HYNDBURN folk turned out in droves to welcome their new Mayor and Mayoress last weekend.
Spring Hill councillor Pam Barton, 61, was officially installed as Mayor of Hyndburn for the municipal year 2008-2009, taking over the chain of office from Councillor Tony Dobson during a special meeting of the full council at Accrington Town Hall on Saturday.
After being sworn in, Councillor Barton, a Labour member for 10 years, thanked members for nominating her and referred to the recent Mayoral election in London.
She said: “I have always considered myself a bit more Ken Livingstone than Boris Johnson but I am going to echo Boris by saying how genuinely proud I am to take this role. By the way, if you ever hear me quoting Boris again please remind me to take my tablets.”
Following the meeting Councillor Barton, her Mayoress, Sue Johnson, and other council members and officials paraded to St James’ Church for a service conducted by the Rev David Lyon.
The parade included members of the Boys’ Brigade, British Legion, Army Cadets and the Haslingden and Helmshore Brass Band.
After the service guests enjoyed lunch at the Town Hall, provided by the catering department from Accrington and Rossendale College, where Councillor Barton works as a part-time assessor.
Lancashire county councillors Doreen Pollitt and Dorothy Westell gave speeches following the meal.
Councillor Pollitt said: “Pam has been so active for so long. She has always had a passion for local issues. The local people know her and she knows them.”
The Mayor’s brother, Tony Bennett, flew over from Dallas, Texas, to celebrate with his older sister.
Councillor Barton, a widow who has two grown-up daughters and two grandchildren, said: “I am so pleased he could be here today and I have enjoyed catching up with him. It’s a special day and I am thrilled he is here.”
During the meeting former councillors Lesley Jackson and Elizabeth (Betty) Court were made honorary alderman of the borough.
Many of the guests ended the hectic day at the Peel Park pub in Accrington, where the Mayoress, a mother-of-two and devoted charity fund-raiser, is the landlady.