Mr Mayor's diary: May 2010
Monday 31 May
The Mayoress and I attended the annual whit walks starting at St. Philip's Church, Salford processing to Albert Square, Manchester. We met up at Manchester Town Hall with the Lord Mayor, following which we walked through the streets of Manchester to Manchester Cathedral. The sun was shining and a most enjoyable day was had by all.
In the afternoon we attended the Winton Festival at the Brown Cow Hotel, Winton. This is an annual event hosted by the residents in the area to bring the community together.
Thursday 27 May
I held my first Mayoral briefing in the Mayor's Parlour at the Civic Centre.
In the evening the Mayoress and I attended a civic reception at Bishops Court, Bury New Road, Salford, hosted by the Bishop of Manchester. We mingled with other Mayors, Deputy Mayors and the Assistant Chief Constable together with many more dignitaries and had a most enjoyable evening.
Wednesday 25 May
The Mayoress and I attended a 50th birthday party in celebration of the Manchester Jewish Housing Association at Gann Eden on Stanley Road, Broughton Park. As Gan Eden is in my ward it was nice to see old and new friends at the event and everyone appeared to be having an enjoyable time.
Following this I chaired the Annual General Meeting of Broughton House. Broughton House is a registered charity founded in 1916, the house caters for any ex servicemen from any of the three services including the Merchant Navy. The house is an excellent and comfortable complex.
In the evening the Mayoress and I went to the official opening of the new PZ Cussons headquarters at the business park near Manchester airport. Together with the Lord Mayor of Manchester we had a most enjoyable visit. Cussons still as connections and links with Salford.
Monday 24 May
The Mayoress and I attended a Royal Air Force reception at Manchester Town Hall for an insight into the way the Royal Air Force operates today and what is on offer to people wanting to join.
Sunday 23 May
The Mayoress and I together with Councillor Keith Whitmore, Chairman of the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority, Councillor Ian MacDonald and Barbra Keeley, MP and other dignitories went along to Walkden station to open the new Sunday service, Wigan to Manchester via Atherton line.
It was the first time in 45 years that the line was used so this was a great day, not only for the public but also the friends of Walkden station who had worked so hard for this day to happen.
Saturday 22 May
The Mayoress and I enjoyed Manchester Camerata's last performance of the season by the Halle Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.
Thursday 20 May
The Mayoress and I attended our first engagement. It was a 'Just Giving' event at Hemsley House, the Crescent, Salford where I was presented with a cheque for the charities I am supporting during my year of office.
Wednesday 19 May
This was a proud day when I was installed as the Mayor of the city of Salford. My family and friends were all there to support me on this memorable occasion.
The Mayor of Salford, Councillor George William Wilson.
Wednesday 19 May
And so to the very last day of the mayoral year. Over 470 engagements attended, dozens of buffets eaten, lots of speeches given and hundreds of people met and overall the best year of my life with so many memories to look back on in the coming years.
The Mayor of Salford, Councillor Roger Lightup.
I am so proud of Salford and everyone who also has pride in our great city. The Mayoress and I have really enjoyed being the civic heads and are pleased to be able to hand on to Councillor George Wilson and his wife Carole as the new Mayor and Mayoress. I just hope they enjoy themselves as much as we have done in this really important civic role.
The last day consisted of chairing the Annual meeting of council which went reasonably well although rather too much hot air was expended for my liking and we overran which caused problems for the Mayor making.
I installed George as the new Mayor and then after his speech I was able to say my goodbyes and thank yous both to the staff of the council and the people of Salford who had made the year so fantastic.
Tuesday 18 May
In the morning I chaired a meeting of the Council Agenda Group in order to put everything in place before the Annual meeting of the council on Wednesday and then in the afternoon the Mayoress joined me for our last engagement and our last Citizenship Ceremony.
For both of us these ceremonies have been one of the highlights of the year and the Deputy Lieutenant Tony Burns mentioned that it was our last ceremony and everyone applauded. It has been a real pleasure to welcome so many enthusiastic new citizens to Salford and to Great Britain over the year. I really think we do a good job in Salford and it is very much appreciated by all those who attend.
