Mayor’s Diary - Cllr John North

Councillor John North
The Mayor of Wells, Councillor John North has a regular slot within the Wells Journal newspaper where he recounts the events of the last week. 

They are also listed below:

The Mayor of Wells also has a Facebook page which is here - https://www.facebook.com/mayorofwells

Welcome to the forty ninth and fiftieth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

13th May 2018 [week 1]

This week we have been busy once again and it was great to finally have some sun and warmer weather.

First, we had a wonderful afternoon tea with Somerset Sight. It was great to meet everyone and to also meet two veterans who flew spitfires in WW2. This is a wonderful charity providing helpers to work with visually impaired people who, otherwise would not be able to lead an independent life. One example was a young man who has recently ran in and completed yet another marathon. He is hoping next year to run in the London Marathon with his guide, so we wish him the very best of luck in his application.

Next it was the opening of the 817th Charter May Fair. It was a great pleasure to open the fair with the Mayoress. This year the Dodgem cars returned which brought back many a memory from my early teenage years. The only thing to change was the music. Last time I rode the dodgems it was Rod Stuart playing “Maggie May” or, “You Wear It Well. How time change. Anyway, Gail and I had great fun bumping into everyone before we set off for a buffet luncheon, with the Western section of the showman’s guild.

Due to illness Sean Rogers was not able to be at the fair. Instead we had a wonderful speech from Scotty and from Mr Richard Green, an honorary life member of the showman’s guild. At the Luncheon Gail and I presented the Rogers family (via Richard) a commissioned painting by Michael Jackson depicting the fair as a thank you from Wells for all the wonderful fairs they have brought to our City.

Our thanks to the showman’s guild for their generous donation to the Mayor’s Charities. I must also thank Mendip District Council and the Town Clerk, for all the work they put in to make this fair happen and safe for all to enjoy.

Sunday saw Gail and I enjoy our first BBQ at home this year. It was wonderful to have a free afternoon and relax in our own garden for a few hours reading and enjoying the wonderful sunny afternoon.

On the Bank Holiday Monday we attended the May fair held by the Lions. With temperatures soaring, everyone was able to bask in the sun and enjoy the May Day fair in the market square. With Poppy playing her violin and the City Band entertaining us, it was soon time to gather around the May Pole. There it was great to see girls from two of our junior schools here in Wells performing traditional dancing around the May Pole and having great fun. I did suggest that the Chair of the Lions, Paul Clegg joined the Mayor and Mayoress, for a quick dance around the May Pole. Unfortunately, this fell upon deaf ears.!!!

After such wonderful dancing, the Mayoress and I were treated to a ride in a 1965 Bus. This was very reminiscent of the days when travelling to school, not so may years ago. My thanks go to the Wells City Lions and all their helpers for putting on this wonderful day for everyone to enjoy.

On Thursday, Gail and I had great pleasure in visiting the Wells air Cadets and to present them with their cheque from the fundraising we had done during the year. They have now been able to order their flight simulator and by the end of June should be up and running.

On Saturday morning, we welcomed visitors from Naumburg in Germany. They were very warmly welcomed to the City by the Town Crier and then enjoyed Tea in the Mayors Parlour. The City Archivist then gave a presentation on the history of the charters, which were also on display for all to see. Thankyou Julia for making this happen as I know its not often these documents are able to be seen.

Sunday and we both attended the Mendip Classic Car rally. We were collected from outside of the Town Hall and driven to the event in a 1924 Belsize open top car. The rear seats were exceptionally comfortable and the sound of the engine and gearing just great. There’s something special about a classic vintage car.
It was a great day and Gail and I were very pleased to help hand out Awards, and the Raffle. Thanks to all who organise this wonderful event. Not only is it great to see some great cars, but to see so many people on the green enjoying themselves.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.



Welcome to the forty eighth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

30th April 2018 [week5]

This week had me chairing my last full council meeting of the City Council. It has been a great honour to chair these meetings over the year, to welcome and hear members of the public contributing to our debates and for councillors to add their own perspectives during the meetings.

This week has seen Gail and I attend “Heads up” to meet with the team and look at future fundraising opportunities. Saturday morning saw us leading the W.I parade with the county chair. Over four hundred and fifty ladies came to Wells to celebrate one hundred years of W.I in Somerset. We assembled at the west door of the Cathedral before processing behind the band, through Wells High Street to St Cuthbert’s Church.

Once there we had a rousing rendition of Jerusalem before enjoying refreshments and cakes in the Church. A big thank you to all who organised the parade. It was a great that the W.I chose the City of Wells to process through and celebrate their anniversary. Many congratulations for the Mayor and Mayoress.

Next it was a quick dash up to the Market Square where the Grey Dogs Jazz Band were playing for the Mayors Charities. We raised over £250 pounds during the morning and I am very grateful to the Band for their support.
The Grey Dogs are a great Jazz ensemble and if you get the chance they are well worth a listen.

That evening we welcomed the Sindaco(mayor) and his Twinning delegation from Italy at Seager Hall. On the Sunday we all met up for Luncheon at Wookey Whole before our guest enjoyed an afternoon tour of the Caves. The evening was spent at the New Inn, Wedmore for an informal buffet.

Monday, we welcomed the Sindaco to the Town Hall and the Mayors Parlour. The Town Crier rang his bell and cried a welcome for our guests. A tour of the Town Hall took place before luncheon was held in the Parlour, with the Town Clerk joining us for a most enjoyable light lunch. My personal thanks to the Mayoress who organised this so very well. After sharing the loving cup, we looked at how we could work better together for our communities. A farewell dinner was held for our guest at the Courtyard Restaurant before an early departure on the Tuesday morning.

During our Mayoral year it has been a great privilege to meet the Mayors of our Twin and friendship towns. Both Gail and I have promoted Wells and our community to our Twin and Friendship towns, with the aim of fostering closer ties and gaining learnings for our respective communities. Twinning is after all for the community.

Next week we have the May Fairs to look forward too. Let’s hope the weather is more like summer than of late.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

Welcome to the forty seventh instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

22nd April 2018 [week4]

There was quite a major shock for all at the Wells Golf Club this week. One senior’s member, has always said they would never use a battery powered golf trolley. Well, this week, a very well-known man in green, turned up at the first tee with an electric trolley. Not only that, he even had the audacity to finished third in the red tee challenge. Well done Len. The trolley must have saved you at least two shots, not having to push one any more.

During the week the Mayoress and I attended two musical events and a birthday party. First up was a visit to Fletcher House where they were celebrating the National Care Homes Open Day and secondly the Queens 92nd Birthday. Great fun was had by all, singing along to some well-known tunes. It’s been a great pleasure to meet everyone at Fletcher House on many occasions during the Mayoral year.

Next it was off to the Town Hall for a concert in aid of the Mayors Charities by Wells City Band. Our thanks go to Jane Hill and all those who helped put on this concert together and helped on the night. We all had a great time and raised some valuable funds for Heads Up and the Air Cadets.

Saturday evening, we were at the Swan Hotel. For one night only live from Chicago, via Birmingham, The Blues Brothers came to Wells. Seventy people came along for dinner, live music and dancing to Jake and Elwood Blue on a mission to raise money for the Mayors Charities.

Again, the Mayoress and I would like to thank all those involved in putting on this event. It’s been hard work holding all these wonderful events over the year. Saying that though, we have had some great fun and raised some serious money for charity. Thank you everyone who has supported us and attended the events we have held.

I also had great pleasure during the evening in making a Mayoral award for outstanding achievement to Mr Mark Tobin. Mark not only manages the “Swan Hotel” but does so much for the promotion of the City year on year.

If that were not enough during the day, he has also made time to raise nearly half a million pounds for McMillan Charity. Mark, we should all thank you for the work you have and continue to do for those who have or are fighting cancer. One day soon I am sure we will not only be able to cure cancer but prevent it in the first place.

Next week-end Gail and I will welcome the Sindaco(Mayor) and his guests from Fontanellato. We look forward to welcoming them to Wells and hope they enjoy seeing some of our historic sites as well as sampling some of our modern-day hospitality.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

Welcome to the forty sixth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

15th April 2018 [week 3]

During this week the Mayoress and I attended a retirement party held by two lovely ladies who, after a decade or more of serving the most wonderful fish and chips in Street, have decided to retire. We would like to thank them for their hospitality, great food and, for sharing some of the most wonderful homemade Italian wine. We both had a fantastic evening, made new friends and met many old friends once again.

Next it was time to hold the Civic Dinner and I would like to thank all those who came along to the Swan Hotel to celebrate another successful year. Both Gail and I thank you all for the help you have given us over the last year and hope you all enjoyed the passing of the “loving cup” with port. This has been a yearly tradition for as long as I can remember. Long may it continue.

Next it was time for a personal engagement for Gail and myself. We took time out to catch up with some of my family which I had not seen for such a long time. We all enjoyed luncheon at the Bath Arms and spent a couple of hours catching up on what we had all been doing since we last met all those years ago.

It reminds us all how quickly time goes by, without us really knowing. My thanks to Isobel for organising and we look forward to catching up once again later in the year. A wonderful afternoon.

Later this month Gail and I will welcome the Sindaco(Mayor) and his guests from Fontanellato. We look forward to them enjoying their visit to Wells seeing some of our historic sites as well as enjoying our modern-day hospitality.

I know I mention the Mayors Charities most weeks in the diary, but we still have two more events to go. Later this week I hope you will be able to find the time to attend at least one of them. Tickets are available for both events and it’s a great way to enjoy yourselves as well as helping two very worth organisations.

Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall – Tickets at Town Hall or on the door
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers – Dinner and dancing - Tickets at The Swan Hotel

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.


Welcome to the forty fifth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

8th April 2018 [week2]

By the time you read this Easter will have come and gone and probably all the hot cross buns and Easter eggs will have been eaten. The Mayoress and I hope you all enjoyed the Bank Holiday week end and made the most of odd dry spell that occurred. Forecasts say that the mid to latter part of April will be dry and warmer!

During this week I attended a meeting at Wells City Alms Houses and attended meetings of the City Centre Management Committee, the Planning Committee and chaired the Audit Committee at Mendip District Council.

Committees are where the bulk of the Councils work takes place. Councillors give a lot of their time to attend these meetings and work hard on behalf of the City and its residence.

In addition to these meetings the Mayoress and I along with the Deputy Mayor, attended a Twinning luncheon. Over fifty people attended at the Ring O bells, Wookey, for a most enjoyable event. Twinning has been going from strength to strength as membership increases and it’s a great way to meet people and make new friends.

Not only that, but the Twinning Committee and City Council work and liaise together on a regular basis to ensure we are all aware of what is happening with our Twin Towns.

Later this month Gail and I will welcome the Sindaco(Mayor) and his guests from Fontanellato. We look forward to then enjoying their visit to Wells seeing some of our historic sites as well as enjoying our modern-day hospitality.

I know I mention the Mayors Charities most weeks in the diary, but we still have two more events to go. I hope you will be able to find the time to make at least one of them. Tickets are available for both events and it’s a great way to enjoy yourselves as well as helping two very worth organisations.

Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall – Tickets at Town Hall or on the door
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers – Dinner and dancing - Tickets at The Swan Hotel

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

Welcome to the forty fourth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

2nd April 2018 [week 1]

By the time you read this Easter will have come and gone and probably all the hot cross buns and Easter eggs will have been eaten. The Mayoress and I hope you all enjoyed the Bank Holliday week end and made the most of odd dry spell that occurred. This must be one of the wettest March months for many a year. However, forecasts say that the mid to latter part of April will be dry and warmer.!

