Elegant Edwina Fogg, Marlborough’s new glamour mayor, took office on Monday night and set out on her magical year leading the town through an array of more than 20 royal diamond jubilee and Olympic events.
Before an audience of Marlborough’s leading citizens in the town hall, 70-year-old Edwina dedicated herself to her new role and announced a series of initiatives to add distinction to a truly special year to come.
“Edwina brings a welcome touch of glamour to the position – a quality that her male predecessors have been unable to emulate,” declared Councillor Graham Francis in moving her elevation.
“As the daughter of a sailor who later became a dock worker. She was then brought up by her mother in a one-parent family, Edwina experiencing hardship in much the same way as so many are enduring today.”
“But she determined to succeed and with the opportunity of acquiring a good education she became a highly qualified and very competent school teacher.”
“Tonight though she must surely have achieved the pinnacle of her success as Mayor of Marlborough in the year of Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee and the Olympic games.”
And a tribute to Edwina came from a man in the audience few knew was there – 81-year-old Illtyd Harrington, former deputy leader of the Greater London Council, and a friend of the Foggs since Edwina’s husband, Councillor Nick Fogg, worked as a supply teacher in the East End school where Mr Harrington was head of English more than 40 years ago.
He arrived from Brighton for the ceremony and told Marlborough News Online: “Everybody who meets Edwina falls in love with her. She will make a great mayor of Marlborough. She relates to people without any pomposity.”
“She has dignity and the appreciation that the role of the leading citizen is such a very vital thing.”
“It gives you that real and important connection with the community.”
He was impressed too by the historic setting of the ceremonial mayor-making ceremony in today’s “bland monochrome and flat world”, and added: “There’s very much a welcome feel of history here tonight. I just sat through the election of the new Mayor of London and it could have been the election of a tractor for a State farm.”
Edwina, who is Marlborough’s 702nd mayor, told the audience of almost 100 guests: “I am honoured to have been elected by my fellow councillors to this historic office. Yet there is an equal measure of trepidation as I think of the expectations generated at the start of each new mayoral year.”
“Unusually, I do have the advantage of some work experience, having twice, as mayoress, shadowed Councillor Fogg. He is officially my consort, but his chain of office has the inscription ‘mayoress’, which I am inclined to prefer.”
She added: “The overarching theme for this year will, of course, be the Queen’s diamond jubilee. In 1952, the town’s mayor, William Calvert, spoke on behalf of the council, when he sent greetings to the young Queen.”
“He wrote: ‘We fervently pray that Your Majesty may long be spared to rule over us.’ Now, 60 years later, we in Marlborough will be sending a message of congratulations to Her Majesty as we celebrate her long reign with a variety of events.”
“As the Coronation lightened the gloom of post-war austerity, so we hope that the 22 events planned for the weeks ahead will lift the mood in these uncertain times.”
Councillor Guy Loosmore was elected deputy mayor, Marlborough’s custom meaning that he will be due to be elected Mayor in 2013.