Monday 17 May
With only a couple of days to go we paid a very quick return trip to the MediaCityUK site to have a look at how building is progressing. I had hoped this could have taken place on our original visit but there wasn't enough time. Three other Mayors were able to join us and they were all really thrilled to see just how much progress has been made and learn what each of the buildings will be used for in the future.
We went straight from the BBC to a full run through of the Mayor making ceremony which would mark the end of my year of office. As usual it went without a hitch and then it was off to our last external engagement at Manchester Town Hall which was a drinks reception to mark Norway's national day hosted by the Norwegian Consul, Edward Bootland.
It was good to see the Lord Mayor and her Consort again as well as the Mayor and Mayoress of Trafford. We managed to speak to a couple of consuls and some young Norwegians who had also been invited. It was a very enjoyable couple of hours and a fitting end to our external engagements as we were swept home in the mayoral car for the last time.
Saturday 15 May
On our last Saturday as the Mayor and Mayoress we had quite a busy day starting with an Open Day at Ranulph Court Sheltered Housing Scheme at Irlam o' the Height.
The scheme was 30 years old and so the staff had organised a party and I met a lady who had been there from the day the scheme opened. It was lovely and warm today for a change and the Mayoress and I were able to eat some food in the garden listening to Dusty Springfield on the stereo.
We then had to move swiftly on to Wigan where we had been invited with several other mayors to look round the various activities at an ‘Excellence in scouting‘event. This was held at Bispham Hall Scout Estate in Billinge and we were joined by the Mayors of Trafford and Wigan.
We were escorted round by two scouts and I even had a chance to have a first ever go at archery before we had to leave in order to get to the Willows in time for Salford's crunch fixture with St Helens. We watched the same fixture last year and it had the same result this year with an unexpected win for the Reds.
With work starting on the new stadium it was a very good time for the Reds to show such excellent form. It was great to see John Wilkinson again and we both wished him and the team well for the rest of the season. I hope to be able to get to a couple of matches at the Willows later on in the season and hopefully bring the team some more luck!!
Friday 14 May
As a couple of people were unable to come to my thank you party, the Mayoress and I spent the morning taking their certificates to them. Two local schools had had non-uniform days and raised over £500 for my charities so it was good to visit St Mary's C of E Primary School and Cadishead Primary School to give them their certificates. Well done and thanks for your help!
Thursday 13 May
Two very different engagements today as the Mayoress and I first welcomed Harold Riley to the parlour for afternoon tea. Shortly afterwards we threw the doors of the parlour wide open to accommodate 30 young people and a number of adults from Stagecraft.
We were really grateful that Harold and his wife were able to spare us the time to meet up. He had done one of the first Reflections at the start of the council meeting in November and, as I had not had a proper chance to talk to him then, I thought it would be a nice idea to meet over a cup of tea. This took longer to organise than I had thought but when it happened it was really enjoyable.
Harold is a true Salfordian, a friend of L S Lowry and a world renowned artist. We had a really good chat about a whole host of things and he very generously left me a print of one of his sketches which I will treasure. Hopefully we will meet again but in the meantime I will remember with great pleasure our conversation and the numerous funny stories he told us about incidents in his life.
Entertaining the young ladies from Stagecraft was another delight! They arrived in a rush and quickly demolished the buffet which we had laid on and then had a look at some of the city's silverware before a look at the council chamber.
Stagecraft have been with me throughout my mayoral year and have drawn very appreciative comments after all of their performances. I wish Carol and the girls all the very best for the future and thanks for all your help during the past year.
Wednesday 12 May
Quite surprisingly for this year we were greeted by a beautifully sunny day as we set off to Chetham's School of Music for a ground breaking ceremony for the new school building. I met Claire Hickman, head of Chetham's, at a dinner a few weeks ago and confessed to her that I had never been to Chetham's so I think this invitation must have sprung from this chance conversation.
The plans for the school are breathtaking and will really open up the mediaeval heart of Manchester. After the ceremony we managed to have a look round some of the 14th century building in the company of one of the school's governors.
We also discovered that Chetham's is not a private school, pupils audition for places and are only expected to pay what they can afford, the rest is paid as part of a Government scheme to reward and encourage musical prowess.