Time is really going quickly and this week the Mayoress and I attended the Twinning Associations AGM. It’s been a very good year for twinning as we have welcomed our friends from Bad Durkheim to Wells on two occasions. The second time was for Carnival and we welcomed the Burgermeister of Bad Durkheim Christoph Glogger and his Family. There was also a trip to Paray le Monial in August 2017. The association also held some wonderful fund raisers throughout the year and it is hoped a delegation from Paray will be able to visit Wells later in 2018.

Our thanks go to Richard Hibberd, Dawn Payne and all those associated with Twinning. For all the help they have given Gail and I during our Mayoral year in making visits to our twin towns and holding Mayoral events here in Wells. We have both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and making so many new friends in the process.

Next it was on to an evening of Beatles and friend Music in the Town Hall, supporting the Mayors Charities. Thanks to the Liberty Choir, The Blue Bells and live supporting band. A great night and a chance for everyone to get up and dance to some classic tunes from the sixties and seventies. Gail, our Mayoress was a natural and can really dance very well. I’m afraid I have two left feet but managed to have go. I suppose one must be showing one’s age when you know most of the words to most of the songs sung. Thank you to all who supported the Charities and with your kind donations we raised over three hundred pounds.

We are holding two more events for my Charities and I hope you will be able to find the time to make at least one of them. Tickets are available for both events and it’s a great way to enjoy yourselves as well as helping two very worth organisations.

Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall – Tickets at Town Hall or on the door
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers – Dinner and dancing - Tickets at The Swan Hotel

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

Welcome to the forty third instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

25th March 2018 [week 4]

This week seems to be the start of the annual general meetings in and around Wells. Firstly, I attended the Abbeyfield AGM. Abbeyfield House provides comfortable and homely accommodation within Wells City Centre. The residents enjoy independence and friendship of the community. They are abler to live in a happy and secure environment. Live-in housekeepers cook two meals each day and provide non-intrusive support. Every effort is made to ensure the residents needs are met so they can continue to enjoy their lives each and every day. Guest speaker was Mr Richard Cussell who gave a talk on the Wells Rotary and the charity work that Rotarians do not only in Wells but on a national and international basis.

Next, I attended the Little Theatres AGM. My thanks to Gerald Ayres and Richard Wright for their hospitality and a very well run and enjoyable AGM. It has been a long time since I last trod the boards at the Little T but I have very fond memories of performing in Panto, Old time music hall and the odd play. At long last the theatre has its new seating installed adding to the ambience and experience of the auditorium. Please support them by coming along to see their next show “Little Shop of Horrors” which runs from the 14th May for one week.

Saturday evening the Mayoress and I attended the Wells Cathedral Oratorio Societies latest production in the Cathedral. The Concert was in memory of David Flinders. The programme included Appalachian Spring and Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), Adagio for strings by Samuel Barber (1910-1981) and Gloria by John Rutter CBE (b. 1945) Patron of the Society.

The conductor was Matthew Owens (Organist and Master of the Choristers of Wells Cathedral) with the Southern Sinfonia and Alexei James-Cudworth as the Treble Soloist.

It looks like another busy week ahead. But there is still chance for you to attend a charity event in the coming couple of months to support the Mayors Charities

Tickets are available from the Town Hall & Swan Hotel.

Please remember to book up for these great Charity events taking place in March & April. Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Saturday 31st March 2018 – Choir Concert in the Town Hall – As advertised
Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall – Tickets at Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Tickets at The Swan Hotel

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

Welcome to the forty second instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.
18th March 2018 [week 3]

Another week has gone by and this week I was very proud to hear that the City had won an award. Wednesday I was at the Bishops Palace where the City was looking to become a coach friendly City. A great presentation to our assessor and a couple of hours later we were awarded the honour of becoming a Coach Friendly City. This was not the only test we had to pass. Several visits had been undertaken and tours of the city, to make sure we complied to all the requirements of this standard.

I must thank all those people who have spent so much of their time in preparing for the assessment and we look forward to benefiting from this new gained status. One area where we have really made progress is the “meet and greet” area and the team of volunteers who will welcome visitors at the Princes road car park. This area will soon be enhanced so visitors get a warm welcome and can fully enjoy their visit to the city.

Next the Mayoress and I were at the annual Legal Service. Not to be outdone by the inclement weather and snow we braved the elements and welcomed Somerset’s new High Sheriff and thanked the outgoing Sheriff for his year of service to the County. We also welcomed for the first time, the President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE PC FBA.

Again, thanks must go to all those who helped organise the day as this was quite a fluid situation due to the changing weather conditions. Special thanks to Jackie and the Cathedral team who with wellies managed the conditions and guest so well. One slight change was that we did not process from the Town Hall but formed up, once in the Cloisters. This worked just as well, as it looked like we all managed to find the correct seats.

Thank you to the Town Clerk, my Chaplain and all fellow councillors who attended today. Special thanks to Kevin for organising the Town Hall and the Air Cadets for showing guests where to go when entering the Town Hall.

All in all, a very good week for the City of Wells.

It looks like another busy week ahead. But there is still chance for you to attend a charity event in the coming couple of months.

Tickets are available from the Town Hall & Swan Hotel.

Please remember to book up for these great Charity events taking place in March & April. Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.


Saturday 31st March 2018 – Choir Concert in the Town Hall
Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

Welcome to the forty first instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

11th March 2018 [week 2]

Its been another busy but very exciting and rewarding week for the Mayoress and I. Firstly we made the final preparations for the Casio Royale evening (more on that later).

Up first was the monthly meeting of the Finace and General Purposes Committee. We made some very important decisions on the evening which will all help our local community. Firstly, we agreed to support a new MRI scanner at Musgrove. It was very poignant how many people we know who have benefited by being able to be scanned by one of these devices. We agreed to give £2,000 pounds.

Next, we had a presentation from the Museum and agreed to renew our yearly grant of £3,000 towards the continued development of the Museum, archives and TIC centre.

Then Saturday came, and it was the Casio Royale evening. Yes, we had wonderful Aston Martin DB11 parked outside of the Town Hall causing quite a stir before the evening started. My thanks to Kevin for displaying this wonderful piece of British engineering.

On to the event and ninety people came along to support our Charities. My thanks to Sean, Sara, Cara and ED for such Stirling work. To Bridget, Fran, Jane and Daniel from Heads up and the Air cadets. To Tina for the most wonderful cake which was just stunning, to my wonderful Mayoress Gail for all her help and support.

The evening would not have been so successful without our wonderful entertainment. Funtasia for the gaming tables. It seems black jack and roulette are popular pastimes.!. We had the voice of Dan Lealman who is true Bublé. Once again, he had the room dancing and joining in through his two great sets.

Our star guest needed no introduction. Dee Dee Wilde, One of the founding member of Pans People, with her Pans Fans, gave us a routine to remember. Dancing to Diamonds are forever the entire room was spellbound. So good were they, that everyone insisted on an immediate encore. My sincere thanks go to Dee Dee and her girls for doing this for the Mayors Charities. They stayed and danced with everyone throughout the evening. We all had a wonderful night which makes this event one to remember. Dee Dee, you are a real star. I Along with most of the room are not afraid to admit to getting hope early on a Thursday evening to see Top of the Pops. Not for the bands, but for Pans People.

Next was Sunday evening at Wookey Hole Theatre. We watched a dance interpretation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by dancers from the Somerset Dance Umbrella & Wells Ballet School. If you give young people a chance and enthuse them to want to succeed, there is no end to the talent and achievement they can show. They all did just that and both Gail and I were so impressed by what we saw. A big thank you must go to the teachers of Ballet, Dance and voice. You all can be very proud of what you have achieved.

It looks like another busy week ahead. But there is still chance for you to attend a charity event in the coming couple of months.

Tickets are available from the Town Hall & Swan Hotel.

Please remember to book up for these great Charity events taking place in March & April. Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Saturday 31st March 2018 – Choir Concert in the Town Hall
Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to The Swan

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.


Welcome to the fortieth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

4th March 2018 [week1]

I was hoping to report on some exciting events that I had attended this week but due to the inclement weather, they were cancelled. At least the Mayors Diary has not been affected so all you avid readers will not be disappointed.

I must also thank the City Council staff who turned up for work in the most difficult conditions, gritted the pavements in the Market Place and town centre, kept the public toilets open at the bus station and opened the Town Hall on Saturday so that a wedding could go ahead.
Secondly, I was very disappointed to hear that the town hall staff experienced several incidents of verbal abuse from members of the public who shouted and swore at them while they were gritting, and when cleaning the toilets. If you were one of those people, then it’s not too late to offer an apology to these staff members.
I do hope that everyone has coped during the last few days (Friday & Saturday) when we had heavy snow. It was great to see children out enjoying themselves and the odd snow ball flying through the air.

 At least the snow is now melting and making roads passable, so we can return to normality. Please still be careful when waking or driving as there will be icy patches that could cause an accident.

Still taking place was the Sunday Lent lectures. The Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church Oxford was unable to make the journey (for reasons we all know). But the show must go on and our own Dean stepped into the breach and delivered the address entitled “God”.

This coming Saturday (10th March) is the Mayors Charity Casino Royale evening. Please can I ask you to support this event as the more people who attend on Saturday, the more “Heads Up” and The Wells Air Cadets will benefit.

It promises to be a highly enjoyable evening where we can all enjoy ourselves and raise money for charity at the same time. The Mayoress and I look forward to seeing you all there.

Tickets are available from the Town Hall & Swan Hotel.

Please remember to book up for these two great Charity events taking place in March & April. Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Saturday 10th March 2018 - Casino Royale Evening at the Town Hall – Tickets now available from the Town Hall & Swan Hotel.
Saturday 31st March 2018 – Choir Concert in the Town Hall
Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

Welcome to the thirty ninth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

24th February 2018 [week 5]

Another good week for the Mayoress and I. Firstly we started off with a visit to the Museum. The theme for the evening was called “Wells in Business” and pictures illustrating the history of Wells trading were on display.
Dr Julia Wood the Wells City Archivist gave an enjoyable presentation on trading and business in the City from earlier times. We were also able to enjoy a tour of the Museum and some light refreshments throughout the evening. Both Gail and I had a very enjoyable time meting everyone and learning a little bit more of our Cities history.

Next, I chaired the Full Council Meeting of Wells City Council. This was a particularly thought-provoking evening as we debated a much-publicised standing order “3ri” regarding paper ballots and their use within the City Council. I would like to thank the members of the public who came to speak and hear this debate and to my fellow Councillors, who spoke both eloquently, and with great thought on this motion.

The rules regarding how motions to the Council are taken, prevented the Council from voting on the night. However, this motion has now been returned to the committee stage where the Voting Risk Assessment (which also needs greater review) along with voting practices, will be worked through before a new motion is presented to full council. We all want to see openness and transparency, but we also need to ensure our procedures enhance and not detract from the democratic process.

Friday saw both Gail and I at the Showman’s Guild Annual Civic luncheon, held in Swindon. A most enjoyable day as we were able to applaud Mr Richard Green, a great supporter of the Wells Fairs, being honoured by being awarded “Honorary Membership to the Guild for his work and support over the last twenty-five years.
Many congratulation’s Richard and well deserved. A big thank you to the Guild for hosting such a wonderful and enjoyable luncheon.

