Mayor-Trowbridge-Chains-Robe-Park

1st June 2024

Last week started slowly with the cancellation of Tuesday’s scheduled Twinning Forum meeting. As Mayor, I chair this regular coming together of the town’s twinning groups. We compare notes, plan activities, and generally look for ways in which we can work together to promote the relationships that Trowbridge has with our twin towns in Germany, France, Morocco, and Poland. 

That’s when we actually meet. Tuesday’s meeting had to be called off as too many of us just couldn’t make it. It’s being rescheduled for a couple of weeks’ time, so hopefully not too much will be delayed or missed because of it. 

Twinning is important to us here in Trowbridge. The relationships we have with our twin towns across Europe and North Africa allow us to exchange ideas and compare notes on the way we do things. By looking at how other towns and other communities approach problems and try to do their best for their residents, we can often learn how to do things better ourselves. 

For instance, I learned last week that our twin town of Leer in Ostfriesland, Germany, is an accredited Fairtrade Community just as Trowbridge is. This is just one example of the shared values that we really should celebrate; there is, after all, far more that unites us than can ever divide us! 

Our Twinning Associations, be they the French, German, Polish, or Moroccan groups, are always looking out for new members and new people to take an active role in the running of the associations. If you are interested in twinning and would like to find out more, please email me, and I’ll put you in touch with the association you’re most interested in. 

*** 

Then, at the other end of the week, there was the undoubted highlight of the last seven days, and in all fairness, probably the grandest of all the annual civic “Mayor-Making” events that I get invited to attend. That was Saturday’s election and inauguration of the new mayor of the City of Bath. 

The formal invitation was from the Charter Trustees of the City of Bath. My wife and I were invited to take part in a Civic Procession from the Guildhall through the streets of Bath, into Bath Abbey, and there to witness the Annual General Meeting of the Charter Trustees of the city and the election of the new Mayor. 

As we left the Guildhall and headed towards the Abbey, the streets were lined with crowds, maybe three or four deep. Now, this was Bath, so the probability is that the vast majority of these were tourists who were probably just wondering what on earth was going on, but it made us feel a bit “special,” whatever the reason. 

Now, if you’re going to be inaugurated as Mayor of any town or city, doing the deed in an Abbey that dates back to 1611 is really rather grand. It’s a fantastic venue, full of history and heritage, and, with the musical accompaniment of the extremely talented choir to add to the ambience, it almost felt a bit “regal.” I’ve got to admit that they certainly know how to do a civic ceremony in Bath! 

After the formal ceremony was finished and all the official business was completed, we processed back to the Guildhall, where we were treated to a sumptuously catered reception. This gave us the opportunity to catch up and have a good chat with other mayors from as far afield as Weston-Super-Mare, Wells, Salisbury, and Malmesbury. 

This was all very grand, and I do like a bit of “pomp and circumstance,” but if I’m absolutely honest, I have to admit that I was rather glad to get back to the Guildhall and shed the full mayoral robes! Processing to and from Bath Abbey in full robes and chains on a bright and sunny day can get a bit… well, warm! 

*** 

But I’m going to cut this blog short now because I’m hoping that there’ll be an extra one published sometime tomorrow. something a bit different and topically special. 

So that’s it for now, and until next time, keep safe and, please, be kind to each other. 

 

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