The Mayoress and I promised to pay a return visit later in the year to listen to one of the school's lunchtime concerts - by then the build should be progressing well as the £41/2 million building is due to be completed by January 2012.
My second thank you party took place tonight and this time it was the turn of all the members of my Charity Committee, the Mayor's staff and other staff from the city council to get a Mayor's Certificate. I have always thought it really important to say thank you to people when they have helped and my year would not have been so successful without all the help I have had.
I was particularly pleased to welcome Richard and Jude Bazen who produced the highly successful Mayor's Ale; Ruth Steenson who is head of Citywide catering, who have produced some wonderful food during the year, particularly for the Mayor's Ball and Tom Rogers from Salford Online who have played such an important role in the development of my webcasts. Thanks again to everyone involved I could not have done it without you.
Tuesday 11 May
After chairing a meeting of the Council Agenda Setting Group in preparation for the next council meeting I met with Nick Page, Acting Strategic Director for Children's Services. Nick had just recently completed a Snowdonia challenge which had involved walking up Snowdon, a run and a bike ride before a very cold swim across the lake at Lledr Hall.
He had done this in aid of the Mayor's Charities and so far has raised over £800 although he is hoping to make this over £1k by the time all the money has been collected. My thanks to Nick for this extraordinary effort and I gather this is going to be an annual event in the future - unfortunately I don't think I will be taking part!!
Monday 10 May
Our first engagement today was lunch with the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, Peter Fahy, at the Sedgley Park Centre, Prestwich. Before we sat down to lunch we were given a briefing by some of Peter's weapons experts and we were able to see at first hand some of the problems they face trying to sort out toy guns from real guns and also the truly frightening guns that are actually out there on the streets.
The lunch was a thank you from the police to all the boroughs and cities in Greater Manchester for hosting long service and gallantry awards for the police during the year.
As the Lord Mayor of Manchester was absent I had been asked to respond to the Chief Constable's speech which was a great honour and drew a few laughs from the assembled dignitaries and police officers! It was probably the last time most of the Mayors will meet up before our reunion later in the year so whilst it was very enjoyable it was also tinged with sadness.
In the evening the Mayoress and I went to the Lowry Centre to welcome delegates to the CIB World Congress. The reception was held in the Quays Bar at the Lowry which gave our international visitors a wonderful grandstand view of the rapidly emerging MediaCityUK, the War Museum of the North and the Theatre of Dreams - a truly magnificent skyscape and I hope they were all impressed.
Sunday 9 May
My last ever trip to the Executive Box at the Theatre of Dreams was obviously tinged with disappointment as Chelsea rained on the Reds parade. I have really enjoyed the privilege of watching United in the Executive Box and also enjoying their very generous pre and post match hospitality, it really has been one of the highlights of my year.
Saturday 8 May
A busy day started off with yet another bag-packing session, this time at Morrisons in Eccles. The bag-packers were a mixture of young carers and pupils from Bridgewater School. Morrisons was very busy as usual and hopefully customers will have been as generous as they have been in the past - we'll have to wait and see.
Our next engagement was at the Quays to watch the Two Cities boat race. Actually it was a series of races between the two Universities, Salford and Manchester, interspersed with some Dragon Boat races featuring competitors from local businesses.
It was a rather cold day for early May so it was nice to be situated in a marquee, which also had the benefit of a hog roast!! Manchester University won very convincingly and I had a good opportunity to talk to some of the rowers and find out more about their sport.
After a break the Mayoress and I set off to pay our last visit to Salford Cathedral for a Songfest to listen to the massed choirs consisting of Salford Community Choir, Urmston Choral Society, Wigan Community Choir, Manchester Ladies Choir and the Salford Youth Training Choir accompanied by the Songfest Orchestra.
It was a beautiful setting and the Cathedral was absolutely packed for the event which was in aid of hospices in Salford, Wigan and Cheadle. The singing both by the choirs and the soloists was absolutely magnificent although I must confess that some of the material, particularly Songs of Sanctuary by Karl Jenkins, was outside my comfort zone. I'll just have to expand my horizons in all the extra time I will have available after I step down as Mayor!