Saturday we were at the Cathedral for Choral Evensong where the German Choir of London joined the Girl Choristers and Vicars Choral of Wells Cathedral Choir. Next it was home for a quick change as the Mayoress and I attended the Wells Golf Clubs 125th birthday. The Club goes from strength to strength and I would like to thank the clubs President for their kind invite. Guest speaker was the Town Crier, Mr Len Sweales.

One more engagement and again we were both at the Cathedral for the second of the Lent Addresses. This week focussed on “Women in Society since 1918” and was given by Professor Joy Carter CBE DL, Vice Chancellor of Winchester Cathedral. We explored the increasing public role in society and during the last century of Women, and how their voice is now being heard more strongly. I honestly believe Women are just as equal and capable as men however, within society, equality does not always keep pace with expected aspirations.

Last but by no means least, please remember to support the Mayors Charity Casino Royale evening. It promises to be a highly enjoyable evening where we can all enjoy ourselves and raise money for charity at the same time. Tickets now available from the Town Hall & Swan Hotel.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

P.s Please remember to book up for these two great Charity events taking place in March & April. Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Saturday 10th March 2018 - Casino Royale Evening at the Town Hall – Tickets now available from the Town Hall & Swan Hotel.
Saturday 31st March 2018 – Choir Concert in the Town Hall
Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the Swan

Welcome to the thirty eighth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

18th February 2018 [week4]

It’s been a much better week for the Mayoress and I as we are now feeling a lot better than the week before. I keep hearing how many people in Wells are still affected by these winter viruses. I hope you are all feeling better soon, and we can start looking forward to some warmer and dryer weather with some Sun for good measure.

During the week we were able to catch up with friends and have a chat over a nice Tai meal. Something we have not had the chance to do for quite a while. It made a change just being Gail and John for an evening. However, that was not to last as the Town Crier had arranged for the Grey Dogs Jazz Band to play for the Mayors Charities.

Saturday morning saw the Grey Dogs playing in the Market Square with a guest appearance from that well-known singer Mr Maurice Day.!!. We even had people dancing on the cobble stones and dare I say, even the Mayor had a dance or two. Thankyou Sue, you did remarkably well. Unfortunately, the set was cut short by the inclement weather. I’m hoping we can repeat this again in April when it should be dryer and perhaps a little warmer.

On behalf of the charities I would like to thank the Grey Dogs Jazz Band, Maurice, Len and everyone who donated to the Mayors Charities on the day.


Sunday I was at the Cathedral for the first of the Lent Addresses. The first address was by The Rev Canon Rachel Mann, Canon Poet, at Manchester Cathedral. She explored the collapse of culture as witnessed by poets, soldiers and victims of the Great War. A topic explored in more detail in Rachel’s latest book Fierce Imaginings.

I wonder, do we always see a new God after great conflict or tragedy or, is God the one unchangeable, but we lose sight of God’s constancy and endurance with us.? It seems to me, we may not have developed as far as we sometimes think we have.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

P.s Please remember to book up for these two great Charity events taking place in March & April. Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Saturday 10th March 2018 - Casino Royale Evening at the Town Hall – Tickets now available from the Town Hall & Swan Hotel.
Saturday 31st March 2018 – Choir Concert in the Town Hall
Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the Swan


Welcome to the thirty seventh instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

11th February 2018[week3]

A very challenging week in more ways than one for the Mayoress and I. Sunday we attended the Victorian Banquet where a menu from that period was replicated from a menu as served at a Mayoral Banquet. It was good to see so many guests taking the time to arrive in period Victorian costume.

The Mayoress and I were hoping to use the Swan Hotels horse drawn omnibus but alas, we had to arrive in one of those new-fangled things, called a motor car. Can you imagine the parking challenges if this form of transport ever takes off in the City.?. It was a very enjoyable evening and we both had a wonderful time meeting so many people. Thank you to all who organised this event and to Mark and his team for looking after everyone.

Wednesday was the launch of the next Mayors Charity Event. Local press and radio were present as we unveiled the much awaited “Casino Royale Evening”. All were given a launch pack which also revealed the artists who will be performing ion the evening.

We will have a fire dancer to welcome you all to the Town Hall, Gaming Tables (blackjack and roulette) and a prize for the person who wins the most money from their Blofeld Bucks.

Back by popular demand is Dan Lealman as Tue Bublé. His repertoire is wide, varied and boy can he sing and get the dance floor full.

We also have a very special guest of honour who I am very grateful to, for giving up her time for this event. We have as our guest of honour Miss Dee Dee Wilde and her Pans Fans. They are putting together a bond themed dance routine especially for the evening. Dress to impress!

The evening would not be complete without Cocktails from five Bond Films for you all to enjoy and the odd Super Sport car park outside of the Town Hall. Tickets are on sale from the Town Hall reception and also the Swan Hotel.

Since Wednesday both Gail and I have been confined to bed with flu like symptoms. This led to us having to apologise for not being able to attend and event we had promised to do on Friday. I am very grateful to the Town Crier who stood in for me at such short notice. Thank you Len.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Wells.

P.s Please remember to book up for these two great Charity events taking place in March & April. Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Saturday 10th March 2018 - Casino Royale Evening at the Town Hall
Saturday 31st March 2018 – Choir Concert in the Town Hall
Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to The Swan


Welcome to the thirty fourth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

21st January 2018 [week2]

This week has for once been quiet on the events side but there has still been lots to do. On Tuesday Gail and I met with our charity fund raising team. Our thanks again for the work these volunteers have done to make the “True Bublé” evening such a great success.

We are now well advanced in the plans for our next Charity event on March 10th at the Town Hall. We are all very excited about our Casino Royale evening and we will release more details over the next few weeks.

This week saw the Wells City Councils Planning committee meeting take place. I would like to thank the Chair (Deputy Mayor, Cllr Celia Wride) for the way in which she chaired the meeting and ensured everyone was able to participate if they so wished.

It was good to see so many of the public in attendance. Those who spoke did so with clarity and succinctly made their point(s) to the members of the committee. Once again, we were discussing phone masts for mobile phones and the Local Plan Part ii.

Phone masts are not new to this committee and we (the members) are very aware of the concerns residents of Wells have surrounding these structures. I am sure we all wish mobile phone companies would develop a solution that does not require intrusion to residential space or line of vision.

Next was an open discussion on the Local Plan Part ii. This document is currently out for consultation. It was good to see members of the public engaging in this debate and sharing their views and concerns to the committee. The City Council is working hard on its response and I hope it will encompass a broad and inclusive approach.

Once again, we see that age-old problem of parking raising its head in Wells local media. Some highly innovative ideas have been suggested and I am sure there will be more to come. This is one of those areas that is very much a poison chalice as there is no quick fix or, one solution fits all.

However, it seems to me that there is certainly a debate to be had and a 21st Century strategy to evolve. Perhaps this is another area where the City Council, can work with the District Council collaboratively, to build that much needed joint strategy.!!.

Lastly, I hope everyone is now getting over the recent flu type virus that was going around, and feeling much better. I’m sure we are now all looking forward to warmer and dryer times.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful
Mayor of the City of Wells.

P.s Please remember to book up for these two great Charity events taking place in March & April. Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Saturday 10th March 2018 - Casino Royale Evening at the Town Hall
Saturday 31st March 2018 – Choir Concert in the Town Hall
Friday 20th April - Wells City Band Concert at the Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the Swan

Welcome to the thirty second and thirty third instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

14th January 2018 [week 1]

The Mayoress and I would like to start off by wishing you all a very Happy New Year for 2018. We hope you enjoyed Christmas and the New Year. My apologies for the delay in writing the thirty second instalment but, like so many over the festive period, both Gail and I succumbed to this flu bug that was, and still is, going around the area. This means once gain you get to for one.

This week though we made up for lost time and on Saturday evening, we held another charity dinner with music from True Bublé at the Swan Hotel. Our thanks go to all those who helped with organising and making last night such a great evening enjoyed by all who attended. Special thanks must go to Mark and his team who once again looked after us so well. It was good to see old friends and new coming together to raise money for the Mayors charities. We look forward to seeing you all at future events coming soon.

Sunday saw the Mayoress and I joined by the Council, Town Clerk and Mayors Chaplain as we gave thanks for the life and work of Bishop Bekynton and the water conduit in the Market place. This was followed by Choral Evensong with the Commemoration of Bishop Thomas Bekynton c.1390-1465 at his tomb in the Cathedral. At the beginning of the order of service you will have found the following -

“Thomas Bekynton was a local man. He was probably born c. 1390 at Beckington near Frome, from where his family took their surname. He was educated at Winchester (1404) and then New College Oxford (1406+) and rapidly secured a reputation as a scholar that lasted all his varied and busy life. He obtained employment at court, and was later involved in the negotiations, in France, for Henry VI’s arranged marriage. He undertook diplomatic missions for the crown in France. In England he acted as the King’s Secretary (1438), Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Keeper of the Privy Seal. He was closely involved with Henry VI’s plans for Eton College and its Chapel.

His court success led to rapid ecclesiastical preferment. Among other things he was made a Canon of Wells in 1439 and Chancellor of Oxford in 1442. When he was consecrated Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1443, it was in the old collegiate church at Eton, where he said his first mass under a tent in the King’s new, half-built, Eton Chapel.

At Wells he is remembered for his building of the gateways (Bishop’s Eye, Penniless Porch, and Brown’s Gate), domestic buildings in the Bishop’s Palace and the row of 12 town houses along the north side of the Market Place. In 1451 he made his famous grant of a conduit for the use of the citizens of Wells. He was also an educator and a builder of a School”

He worked for and supported his community in a way that had a positive effect on the lives of the people who lived in Wells. He gave them fresh running water. As the Dean said in his sermon, we too need to come together to work and help our community, living in a 21st century Wells.

Gail and I would like to thank the Bishop, the Dean and Cathedral Chapter for laying on refreshments in the North & South Transepts and the opportunity for us to meet and talk over a cup of tea or coffee.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful
Mayor of the City of Wells.

P.s Please remember to book up for these two great Charity events taking place in March & April.

Help us to support Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets who are the Mayors chosen charities.

Saturday 10th March 2018 - Casino Royale Evening at the Town Hall
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

The Mayors Diary

 

Welcome to the thirtieth and thirty first instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

 

 31st December 2017

 

This will be the last diary for 2017 and because of the festive break you get two for one. Leading up to Christmas was the Wells 2017 Christmas Market. It was a great pleasure to open this year’s market following on from last year. New this year were the Christmas Chalets which look to be a great success. 2018’s market I’m sure will be even bigger and better than this years.

We should all thank those concerned who helped organise this event. They are too many to mention individually, but I can say that it was a joint venture between Mendip District Council and Wells City Council who, working together delivered such a wonderful Christmas spectacle. It was great to see the streets of the City bustling with tens of thousands of people, all enjoying themselves over the four days and really getting into the festive spirit.

On Thursday evening Wells Council held its last meeting of the year. During the evening we heard from the organisers of the Wells Theatre Festival. This is due to take place next year between Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th July 2018. Patrons of the festival are Dame Judi Dench and Sir Richard Eyre.

Watch this space for more details in the first quarter of the New Year. The Mayoress and I then hosted the Council for Mulled wine and Mince Pies. A tradition dating back long before I even became a Councillor.

