Looking to the future, but with a sense of the past, was the message from West Norfolk’s new mayor as she took up the chains of office.
Carol Bower was elected to the role at the borough council’s annual meeting, held at Lynn town hall on Thursday night.
Mrs Bower, a former mayor of Hunstanton who will be supported by her husband Simon as consort, was only elected two years ago and served as deputy mayor during the past year.
She said she was the 812th person to have held the office, the history of which she described as “daunting.”
But she added: “I cannot say how much of an honour it is to take up this ancient role.
“Anyone taking up this position must look both to the past and the future, to residents and visitors, and to the town of Lynn and the most far-flung parishes of the borough.
“I will endeavour to do that in the coming year with enthusiasm, dignity and, I hope, a little humour.”
The humour theme had been inadvertently taken up by council leader Brian Long, who described Mrs Bower’s main loves as her two children, her six grand-children and local politics, without mentioning her consort.
Labour leader John Collop, who seconded the nomination, said he would be a “model councillor, at least for the first meeting” to help ease Mrs Bower into the role.
He added: “I can say with confidence that Carol will be a hard-working and popular mayor.”
The new deputy mayor, Jim Moriarty, said he was particularly honoured to accept the role on behalf of his Priory ward, one of the most easterly in the borough.
He said: “I look forward to taking the mayoralty out to the villages and the wider community.”
Mr Moriarty will be supported by his wife, Liz, as deputy mayoress.
He will also chair the Mayor’s Charity committee, which will raise funds for the Purfleet Trust and the One to One Project, which supports people in West Norfolk living with mental health problems.
There was also an emotional moment as retiring mayor David Whitby paid tribute to his wife, Linda, for her support over the past two years as both mayor and deputy mayor.
He also praised civic office staff for their help during his tenure and announced his charity committee had raised £11,000 for the Lavender Hill Mob theatre company.
He thanked his predecessor, Colin Manning, who he said had taken 45 minutes to persuade him to be his deputy mayor.
And he said: “It is not until you take on the role that you realise the importance of the job and how people respect and enjoy meeting and seeing the mayor.”
Father Adrian Ling, of All Saints’ Church, Hillington Square, will continue to serve as the Mayor’s Chaplain.