Being elected Mayor was one of the most exciting days of my life, particularly since it is the highest honour that the City can bestow on anyone.
When I climbed the stairs to the platform and took the Chair I was surprised how high it was above the other Councillors and I got a superb view of the whole room. I suppose it must have been a bit like a Headmaster at a school assembly, except this was so enjoyable.
Because being Mayor is normally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you won’t have had any experience of doing the job beforehand so you have to learn very quickly and hit the ground running. My first day including learning about protocol; about robing, which is not just wearing a gown but a great deal of other accoutrements such as ruffs and gloves; about how to fix the very heavy chain of office onto my jacket – something which sounds simple, but isn’t. But, above all, it was the Mayor’s diary that is so central to everything and engagements were already in there until next May.
The Mayor’s office is called the Parlour, a large wood-panelled room with a massive array of souvenirs and other items of memorabilia collected by Mayors during the past decades. I must get to know the history of each one as that’s the question visitors always ask about.
My first public engagement was a delightful afternoon with the Friends of Worcestershire Royal Hospital, particularly apposite as my Mayoress is a nurse there. The meeting was actually held in the chapel of the old Worcester Royal Infirmary, now part of the University. The tour guide turned out to be a good friend of my brother – what a small world Worcester is! During the tour, we discovered that it has now been confirmed that there is a tunnel between the old prison (where County Furnishings now stands) and the former hospital through which executed prisoners were taken to be dissected.
What an extraordinary 24 hours!