Saturday evening saw us attend the Cathedral Carol Service and we welcomed HM the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Somerset back to Wells. The Boy and Girl choristers and Vicars Coral sang a selection of carols and we all joined in with some of the traditional carols for Christmas.

We will attend Mid-Night Mass on Christmas Eve then, on Christmas morning, we will visit some of the elderly residents in Wells before we take a short break for our Christmas Luncheon.

On behalf of the Mayoress and I, can I thank all those who have helped us since May 20th, 2017, when were installed as the Mayor and Mayoress of Wells. It really is a 24/7 job and without your support, we could not have done the job we have.

For all the invites we have received and the fantastic events we have been able to attend. It’s a great privilege and pleasure to serve Wells and we look forward to continuing the hard work and service for our City in 2018.

The Mayoress and I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2018.

John                                                                           Gail
Cllr John North                                                          Gail North
The Right Worshipful                                                 Mayoress of Wells
Mayor of the City of Wells

P.S Please remember to book up for these two great events taking place in the New Year.

As I have previously mentioned in my diaries, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December, we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 -             True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music

Saturday 21st April 2018 -                  The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to The Swan                                                              

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

 

Welcome to the twenty ninth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.


17th December 2017[week 3]

This will be the last diary before Christmas. The festive season continues with people from across the area, congregating in Churches and our Cathedral. We sing carols and listen to choirs sing about the coming of the Christ Child and speak of good will to all. Let’s see if we can carry this good will message well into the new year.

Our high street is getting busier as people look for those important gifts to give loved ones and friends. To help we have the start of the Wells Christmas Market on December 20th which I hope you will visit and all enjoy. It is also the time for Christmas parties and functions. We all want to have a good time and enjoy ourselves but please - can I ask you not to drink and drive. The consequences are not worth the risk.

As you can imagine, this has been one of the busiest weeks of the year for the Mayoress and I. We started at St Cuthbert’s Church with a carol service on behalf of St Margaret’s Hospice Care. The theme of the service was called “light up a life”. The congregation were able to light a candle and remember loved ones or friends, who have passed away. For some, this will be the first Christmas without that someone special. It can be a very difficult time so if you know someone who is affected by a loss, make time to spend a little of your time with them.

Next it was back to the Cathedral for the Cathedral Junior Schools Christmas celebration. A theme based around an Advent Calendar and the surprise of opening a new window each day. The Mayoress was particularly enchanted by some of the youngest singers as they enacted Christmas themes throughout. We even got to sing a classic Christmas hit from the 70’s by Roy Wood & Wizard – I wish it could be Christmas every day.!!

Not to be out done, the Somerset County Federation of Women’s Institutes held their Carol Service on Wednesday with a very enthusiastic rendition of Jerusalem as we processed through the nave at the start of the service. This was followed by a wide selection of Carols throughout.

This was quickly followed by Age UK Somerset’s Carol service. Age UK Somerset exists only to help make life better for the older people of Somerset and North Somerset. They believe there is much to celebrate about getting older however, our later years can also prove challenging. Age UK offer a wide range of services and activities specifically developed to meet the needs of the over 60s. These include a popular Befriending service, an Information and Advice service, toe nail cutting clinics, lots of activity sessions, social groups and sessions to build confidence with new skills such as cooking, or how to use a computer.

On Thursday I was very pleased to attend the Christmas luncheon at Heads Up. It was good to meet up with Bridget and her wonderful team again plus, all of those who attend this organisation on a regular basis. The work they do is so vital. It gives people with mental health issues a place to go and meet new friend and undertake a wide variety of activities.

Thursday evening was the annual Mid Somerset Series Carol service. The Council were able to robe and process to the Cathedral and enjoy another wide range of Carols and readings. Well done to all the Children who sang for us. We have St Cuthbert’s Church of England Infant School and junior School, Stoberry Park School and then the Mid Somerset Christmas Choir.

One lady who deserves a special mention at this point is Jill Edmonds. Jill is Head of Music at the Cathedral Junior School, but has acted as Musical Director for so many of the Carol Services this year.

Friday and we both attended a Christmas Party at Fletcher House. It was great to meet everybody, and Gail & I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the afternoon with you all. We also had the pleasure of meeting a lady who is 102 years young. She is looking forward to Christmas as much as we all are. Gail and I will pop in to se you all again on Christmas morning.

Saturday was the Sing for Somerset carol service organised by the Somerset Community Foundation. Somerset Community Foundation has been inspiring community philanthropy since 2002. They currently manage over 84 funds for individuals, companies, trusts and public bodies. Over the last 15 years, they have supported hundreds of local charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises in our county.

As soon as the Carol service was over it was a quick dash to the Town Hall where the Wells City Band were giving their Christmas concert. The City Band has been going for over 144 years and is one of the oldest Town / City bands in Somerset. With a full ball room, we were entertained with a festive selection of tunes and Carols. A big thankyou for all the work you do in entertaining people within the City and across the area.


All that is left to say now is, the Mayoress and I would like to wish you all a peaceful and restful time over the festive period and we hope you have a very happy Christmas.


Cllr John North and Mrs Gail North
The Right Worshipful Mayor and Mayoress of the City of Wells.

P.s Please remember to book up for these two great events taking place in the New Year.

As I have previously mentioned in my diaries, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December, we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the Swan

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

 

Welcome to the twenty eighth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

10th December 2017[week2]

The festive season is truly with us and the City looks wonderful with the lights and Christmas displays on show this year. Already visitors have said how much they are enjoying seeing Wells at this time of year.

Things are getting really busy now for the Mayoress and I, as we get closer to Christmas. Monday was decorating another Christmas tree. This time in the Parlour ready for the Christmas Charity Fair. Gail and Sarah have a real flair for this and the Parlour is looking really festive. A big thank you to you both.

During the Week we attended the Towns Woman’s Guild national Christmas carol service. Over seven hundred members congregated in Wells and at the Cathedral for their Carol service led by Cannon in residence Dr Graham Dodds.

The Mayors Charity Christmas Fair was held on Saturday and a big thank you, to all the Stall holders who came and made the day such a great success. The ground floor and Ball Room was totally full of wonderful stalls with a visit from Santa during the day, meeting some very excited Children.

Gail and I must extend our thanks to all at Enosis Events who organised the day for us. That’s Sarah, Sean, Ed and Carra, Alex from the Town Hall Management team and Stuart the Markets Manager, for traffic management. It was truly amazing to see several thousand-people come into the Town Hall and enjoy the day and at the same time helping to raise money for the Mayors Charities.

On Saturday evening we attended an Oratorio in the Cathedral as the Wells Society performed Handel’s Messiah. Soloists were Amy Carson, Louise Innes, Paul Phoenix and Craig Bissex. Orchestration was led by Maggie Faultless and the Music for Awhile orchestra and the Conductor was Matthew Owens.

I would like congratulate Amy on her impending motherhood and we all hope everything goes well for you and baby. A wonderful evening enjoyed by many hundreds of people.

Sunday saw us attend a luncheon with members of the Wells Twining Association where we were able to reflect on a very successful year, where new friendships and closer ties were built with our twinning towns. My thanks to Richard, Tony and the team for their support over the year.

The last event of the week was the Cathedral School Advent Carol Service. During the service and by kind permission of the Dean, Dr John Davies DL, I was able to present the Mayors Award for Outstanding Achievement to Mrs Elizabeth Cairncross, Principal of the Cathedral School.

This award is in the gift of the Mayor and given to individuals who have excelled and reached the pinnacle in their chosen profession and career or, organisations who have given exceptional and outstanding service over a long period of time to their local community. Elizabeth has done both so well, and we are eternally grateful to her.

By being “what you are” Elizabeth, you have and continue to be an outstanding Principal and Leader of the Cathedral School, delivering excellence in education for your students and Musicianship which is shared by the whole community, not only at a local level but also internationally. A Legacy that you can be proud of, and which will continue to grow for years to come. Many, many congratulations.

As I have previously mentioned in my diaries, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December, we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: - 

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the Swan

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

Welcome to the twenty seventh instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

3rd December 2017[week 1]

He’s back – Yes, the man in green is back ringing his bell across our City. Len glad to see you in such fine fettle and good voice. Long may it continue.

Just over a week ago the police gave their monthly update at the meeting of the City Council. There was jewellery stolen off a market stall and shops ramraided in the High Street. The police are progressing with their enquiries however, can we all stay extra vigilant at this time of year. This is a time when criminals will come to our City and target the unsuspecting. We have already fallen victim to these people in Wells, so please take extra care to protect your valuables always.

Well, the Christmas season has finally started for the Mayoress and I. On Monday, Gail and I were in St Cuthbert’s putting up the Christmas tree ready for the Nativity display which was being held the following week-end. This was a self-assembly tree and required all the branches to be pre-sorted before connecting to the trunk. Luckily the Mayors Chaplain (Alistair Glanvile) was on hand to assist and a couple of hours later we had managed to assemble and decorate the tree.

Next it was an evening reception at the Lawrence Centre. Home to active living for the elderly. This centre is run by Maggie Charlesworth and her team who do a fantastic job providing a wide range of activities such as art and craft sessions, flexercise, cooking and interesting and varied speakers. With lunch and refreshments included in the day I’m sure everyone has a great time, not only enjoying the varied programme, but also meeting new friends in the process.

Saturday, we returned to St Cuthbert’s church and saw the wonderful Nativity scenes on display throughout the Church. We were both so impressed by the displays and the history behind some of the nativity models. Thank you so much for inviting us both and for looking after us so well, whilst we were there. It was at this point we had our first hot mince pie of the season with a glass of mulled wine. A lovely way to warm up on a winters day.

Sunday and we were in the Market Place for the opening of the 11th Annual Reindeer parade. It was a great honour for Gail and I to open the parade, and then present the four children’s prizes. The parade is organised by the Wells Rotary Club and we should all say a big thankyou to them for putting on such a great day for everyone. Especially for all the children.

We had six Reindeer this year and they all looked resplendent especially as some had still retained their antlers. Apparently, they drop off this time of year, only to grow back from March the following year.

Not only that, but Richard, Richard and Wendy (who organised the day), seem to have a personal line open to the big man in red. They managed to persuade Santa to make an appearance for the parade. I’m hoping all you children who saw Santa today, have remembered to write your letters to him. Hurry up if you have not, as he’s a very busy may at this time of year. For the Mums and Dad’s, just in case you want to be sure Santa is on route, you can visit the NORAD web site (other sites may be available) and track Santa has he makes his deliveries on the night.

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December, we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 9th December 2017 - Christmas Market in the Town Hall
Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

Welcome to the twenty-sixth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

26th November 2017 [week 4]

Firstly, I have been asked to make an appeal on behalf of the Wells Museum called “Save our Swan”. This is about restoring and conserving the original Swan who was taught to ring the bell in the 1850’s. All donations should be made directly to the Museum.

This week (Thursday) the Mayoress and I attended the Founders Day service at the Wells City Alms Houses chapel, led by the Dean of Wells, Dr John Davies DL. The Wells Alms Houses were founded by Bishop Bubwith who was Bishop of Bath & Wells from 1407 – 1424.

