Cars, has been chosen as the mayor’s charity.
It was founded in 1992 and its main service is to provide free transport to any cancer sufferer to all major hospitals in the area.
“It is a vital service that the town needs, taking people to their hospital appointments, and is run entirely by volunteers,” explained Coun Forbes. “As well as raising money, I hope to raise awareness as there are still people who don’t know that the service exists.
“It has 44 drivers and 13 committee members now and in 2018 it helped 1,435 people get to cancer-related appointments. To do that, it took £104,000.
“Unfortunately, the charity is busier again this year so it’s important to raise funds and awareness of what it does.”
One of the first functions of the new civic party’s year in office will be the traditional Walking of the May Fair on Friday, May 24, at noon.
The first mayor of Berwick was possibly Robert Barham who was mayor in 1238 and in 1249. He came from a family who owned considerable properties in the Berwick area. His brother David was a great friend of Alexander II of Scotland. Later Berwick became a Royal Burgh under David I of Scotland, hence the purple ceremonial robes instead of the red English ones.
The status of the mayor is as first citizen and, because of the town’s history, that status is significant because in England now precedence is accorded at assemblies to London, then York, then Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Since the inception of mayors in Berwick-upon-Tweed, there have been over 700 named persons in office.
If you would like the mayor and civic party to attend an event, fill in a form on the town council website at www.berwick-tc.gov.uk/request-the-civic-party