Friday 7 May
After all the excitement of the elections and a very late night it was nice to have another trip to Pendlebury Evangelical Church for one of their community dinners. As always the food was excellent as was the company as I bumped into an ex-councillor colleague so we were able to catch up on news of old acquaintances.
The evening was rounded off by a husband and wife team, Chick and Margaret Yuill, who both amused the audience and made us think as they performed a number of songs for us. Altogether a very enjoyable evening. George Harrison is an exceptional man and I wish him and his church every success in the future.
Wednesday 5 May
Ever since the days when I was chair of the Management Services Committee and more recently as chair of the Environmental Scrutiny Committee I have been interested in allotments in the city. Last year the Mayoress and I spent a great morning visiting a couple of allotment sites including the soon to be re-opened site at Cumberland Avenue in Cadishead.
Today on a rather grey and drizzly morning we visited some more allotments to see how the renaissance was continuing. First of all we went to the Weaste Allotment site and heard all about their ambitious plans for bringing into use 20+ derelict plots and also deal with the worrying problems of flooding which affects a number of plots.
Completely surrounded by houses the allotment site is a true oasis and it was good to see so many allotment holders on their plots. It was also good to hear that bee hives are going to be introduced on the site in the near future and we also met one of the would be bee keepers as we were leaving.
I am really pleased that so much seems to be happening on the allotment front and that there are waiting lists everywhere when just a few years ago they were struggling to keep going.
The weather seemed determined not to improve as we arrived at our next destination which was St Joseph's Primary School in Ordsall. We were there to open the new school garden.
Unfortunately due to the cold weather most of the ceremony had had to be moved to the school hall as otherwise I think the school choir and orchestra would probably got very cold indeed. A lot of hard work had gone into the fund raising and Sainsburys had played a key role in that with Eccles College and the city council providing the gardening input.
It looked delightful and it was good to see Salford Online covering the event and I was pleased to reassure one of their new reporters that they needn't be nervous about interviewing the Mayor! Great visit to the school and I hope the summer will give the children plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sunshine in their special oasis.
To round off a busy day we went to the Lowry for a splendidly energetic and colourful version of Carousel, in the round at the Quays Theatre given by Salford Musical Theatre Company. I don't know much about musicals but I soon recognised some of the songs and thought the whole show was brilliant. I hope to see some of the company's other performances in the future.
Tuesday 4 May
Only one engagement today when I had the great pleasure of presenting two Duke of Edinburgh Gold awards. Apparently the certificates are presented at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace but the medals are sent to the relevant local authority so the Mayor can present them.
Tragically one of the awards, that for Christopher Tickle, had to be awarded posthumously as he had been killed in an accident while playing rugby and this was accepted by his father who was accompanied by several of Chris's aunts.
Ross Seward, also a rugby player, was able to be there. I managed to have a conversation with a number of people there and found out a lot more about the Award Scheme and the role Eccles Rugby Club hope to play in enabling young people to take part in the scheme in the future.
Monday 3 May
Even though it was a Bank Holiday the work of the Mayor does not acknowledge such diversions! We had two very different engagements which typify the diversity of a Mayor's activities. In the morning we welcomed to the parlour a group of French musicians who had been in Salford for the weekend to take part in a music festival Sounds of the other City.
They were very impressed by the festival and the music scene in Salford and Manchester and were hoping to arrange more cultural exchanges between Salford and Clermont Ferrand in the future. They also gave me some CDs of their work so I will look forward to playing those.
From our brief meeting with Mr. No the Mayoress and I hurried to Kersal Moor to unveil a plaque commemorating a very famous Chartist gathering on the Moor in 1838.
At least 250,000 men and women from all over the North West assembled on the Moor to demand the vote. It was ironic that this ceremony should take place in the same week as the General Election and that now we take for granted all of the demands the chartists made all those years ago.
There was a good crowd on the moor and there were a number of stalls as well as entertainment from a brass band and the Manchester Community Choir who really were excellent. The band supplied a fanfare before I said a few words and then unveiled the plinth upon which the commemorative plaque is mounted. A very proud moment for the Friends of Kersal Moor who arranged the celebration and bid for the money for the plaque. I look forward to attending future celebrations on May Bank holidays in the future.
This page was last updated on 8 June 2010