Nicholas Bubwith (1355-1424) was a Bishop of London, Bishop of Salisbury and Bishop of Bath and Wells as well as Lord Privy Seal and Lord High Treasurer of England. Bubwith was collated Archdeacon of Dorset in 1397 and again in 1400. He was Lord High Treasurer from 15 April 1407 to 14 July 1408. He also planned the building of St Savior's Wells hospital, but actual construction of the building started after his death. Bubwith was translated to the see of Salisbury on 22 June 1407 and then finally translated to the see of Bath and Wells on 7 October 1407. He died 27 October 1424

I’m sure that if he were alive today, that he would approve of how the Alms Houses are currently used and the way in which they have been looked after for current residents. The Board of Trustees and Management team work very hard to ensure that the Alms Houses are maintained to the highest of standards and their future is preserved and kept safe for generations to come. I would like to thank all those who are involved with the Alms Houses for the work they have and continue to do.

Thursday saw the Full Council meeting of Wells City Council where we were able to review the work of the committees during the month. The police gave their monthly update and it is especially important that we all stay vigilant at this time of year. This is a time when criminals will target the unsuspecting. Market stall holders have already been victims of this so please take extra care to protect your valuables at all times.

The week end came, and it was good to spend some quality down time with family for the first time since Mayor Making. We took a trip Ice skating at the Tropicana in Weston-Super-Mare, on what was to be the coldest day of the month. It was good to catch up and have a few hours together before having a lovely dinner with friends.

Sunday afternoon and we were both back at the Cathedral for the Feast of Christ the King. It was also an opportunity to hold the 200 Celebration. The Lord Lieutenant, High Sherriff and The Dean are all celebrating birthdays that if added together, total 200. I’m not going to divulge their ages, but after the service, we all sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed tea and cake to help them celebrate. I along with the Mayoress, would like to wish each of you a very Happy Birthday. We hope you will be able to celebrate with your family and friends on such a special day.


Coming up we have


Sunday 3rd December – Reindeer Parade

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December, we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 9th December 2017 - Christmas Market in the Town Hall
Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

Welcome to the twenty fifth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

19th November 2017[week3]

This week saw the Mayoress and I had another busy week. Firstly, we were invited to the Little Theatre to see a demonstration on how to create wonderful flower displays. The theme for the show was Snowballs and Sleighs. Having never been to anything like this before I had no idea what to expect.

We were very well looked after by our hosts “Wells and District Floral Art Society, and during the next hour and a half we were shown how to create some of the most beautiful Christmas flower displays I have seen. For once I felt out of my depth as I was the only man in the audience of one hundred and fifty ladies.!.

The evening turned out to be extra special as I met my cousin Isobel who I have not seen for many years. It was great meet again after so long and I promise we will get together in the new year and have a proper catch up.

On Friday we welcomed the Burgermeister of Bad Durkheim Herr Christoph Glogger, his family and senior members of their Twinning team to Wells. None of them had seen Carnival before, and they were really taken aback by the scale and complexity of some of the carts on display.

It was a busy week end for us all with a luncheon at a country pub, watching the carnival, visits to the Museum, Bishops Palace and Cathedral, a formal dinner and then a buffet luncheon on the Sunday. We also had to contend with stopping the carnival after it had only gone 400 meters, mistaken identity – yes, the Mayoress was mistaken for Her Majesty the Queen and the Burgermeisters wife as the Duchess of Cambridge.

My sincere thanks to the Museum, Cathedral and Bishops Palace for hosting our guests during their visits. They thoroughly enjoyed looking at and exploring our rich history.

On Sunday we held a buffet luncheon and thought about Twinning. Wells first twinned with Bad Durkheim 34 years ago and regular visits have taken place between us ever since. This has been organised by the respective Twinning associations and today is no exception.

My thanks go to the Town Clerk and Town Hall staff, the Chair of Twinning Mr Richard Hibberd and Secretary Dawne Payne who, without their commitment and the commitment of the Twining team, the week end would not have taken place. We also found time to help Christoph to celebrate his birthday.

Initially I thought Twinning was just about visiting with other towns. It is, but it goes much further that. Yes, we learn about each other’s cultures and see some wonderful sites but its more than that, it’s an opportunity build strong relationships and to build lasting (in fact I would say lifelong) friendships.

Friday evening, I talked to Christoph about what our two towns have to offer each other. When you think about it, it’s quite a lot. We are steeped in culture. Our towns histories and heritage are both unique and should be explored further. Wells has one of the top music schools in the Country and it would be great to see some of them performing for the people of Bad Durkheim. We also talked about tourism and visits between the two towns outside of twinning.

Local Business in Wells. There are a host of independent retailers in both towns. Perhaps there is an opportunity to exchange products and grow businesses. German Wine v Our Cider, British real ales (other drinks are available) local cheese and produce to name a few. I also had the opportunity to talk to the new head master of the Blue School about student exchanges between our two towns. He is very keen to get these started again and hopefully this can start during 2018.

There are a lot of opportunities for both our towns to explore. I hope time will allow during the rest of my Mayoral year, to put the building blocks in place to make this happen.
Coming up we have

Sunday 3rd December – Reindeer Parade

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December, we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 9th December 2017 - Christmas Market in the Town Hall
Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

Welcome to the twenty fourth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

13th November 2017[week2]

During this week the City came together to remember all those who have given their lives during two world wars and in all conflicts across the world. Thank you to all who have supported the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, to help Service Men and Women who have been affected by war or conflict.

Next, I am pleased to report that Wells Cathedral has won GOLD at Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards 2017. Many congratulations to Lindsay and her team at the Cathedral. They are now fast tracked into the South West Regional awards so good luck to you all.

During the Week the Mayoress and I again attended several important engagements. The first was on Thursday, when we were guests at the annual Macmillan Cancer Support luncheon at the Swan Hotel. This event was organised by Mr Mark Tobin who has been fund raising for the area for over ten years. During that time, he has helped to raise over three hundred thousand pounds for this Charity.

The function room and garden room were full without an empty seat in the house to help support the work this charity does. How many of us know someone who has been affected by Cancer, and needs that little bit of help at a time when it is most needed. Mark, you and the team are to be congratulated for the work you do gaining awareness for Macmillan Cancer and for the monies you all raise.

On Saturday morning the City held its first act of remembrance at the Conduit in the Market Place. At 11am we all fell silent to remember the fallen and the end of the First World War. It was good to see so many people gathered for this act of remembrance.

Saturday evening Gail I and were at the Cathedral to listen to Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society, who performed Magnificat by Bach and then Gloria by Vivaldi. The Soloists were Ali Darragh, Lesley Jane Rogers, Tim Wilson, Matthew Minter and Craig Bissex conducted by Matthew Owens, Wells Cathedrals Master of the Choristers and organist of the Cathedral.

At the start, the Music for a While Orchestra performed another piece from the composer Vivaldi. Concerto in A minor for 2 violins and strings op.3, no. 8. Wishing to replicate the period (1678 – 1741) the violins were without chin rests (which were only added in the 1820’s) and the Cellists were required to support their Chellos, rather than using a modern spike. A fabulous evening of music and singing which the Mayoress and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Sunday morning, we all gathered for the City’s service of Remembrance at St Cuthbert’s Church. With members of the Armed Services, the British legion, Civic Leaders, emergency services and local societies we spent time reflecting on the futility of War and the consequences these actions have.

As Mayor I had the honour to lay a wreath on behalf of the City. A very poignant moment in my Mayoral year. This was before taking the salute at the march past in the high street alongside Major General S H Brooks-Ward CVO OBE TD VR.

During the latter part of this week, we welcome the Burgermeister of Bad Durkheim his family and members of their twinning society. I hope you will join me in making them very welcome to our city. They will like so many others be enjoying Carnival for the first time. I hope everyone has a wonderful evening and also takes time to enjoy the fun fair in the market place once the carnival has finished.


Coming up we have:

Friday 17th November Wells Carnival
Sunday 3rd December – Reindeer Parade
Saturday 9th December 2017 - Christmas Market in the Town Hall

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December, we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

Welcome to the twenty third instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

5th November 2017[week 1]

I would like to start this week’s diary by saying how quiet the centre of Wells has been this last week. You may wonder why, well a clue would be a lack of a green uniform and loud bell. Yes, our Town Crier has at last been silenced by a new hip. The good news is that it is only temporary and normal service will be resumed before Christmas. We all wish Len a good recovery and to say Wells has not been the same without his presence.

Len, so many people have said to Gail and me what an asset you are to the City. The City is better with you, rather than without you. We all look forward to our Town Crier resuming his crying, once nurse Rosemary permits.

Last week I mentioned Mondyes Court and their fund raiser for Save the Children. Well the committee and guests raised £600 for the fund. Congratulations to you all.

During the week Gail and I were invited to join a lecture at the Cathedral to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This was when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the doors of Wittenberg Cathedral. The lecture was given by a young Ph.D. Scholar from Oxford, Charles Dale of Lincoln College. In this 500th anniversary year, Charles explored the theme ‘Reformation: Blessings and Deficits’.

Next it was on the bi-annual meeting of the Brittaines Charity. A local charity that helps those most in need from Wells and St Cuthbert’s Out parishes. It could be the cost of a bus fair to visit a someone in hospital or to help with a new fridge. These may sound small amounts but to some they make a very big difference.

Later that evening it was the Tourism forum and then Planning where the City Council were consultees for the new development of 203 homes on the Wookey Hole Rd. Thank you to all those who took time out of their busy schedule to come along and speak on this application.

On Saturday, we decided to try Luncheon at the Sherston Inn. We learnt that it was under new management. Having only been there for eighteen weeks, they have made a good start to their tenure especially, with their “Steak on the Stone”. This gives you the opportunity to cook your steak as you eat it, and to your own liking. We both had an enjoyable time and if you are passing by, drop in and try if for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed.

This week you will have seen poppy sellers out on the streets of Wells and across our local community. Please can I ask that we all donate to the Royal British Legions “Poppy Appeal”. Let us wear our poppies with pride over the next week. We must never forget the millions who gave “their todays for our tomorrows” so we can live in peace and freedom.

The Mayoress and I will be attending two acts of remembrance during the week-end of the 11th and 12th November. On the 11th November, we will be congregating at the Conduit in the Market Place at 10:45am to mark the ending of the first world war. You are all welcome to join us for this short act of remembrance. Then on Sunday 12th November at St Cuthbert Church from 10:15am when the City remembers all those who have given their lives in conflict.

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December, we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 9th December 2017 - Christmas Market in the Town Hall
Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

For the Christmas Fair please contact Sarah (number at bottom of poster) and for the other two events, tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

Welcome to the twenty second instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

29th October 2017[week5]

This week has been another busy week with several important events to attend.

We started off with a charity fund raiser at Mondyes Court. The charity was Save the Children and it was very well attended. Both Gail and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the residents and friends who took time out of their busy schedule to support this very worthwhile charity. If somebody could let me know how much was raised I would be happy to mention this in next week’s diary.

Next up was Wells City Councils, monthly Full Council Meeting. During the meeting we heard from the Police that several shops are still being targeted by ram raiders. This was also brought directly to my attention later in the week by a concerned resident of Wells. I will keep you updated as the Police investigation progresses.

I must also mention our Town Clerk who, with the Police, were able to manage some rather noisy buskers in Wells this week. Whilst busking is not illegal, the correct permits are required to street trade. Likewise, any amplified music should not be so loud as to cause annoyance to others.

Wells welcomes buskers and I have to say, some of the performers are of a very high standard. Please though ensure you abide by the rules.

