October saw the unveiling of the Cinque Port umbrellas, an initiative inspired by Mayor Feast and shown below, with 2 Mayors a-sheltering, at the WW1 Centenary Service at Canterbury Cricket Ground. It was an inspiring event, the only disappointment being that the weather deterred about half of the expected attendees. The Army parachute display team were not able to perform due to the low cloud base. They could actually have stepped out of their Hercules aircraft, straight onto the cricket square, but wisely decided not to bother.
The weather treated the Navy rather better, and HMS KENT was rededicated in glorious conditions at Portsmouth. She is the Cinque Ports adopted warship and the rededication service marked her re-entry to the Fleet after a 2 year refit.
At the time of writing, the awayday to the Menin Gate ceremony is keenly anticipated, regardless of the weather.
Lorna Challand will take over the duties of Town Clerk from Angela Hill on Saturday 3 November. This will take place at an Assembly and Hundred at 3pm on that day. All Freemen will be invited as a matter of right, but we very much want this to be a public event at which everyone is welcome. Accordingly, it will be held in the Church, following a procession from the Court Hall. The ceremony will not be long and there will be refreshments afterwards. It will be an opportunity to wish Lorna every success in and enjoyment of the role and also to record the thanks of the Corporation to Angela. Her contribution to its affairs and conduct of its business over almost 4 years has been telling indeed
In discussion with the School and its governing body, the Corporation has decided to nominate one of its number to be a point of contact with the School, liaising on events and matters of mutual interest. It is hoped that this will further enhance the links between the School and the Town, which should be of benefit to us all. We are all very pleased that John Spencer has agreed to take on this role.
First and foremost, we all wish Mike Melvin a swift recovery and hope that by the time you read this. His expertise on all matters to do with the Corporation’s property will be much missed in the interim. Anyway in the short thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the Ancient Monuments, the work to fit the new plaques to Court Hall, Pipewell and New Gates have been commissioned, hopefully for completion this year and the redecoration of the Lower Court hall has also been commissioned for the early part of next year. The more substantial works to the Town Sign and Court Hall externals will assessed in the coming months.
John Rodley, Mayor