King’s Lynn mace passes from father to son

Borough Mace Bearer Graham Cook retires King's Lynn Town Hall
LtoR, Borough Mayoress Julie Manning, Mayor Colin Manning, Borough Deputy Mayor David Whitby, Mace Bearer Graham Cook, Ian Cook (Graham's son who will be taking over from his father), Borough Deputy Mayoress Linda Whitby. ANL-160421-080813009
Borough Mace Bearer Graham Cook retires King's Lynn Town Hall LtoR, Borough Mayoress Julie Manning, Mayor Colin Manning, Borough Deputy Mayor David Whitby, Mace Bearer Graham Cook, Ian Cook (Graham's son who will be taking over from his father), Borough Deputy Mayoress Linda Whitby. ANL-160421-080813009
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One of Lynn’s exquisite maces has passed from the hands of a father to son this week.

Graham Cook is stepping down as one of the town’s mace bearers after 15 years of carrying this precious object.

But his son Ian, 50, will be following in his father’s footsteps by taking over the role and will be making his debut next week.

Lynn’s historical importance is shown by its four maces which make up the mayor’s formal procession along with a swordbearer.

Graham, 81, of South Wootton, has enjoyed his time in the role.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time. As a local lad, it has been a huge honour and privilege.

“It has been nice to keep it in the family. I think this is the first time this has happened.”

Graham, who is stepping down for health reasons, stood in when the town hall was short of a mace bearer for a function in 2001 but was later invited to make the arrangement permanent.

Over the years, he has attended many functions in the heavy robes, which he says are comfortable in winter but hot in summer.

He said: “I have enjoyed attending the different functions within the borough.

“One of the highlights is when the Queen came to the town to mark the 60th anniversary of her succession to the throne.”

There have also been some funny moments for Graham.

He said: “When the town celebrated the 800th anniversary of the charter, the mayor went to The Walks in a horse and carriage.

“We were following and were running to keep up with the horse. I think we gave up in the end.”

Ian, who will be the youngest mace bearer, is attending his first official function on Tuesday. The mace must be held on the right shoulder and hand.

The South Wootton man said: “It is something I have always wanted to do.

“Dad has been tremendous.”

The current maces date back to 1711 when the council decided to replace the four smaller ones. Several parcels of old and useless plate were added to the old maces.

The wooden staff, which is not used indoors, is topped by a gilded dragon.

A mace is always present when full council is in session.