Saturday, we had two events. The first was to attend the Mendip Rocks 2017 Festival Finale. Delegates could hear lectures ranging from the Mendip Earthquakes to exploring Mendip Caves Deepest Passages. Perhaps one day it will be possible to cave from Swildons Hole via sumps and exit at Wookey Hole caves.

During the morning refreshment’s I was able to have a brief chat to Professor Danielle Shreve (RHC London). Danielle is currently interested in mammalian responses to abrupt climate change at the end of the Pleistocene. She is also involved in excavations at key cave sites in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, Creswell Crags in Derbyshire and Kent’s Cavern in Devon, to recover new fossil material of Lateglacial age.

In the evening Gail and I, alongside the MP for Wells, Mr James Heappey, attended the annual Wells British Legion Poppy Concert. Wells City Band performed a list of popular tunes in the first half and during the interval we were entertained by young violinist Poppy McGee. Poppy is one of the most talented violinists for her age and was given a standing ovation at the end of her performance.

During the latter part of the second half we were reminded why we were all here. The focus was very much on the sacrifice, so many have made on our behalves, but also, to look forward to supporting and helping servicemen and women who have been injured or need help to rebuild their lives going forward.

Please can I ask that each one of us, donates to the Royal British Legions “Poppy Appeal”. Let us wear our poppies with pride over the next two weeks. We must never forget the millions who gave “their todays for our tomorrows” so we can live in peace.

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. December we have a Christmas Market in the Town Hall. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 9th December 2017 - Christmas Market in the Town Hall
Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

 Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

Welcome to the twenty first instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

22nd October 2017[week4]

This week the diary comes of age. Yes, we have reached the twenty first instalment of the Mayors Diary. Not bad for someone who until they became Mayor had never kept a diary before. This week has seen a series of events that brought home to Gail and I, what it means to be the Mayor and Mayoress of this wonderful City. More on that later.

First it was a meeting of the board of trustees for Wells Alms Houses. It was good to sit down with likeminded people who want to work together for all those who live at the Alms Houses. Securing their future, and the future of new residents over the long term, is one we all take very seriously.

Wednesday and it was off to the Cathedral for a talk on Modern Day Slavery. Guest speaker was the Bishop of Derby who gave an enlightening speech on how even today, there are so many people who are suffering a form of modern day slavery in everyday life. It could be in the work place, a sector or industry.

There could be pressures from employers, threats to family members overseas, or, just someone who feels they are a prisoner in their own home due to some form of persecution.

Yes, modern day slavery has even happened in Wells within the last five years. If you know of anyone who could be in this situation, please contact officers of Wells City council via the Town Hall. Your call or letter will be treated in the very strictest of confidence.

Next it was on to a meeting of the Archives and Civic Asset’s committee. The meeting was held in the Museum and we were given a tour of the Archives. Here we could see the history of Wells unfolding in the artefacts and books entrust for safe keeping for future generations to enjoy. The beauty is, that we will keep adding to the collection so there will always be a reminder of our rich historic tapestry.

Friday evening was spent at Cedars Hall for a concert by some very talented students presenting their show “Give my Regards to Broadway”. Another first-class performance from each and everyone concerned within the show. These young musicians and singers are some of the most talented for their years in the Country.

I would encourage anyone reading this to make the effort to attend a performance at Cedars Hall, and to hear for yourselves what can be achieved by young people who are motivated and have a desire to succeed.

Saturday was another busy day. Firstly, back to Cedars Hall for the District Conference of Rotary. Gail and I were made very welcome and thanks to Sally, the Mayor ended up doing some Indian dancing after lunch. During the morning plenary session, we had the pleasure of listening to two very inspirational ladies who have achieved so much in their own lives.

Firstly, Jane Walker MBE. A former journalist and now CEO of Purple Community. She set up a charity to help poverty stricken families in the Philippines and latterly in the UK. They help communities transform their own lives with new skills training, education, health and nutrition programmes.

Secondly, Sally Kettle. The only woman to have rowed twice across the Atlantic. Firstly, with her mother and secondly with a group of three other ladies. Please take time to look up these remarkable women on the web. No matter what odds they faced, they still achieved their goals.

It was then a quick dash to the Cathedral to help the YMCA Celebrate their 125th birthday. Over three hundred people came to help them celebrate and Karen, their CEO, should be very proud of what she has achieved over the years, she has worked for the YMCA. We heard some remarkable stories of how, with the help of the YMCA people pulled themselves out of rock bottom and despair, to themselves, go on to achieve success in their own lives and play a role in their local community.

The YMCA enables people to, and in their own words - “develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by, and faithful to, our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive”.

Finally, this week it was the Civic Service for Burnham and Highbridge. My thanks to the Mayor, Cllr Hancock and his wife for hosting an excellent service and afternoon tea. Again, I had the pleasure of listening to young people singing during the service and showing us just what they can achieve if given the chance.

At the beginning of this diary entry, I mentioned what it meant to Gail and I to be the Mayor and Mayoress of Wells this year. This week Gail and I saw first-hand so many examples of what it is serve. As Mayor and Mayoress, you are there to serve. You are in a unique position to help your local community in so many positive ways. We will do so, to the very best of our ability.

In the words of Bishop Peter, it is better to serve than be served. If during our Mayoral year we can serve our City by helping people, or be there to support others, then we will have in some small way, contributed to making our City a better place to live.

So, here is your chance to help serve two organisations in your City. As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

Welcome to the twentieth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

15th October 2017 [week 3]

I want to start this week with what I can only call good housekeeping within Wells. Please can I ask all those people who park outside of Weatherspoon’s illegally, to consider not repeating this on future occasions and park in the car parks provided. This may sound rather petty but I am always being pigeonholed about this most weeks by residents. Thank you in advance for taking heed.

Secondly, I was very pleased the Finance Committee of Wells City Council could fully support the Changing Places project. Once complete, this will give adults with special needs a facility where their carer can assist them and know there will be all the right equipment on hand for doing so. This will be one of very few such changing places in the area. Once complete it will allow people who need such a place, to feel able to visit our beautiful City.

This week the Mayoress and I were able to attend two services in the Cathedral. The first was a dedication of the Cathedral. Led by the Dean, the congregation were asked to think about the life and times of the Cathedral and the importance today of such a building to the community.

A very big question, but one Wells Cathedral is successfully answering in so many ways. Spend some time within the Cathedral walls and you will understand exactly what this great and historic building offers communities today.

The second was a service of Harvest Home. Along with the Young Farmers of Somerset and students of the Cathedral school, we celebrated this annual event. We gave thanks for the safe gathering in of the crops and rearing of animals. To think about the challenges that modern farming brings, and how important the farming community is to rural communities. My thanks go to the caterers who provided such a wonderful supper in the Town Hall after.

I also want to mention all the Market Stall holders who come to Wells each Wednesday and Saturday. I’m beginning to work my way around all the stalls but, without you, the market would not be what is today. Also to those people who take time out each week to read the Mayors Diary.

There seem to be more people reading the diary than I thought. Even though I’m no budding novelist, I hope I keep you all informed of what your Mayor and Mayoress are doing each week.

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

 Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

Welcome to the nineteenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

8th October 2017[week2]

Two weeks ago, I made comment about the road works on the Glastonbury Road which has blighted us for so long this year. At long last they have gone and the road has been re-surfaced. Alas this could be only temporary as there is still more work to be done to the water “run off” and drainage.

Although this is mainly off road, we may still be suffering traffic lights for a further week. I have suggested to SCC Highways department that this should be delayed until March / April 2018, and to be frank, we have had enough of the long delays and traffic queues for one year.

This week though, Gail and I have felt very proud to be the Mayor and Mayoress of this great City. We were really pleased to welcome some overseas students from Wells Cathedral School to the Parlour for afternoon tea. Their visit included a tour of the Town Hall, the now disused prisoner cells, a history of the Town Hall and previous Mayors of the City.

They were also shown the Maces (as carried by the Mace Bearers) the High Constable Staves, the corporation Bible printed in the early 1600’s which all Mayors take their oath of allegiance on plus the book of Mayoral signatures. It is always a privilege to show visitors part of our heritage and history. If time allows, I am sure the Mayoress and I will open the Parlour for future high teas.

Sunday was the much-awaited food festival. On Saturday I thought we could be in for a very wet day. Luck however was on our side and what a glorious sunny day it turned out to be. Thank you to Paddy O’Hagan and his team for organising the 5th Annual Wells Food Festival.

What a great success the day was and I am sure many are already looking forward to 2018’s festival. I can’t wait to see where any extended stalls and presentations may go. Wells was awash with gastronomic delights and drinks to suit all palates. Perhaps the Dean would allow the use of the naïve in the Cathedral (as in medieval times).?

I was very honoured to be asked to open the festival. The Mayoress and I, spent the next couple of hours with the Town Crier visiting as many stall holders as we possibly could. Apologise to those who we did not quite manage to see, but large crowds prevented us from meeting some of you.

Sunday was also a good day to catch up with old friends and meet so many visitors to our City. I was especially pleased to see some old work colleagues at the food festival, Dominique, David and Colin, and catch up on times past. Secondly to say hello to Kate Mitchell a frequent visitor to Wells. Kate is head of Wimbledon High, Girls Junior School and always takes a keen interest, in all thing Wells when visiting family.

It’s been a good week for Wells and there are even more great days to come. We have this year’s Literature Festival, Wells Carnival, then the Reindeer Parade and Seasonal Market in December. So, watch out for these great events as they just get bigger and better every year. Please tell family, friends and as many people as you can, so they can also enjoy what Wells has to offer.

I also want to thank all those people who take time out each week to read the Mayors Diary. I’m no budding novelist but, I hope I keep you all informed of what your Mayor and Mayoress are doing each week.

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

 Tickets are now on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Please phone the Swan Hotel to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.


Welcome to the eighteenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

1st October 2017 [week1]

Last week I made comment about the road works on the Glastonbury Road which has blighted us for so long this year. I had a good conversation with Somerset County Council’s Highways department and they have a completion date of the 6th October. I’m sure we will all be relieved to see this concluded and a new road surface laid.

This week has been another busy week with lots to do. It started off with a “seniors away day” to Chipping Sodbury Golf Club. A long course requiring a good deal of course management whilst playing. This was not helped by the gentle misty precipitation during the closing stages. As Mayor, I was pleased to be able to draw out one of the prizes and I congratulate the winners.

Next the Mayoress and I attended the Wells in Bloom presentation evening. Congratulations to all those who entered and were awarded medals for their achievements. I know the Mayoress enjoyed presenting all the school children with their prizes, as they had worked so hard over the year to learn about gardens and flowers.

At the end of the presentation ceremony, it was a great privilege to present a Mayoral Award. It is in the gift of the Mayor to recognise achievements and/or contributions by a person, or persons, who over many years, have or continue to make, an outstanding contribution to a group or community that benefits Wells. On Wednesday evening, I was especially delighted to make such an award to Mrs Sylvia Hanks. For over fifteen years she has, and continues to make such a contribution to “Wells in Bloom”. Many congratulations Sylvia, it’s so well deserved. I would also like to thank Cllr Maureen Brandon and her team of helpers for putting on such a superb evening.

On Thursday it was the monthly full council meeting for Wells. At this meeting we made a co-option to fill the vacancy that was left by the sad and premature death of Cllr Chris Britton. We had three candidates and I would like to thank each of them for putting themselves forward to be part of the City Council. Congratulations go to Richard Greenwell who was duly elected by the Council. We welcome him onto Wells City Council and I am sure the St Cuthbert Ward will be served very well by Richard over the coming years.

Next it was a trip to Unwin’s Funeral Directors. No, nobody has died, but Danny and his staff were holding a fund -raising coffee morning for Macmillan Care. The Coffee was good, the cakes fantastic and at the same time we were all able to give generously. Well done to Danny and Christine for a great morning that was so well attended.

In the evening we were the guest of the Wells literature festival who were celebrating 25 years. We attended a talk by Sir Simon Jenkins on Cathedrals of England. During his lecture we learnt a lot about the history and architecture of these fantastic buildings. We were even asked to consider if we should return them to their original state of being ornately painted. As you all know, the west front of our own Cathedral is one such example. I am sure there will be many a debate on this one.

Saturday saw an open day at the Bishops Barn to promote this building and to ask people their views on the restoration plans. Again, this was very well attended and it’s good to see so much interest in another historic building in Wells. At the same time the play area was full of noise from excited children playing and enjoying themselves on all the wonderful play equipment. It’s so rewarding to see how much pleasure a play area can give a community.

This morning (Sunday) the Mayoress and I were out with the Deputy Mayor and the Wells in Bloom Team taking out all the old summer flowers. Not to worry though, as they will soon be replaced after this year’s Carnival with flowers to take us through the winter.

Every year whenever the team are out working, there is always a visitor or someone from Wells who compliments them on how beautiful the flower displays look all year round. It certainly adds to the attraction of Wells and is another good reason to visit this beautiful and historic city.

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Tickets will shortly be going on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Booking early is strongly recommended. Watch this space for their release date or phone the Swan to reserve your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Still to come to Wells this year will be the literature & food festivals and Wells Carnival. So, watch out for these great events as they just get bigger and better every year.


Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

Welcome to the seventeenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

24th September 2017 [week 4]

I would like to start by saying thank you to two people. Firstly, to Mike Phelps who during the summer opened his field adjacent to the Bishops Palace for Car Parking during the summer. A lot of people have commented on how successful this has been. Talking with Mike he has had a lot of support to make this a permanent fixture next year. We wish him success.

Secondly to Mandy who regularly reads the Mayors Diary, and for sending an anniversary card to Gail and myself. I have known Mandy and her family since my primary school days in Wedmore and it is always good to catch up with old friends.

Next, I feel I must mention the concerns of many people living or commuting into Wells along the Glastonbury road. I know you have growing concerns about the length of time these essential works are taking. And yes, we were told it would only be 22 weeks. There was no mention of a second set of works which appears to have no immediate end in sight.!

It would be greatly appreciated if the developer could contact me via the Town Hall to give an update on when this will be completed and the road re-surfaced. I am sure all of us in Wells and the surrounding area would like to know when this is going to come to an end.

Now on to our first event during the week. It was the presentation of the Moat Boat Race trophies at the Swan Hotel. We were accompanied by Mayors Cadet Abby Jamieson, who looked after us during the evening. The evening was very well attended and both the Mayoress and I were asked to present some of the awards alongside Wells MP James Heappey and the event sponsors.

Thanks again go to Kevin Newton and Mark Tobin for hosting the event and being the main sponsors. Thanks also go to The Lions and their new President Mr Paul Clegg who with their members, have supported this event for so many years, raising thousands for charity in the process.

Next was the Axbridge Blackberry Fair. We were hosted by the Mayor of Axbridge who kindly laid on luncheon for visiting dignitaries. A walk along the carnival entrants took place before we processed through the town in our robes, waved on by a large crowd who had turned out for this yearly festival. Our thanks to the Mayor for her hospitality.

On Sunday, we attended the investiture of the new administrator of Wells Cathedral, Mrs Jackie Croft. The investiture was led by the Dean of Wells Dr John Davies who during his sermon, effortlessly progressed from an Austin Maxi to a Rolls Royce. The Dean gave us one of RR’s mantras “People, Places, Performance”. Words Jackie is familiar with, having worked for RR before moving into the field of Cathedral Administration and, so relevant to Cathedral life here in Wells.

The Mayoress and I would like to welcome Jackie and her family to Wells and to the Cathedral. We wish her every success in her new role which we are sure will be both challenging and rewarding in equal measure.

As I have previously mentioned, Heads Up and the Wells Air Cadets are the Mayors chosen charities. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel in aid of these Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the Swan

Tickets will shortly be going on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand so booking early is strongly recommended. Watch this space for their release date.

Still to come to Wells this year will be the literature & food festivals and Wells Carnival. So, watch out for these great events as they just get bigger and better every year.


Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

17th September 2017 [week 3]

Welcome to the sixteenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw the Mayoress and I attend a dinner in aid of “Heads Up” at the Swan Hotel, followed by an Abba Extravaganza in the Town Hall and then on Sunday I attended a concert at Cedars Hall.

Firstly, the dinner for “Heads Up” organized by Bridgette Harvey and her team. Once again, the Swan Hotel played host to well over one hundred guests and Kevin Newton, Mark Tobin and Zoe Newton are to be congratulated on a first-class evening that everyone enjoyed. Three thousand pounds was raised for this very deserving charity.

Heads Up, as I have previously mentioned, is one of the Mayors Charities alongside the Wells Air Cadets. In the New Year, we will be holding two events at the Swan Hotel for the Charities: -

Saturday 13th January 2018 - True Bublé. An evening dedicated to Michael Bublé and his music.
Saturday 21st April 2018 - The Complete Blue Brothers. Jake and Elwood finally come to the swan

Tickets will shortly be going on sale at the Swan Hotel and are already in high demand. Watch this space for their release date.

Secondly, we attended an ABBA Extravaganza in the Town Hall. We had the Liberty Choir and backing band taking us through the back catalogue of ABBA’s greatest hits. I’m Sure Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid would have been impressed by the quality of musicianship and vocals on display.

Not only that, everyone was invited to get up and boogie during the second half. It was great to dance with Gail and not wishing to be outdone, the Mayors Chaplain, Town Crier and the Mother of Wells City Council were seen to be boogying with the best of them.

Well done to Katherine and Teresa for organising this great event and for holding a collection for the Mayors Charities. Thank you to all of you, who gave so generously to the Mayors Charities with donations topping two hundred pounds. So again, a very big thank you for such generous contributions. I’m hoping Katherine and Teresa can put on another show early in 2018, and feature the Beatles and Stones with a little bit of the Dave Clark 5 added in for good measure.

Sunday was a welcome return to the Cedars Hall. This was part of a three-day event for a BBC Radio 3 Big Chamber Week End Concert. Sundays programme of works featured Shostakovich. A composer, who’s music I had never heard before and was not disappointed. Performed by Alexandra Conunova (Violin) Andrei Ionita (Cello), Alexander Melnikov (Piano) and Ilona Domnich (Soprano), they brought this composers work to life with feeling and passion that filled the auditorium.

Our thanks go to The Principal, Elizabeth Cairncross and Director of Music, Mark Stringer for this week-ends music programme and look forward to future presentations.

Still to come to Wells this year will be the literature and food festivals. So, watch out for these two great events. They just get bigger and better every year.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

11th September 2017 [week2]

Welcome to the fifteenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week was all about meeting people from overseas and to build stronger relationships with our Twinning towns.

First off was a visit to the Cathedral School to meet the new overseas students who will be starting this year. Their ages, range across all school years and it was a great pleasure for the Mayoress and I to say hello and welcome them to our City. Students from all over the world study at the Cathedral School and come from as far afield as Mainland China, Hong Kong, America and across Europe.

My thanks to the Principal and her team for allowing me to talk about Wells, the safe community we all enjoy, the surrounding area and the great opportunities that await these talented young People. I am sure that they will all live up to the Schools motto Esto Quod Es “Be what you are”.

Next it was on to the Swan Hotel where Mark Tobin the General Manager, had asked Gail and I to meet, greet and welcome fifteen international tour operators who were visiting Wells as part of a “get to know the area” outing. This can only be good for promoting Wells and the ongoing tourism opportunities this creates for the City.

On Friday, it was off to Bad Durkheim for the 601st Wurstmarkt with a group from Wells Twinning. My thanks go again to Richard and Dawn for the hard work they put into organising these trips. We were so warmly welcomed by the Burgemeister, his family and team and equally well looked after during our stay.

Friday Evening started with a concert in the main square and then a parade through the town to the fair. A traditional play was performed that described the history of how the Wurstmarkt came to be. This was followed by the uncorking of the first barrel of Wine marking the opening. Over 80,000 people will attend during the first week end from across Germany to sample wine from the cooperative of wine growers.

On the Saturday, the Burgermeister held a formal luncheon for the twinned towns. The Mayoress and I also had an opportunity to meet with the Burgermeister and Mayors from each town. Bad Durkheim, Bad Burka, Kempten and Kluczbork. We talked about working together to promote and develop friendships and to see how we can encourage our communities to engage with each other.

Sunday morning, we visited St Michaels chapel which is situated on top of a small hill outside of the town. It overlooks the sprawling vineyards and town creating a truly picturesque panoramic view of the area.

It was wonderful to meet old friends and make so many new ones. Gail and I look forward to returning to the twin towns after our mayoral year in a more informal setting. However, come this November we look forward to welcoming the Burgermeister and his family to Wells for this year’s Carnival.

Coming soon to Wells will be the literature and food festivals. So, watch out for these two great events. They just get bigger and better every year.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

3rd September 2017 [week1]

Welcome to the fourteenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

How quick time flies, it does not seem like it’s been almost a week since we had our annual moat boat race. As we move into September, the Mayoress and I have turned our thoughts to our charities and the events that we will put on later this year and next. To remind you all they are “Heads Up” and “1955 City of Wells Air Cadets.

If you are on social media and use face book, then take a quick look at “the mayor of Wells” where you will see some of the events that will be taking place over the next nine months. I will update you all when tickets become available, and how you can help support these events nearer the time. My thanks to Sean and Sarah for managing the Mayors social media.

This week-end was a very special time for Gail and I. We celebrated out twenty-fifth wedding anniversary on Saturday and we would like to thank all those people who sent us cards and congratulations. I would also like to thank Gail for putting up with me all these years. I said, “Gail was one in a million”. The Town Crier said, “I was one in a raffle”.!!.

Any more of that Len, and I will take your bell away. Well not just yet, as I am sure you will all agree our Town Crier is a City treasure. His poetry, crying in the market square, tours and lectures, always make people laugh and some are even reduced to tears. I hope our man in green is here to stay for some time to come.

This week we visit the Cathedral School, attend an evening at the Swan Hotel with international tour operators and finally fly off to Bad Durkheim for three days. During that time, I will meet their Burgermeister and the Mayors of their other twin towns.

A busy week for us both which we are both looking forward too.

As always, there is lots to do and see in Wells with a great play area for all the family to enjoy in the recreation ground. The holiday season is rapidly coming to a close but I hope you will still take time out to see what Wells has to offer its visitors before autumn is finally upon us.

Coming soon will be the literature and food festivals. So, watch out for these two great events. They just get bigger and better every year.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

28th August 2017 [week5]

Welcome to the thirteenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw me travel to Paray-Le-Monial with members of the Wells Twinning association. Traveling by coach and ferry we wound our way through the vast expanse of French countryside until we hit the bourgogne region where Paray is situated. This area is also famous for its Charolais beef. We were hosted by Paray’s twining association who greeted us, with an open air late luncheon before, we were domiciled and able to enjoy our first taste of French cuisine and wine that evening.

Next day the Deputy Mayor and I, along with the committee of Wells Twining and Cllr Price, met for over an hour with the Mayor of Paray, Jean-Marc Nesme. He has been Mayor for over thirty-two years and is still working hard for his community. He was very keen to understand why we were leaving the EU, but was reassured that the friendships brought by twinning would continue to grow.

A tour of Paray’s Museum and Basilica was taken in the afternoon and is well worth the time if you are travelling through. Paray-le-Monial was also home to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, where, in the Visitation convent, she had visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Paray now enjoys visiting pilgrims throughout the year to their beautiful town.

That evening we were entertained by our guests to a traditional French meal with a main course of Beef Bourguignon followed by local musical entertainers which was enjoyed by all. I never knew how well the Deputy Mayor could sing.!!

Unfortunately, I had to depart on the Friday morning to be back in time for the Moat Boat race. My thanks go to Richard Hibberd and his team for organising this trip to Paray and I look forward to returning to meet the many new friends made during this short trip. I also asked the Paray twinning team if they would like to visit Wells during 2018 at Carnival time, if possible. Twinning will see both myself and the Mayoress visiting Bad Durkheim in just under two weeks’ time. When we will meet Burgermeister Herr Christoph Glogger.

The Bank Holiday Monday soon arrived and it was off to the Moat Boat Race. The Mayoress and I were collected from the Town Hall by the Mayors Cadet and an officer of the 1955 Squadron air cadets who escorted us to the start line. There we were asked to do some judging with Bishop Peter, the Officer commanding Devon & Somerset air cadets and constituency MP for Wells James Heappey. There were some superb entries and the winners will be given their prizes later in September at the Swan Hotel.

It was great to start some of the races and to see how the crews steered their craft along the moat. Some looked close to sinking but the races I saw, teams just looked to avoid an early swim in the moat. I also enjoyed meeting stall holders and visitors to Wells during the event.

Today would not have happened if it had not been for Paul Clegg (Chair of the Lions) and his team of fellow lions, the officers and civilian team of the Air Cadets and the very generous sponsorship of Mr Kevin Newton of the Swan Hotel. I would like to thank all of them and everyone who helped to make this year’s boat race such a great success. Secondly to say I also hope that all our visitors enjoyed their stay with us in Wells, and it will not be too long, before you visit Wells again.

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground. The holiday season is well in swing so I hope you all enjoy your holidays and this year’s summer season.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 20th August 2017 [week4]

Welcome to the twelfth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw the Mayoress and I host members of the Twinning association to discuss the programme of events for the visit by the Burgomeister of Bad Durkheim. Apart from watching the carnival, we are also looking to show him the triad of mediaeval historic sites in Wells. We also hope to include a visit to the museum, to see the historic charters granted to Wells by previous monarchs and bishops.

Normally there are no City Council meetings in August however, this year saw the Planning Committee meet to discuss a series of application that had come through.

On Friday, the Mayoress and I invited the Town Hall staff to Thai Restaurant in Sadler Street. Not only did we have an excellent meal (thank you to all the staff) we also had the opportunity to thank Charlie, for all her hard work over the years and, to wish her well in her new venture in Devon.

Secondly, for Gail and me to thank the team for everything they have, are, and continue to do for us both during our Mayoral year. A big thank you from the both of us, to all of you, for your ongoing support.

This coming week sees me in Paray-le-Monial where I will meet their Mayor Jean-Marc Nesme. This will be my first visit to Paray and I am looking forward to meeting as many people as possible during my visit. The programme of events looks very busy, but I am hoping we may have a chance to sample some French cuisine and fine wine (time permitting).

As soon as I return the Mayoress and I will be attending the Moat Boat Race on the Bank Holiday Monday. Let’s hope summer returns and it is as sunny and warm as it was in 2016. I am sure we are in for some exciting races. Thanks goes to the Lions for organising and Kevin Newton & the Swan Hotel who are this year’s main sponsors.

Some key events for your diary in August are: -

Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground. The holiday season is well in swing so I hope you all enjoy your holidays and this year’s summer season.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

13th August 2017 [week 3]

Welcome to the eleventh instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw the Mayoress and I attending a diverse range of events. Firstly, we welcomed 155 Squadron City of Wells Air Cadets to the Mayors Parlour where I had the great pleasure of installing Corporal Daniel Fawcett and Cadet Abby Jamieson as the Mayors Cadets for 2017 – 18.

May I congratulate them both on their appointment and I look forward to them attending Civic events with the Mayoress and myself. Thanks, must also go Jane, who prepared some lovely cakes and sandwiches for the evening. Secondly to the Commanding Officer and his team for all the hard work they put into giving young people such a great opportunity whilst in the Air Cadets.

Next, I was able to attend Rail Wells in the Town Hall. A two-day exhibition of all things to do with model railways. It was a very interesting and fascinating couple of hours learning about the various gauges of track and how to build an entire model railway from scratch.

This included building your own railway lines, sleepers, engines, carriages, station buildings and houses. In addition, you could even have a scale model of yourself laser printed in 3D to the correct scale for your layout. This event has been going on for almost 40 years with exhibitors travelling from across the country. The scaled detail and hours that have gone into some of these displays are to be highly commended.

On Saturday Sally and Chris celebrated their Wedding in the Mayors Parlour before leaving for their reception. Many congratulations to you both on your special day.

Sunday saw both of us at the Vets. We were invited to open the re-built Westfield Vets and to see their new facility for small animal care. Thank you to Iain and Charlie for inviting us both and, for the guided tour by all the dedicated team of Vets and Veterinary Nurses and Staff. If I were a pet, I would feel very lucky to be treated in such a modern equipped surgery. It was also nice to see so many pets with their well-behaved owners

In the afternoon, it was on to a BBQ at Wells Rugby Club in aid of Wells Twining. A superb event and once again thanks must go to Richard Hibberd, Tony Dovidio and their team for putting on such a great event. On the 22nd August, I and the Deputy Mayor will be accompanying the Twinning association as we visit Paray-la-Monial.

Some key events for your diary in August are: -
Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground. The holiday season is well in swing so I hope you all enjoy your holidays and this year’s summer season.

John
Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

6th August 2017 [week 2]

Welcome to the tenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw me attending a meeting about Christmas and it is only early August. However, this meeting was to discuss this year’s Christmas Market. With the help of Mendip District Council and members of the Town Hall team, we aim to put on an even better market than last year.

There is also potential to have extended opening on the 23rd and 24th December. Let’s hope Santa is no too busy to put in an early appearance.

I also had a meeting with the Twinning association who will be visiting Paray le Monial later this month. Both the deputy mayor I and will be attending and we look forward to meeting their Mayor and seeing the sights of the town. This will be followed by a visit by myself and the Mayoress to Bad Durkheim, followed by a reciprocal visit by the Burgomeister for this year’s carnival.

My thanks go to Richard Hibbard (Chair of Twinning) for all his efforts and his team’s hard work keeping Twinning very much alive.

Today the Mayoress and I attended a photographic exhibition by Stuart Williamson at The Venue. This is Stuart’s first exhibition and included photos from around Wells, Europe and as far afield as New Zealand. Primarily landscapes, he displayed both individual pictures and compilation books. We were very pleased to have been able to purchase some of Stuarts work and look forward to seeing future pictures and exhibitions from this exciting new photographer.

Some key events for your diary in August are: -
Sat – Sun 12th & 13th Aug- Rail Wells exhibition – Town Hall
Sunday 13th August- Wells Twinning are holding a BBQ at Wells Rugby club. Tickets are only £12.50 and can be obtained via Councillor Unwin.
Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

August 2017 [week1]

Welcome to the nineth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw me attending meetings at the Little Theatre and chairing the City council meeting.

The Little Theatre are now in the process of updating the auditorium with new seating and will also decorate the rehearsal room. These things cost money so please do everything you can to support them when they put on their shows throughout the year.

The Council also held its monthly meeting where we had a first-class presentation from the Chair of Twinning, Mr Richard Hibbard. Wells first twinned with Paray-le-Monial in 1979 followed in 1984 when Wells twinned with Bad Durkheim. The third twinning was with Fontenellato in 2012.

Wells also has two friendship agreements with Bad Berka in Germany and Kluczbork in Poland. To enable twinning to take place, various fundraising events are held throughout the year.
At the City Council meeting it was good to have members of the public coming along and speaking about issues that concern them and for Councillors to be able to respond and help.

Bus 67 will continue to run thanks to councils allocating funds. This ensures a service between Wells and Burnham on Sea until April 2018.

There is also a casual vacancy on the City Council which will be filled by a co-option (A bye election was not called for by the required signatories of St Cuthbert ward).

Those wishing to be considered and who meet the legal requirements to stand as a City Councillor should write in the first instance to the Town Clerk c/o The Town Hall, Wells. All letters of intent should be with the Town Clerk no later than the 18th September 2017.

Some key events for your diary in August are: -

Saturday 5th Aug- CND Hiroshima event – Cathedral Green
Sat – Sun 12th & 13th Aug- Rail Wells exhibition – Town Hall
Sunday 13th August- Wells Twinning are holding a BBQ at Wells Rugby club. Tickets are only £12.50 and can be obtained via Councillor Unwin.
Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

July 2017 (week 4)
Welcome to the eighth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Another first this week as I attended the meeting of the board of Trustees for Wells City Alms Houses which I now sit on. http://www.wellsalmshouses.org.uk/
The board was also joined for the first time by the Dean of Wells, Dr John Davies. A lot of work has been achieved by the current team of dedicated people and with their CEO, have a forward plan that will secure these homes for a long time to come.

The gardens are also looking their best this time of year and tourists who have taken the time to visit the Alms houses, comment on how wonderful they are.

Nothing happens by chance and the gardens need regular attention. If you are a gardener and have some time to spare and would like to volunteer please contact the Alms Houses office in Llewelyn’s.

Next, I attended a City Tourism meeting. These meetings are attended by key people in the city who work in the Tourist industry and are looking to keep Wells at the fore front of people’s minds when it comes to deciding on a place to visit.

Some items that are being looked at are “Visit by Coach” and how we get (non-hotel) buses to “drop off” at the Bus station, so visitors can benefit from all the independent retailers En Route to the Market Square and beyond.

Also, being discussed is this year’s Christmas Market. I am sure this year will build on the success of last years market.

Some key events for your diary in August are:-

  • Saturday 5th Aug - CND Hiroshima event – Cathedral Green
  • Sat – Sun 12th & 13th Aug – Rail Wells exhibition – Town Hall
  • Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
  • Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

Lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

July 2017 (week 3)
Welcome to the Seventh instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Two months in and this is the first week-end Gail and I have had to ourselves with time to recharge the batteries. This week also saw the first Christmas event appear in the diary. I can’t believe it’s only five months away.

This week we were all waiting to see if Wells had been short listed for the 2021 City of Culture.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as we were up against some very stiff competition from some much larger cities than Wells. Congratulation should go to the bid team for all the hard work they put into the initial bid and for the support they generated. We more than held our own considering the company we were in competition with.

I hope Wells will see a very positive reaction to the publicity this bid has generated and encourage more visitors to our beautiful city. With the already popular annual festivals held in the city we certainly punch well above our weight. If the bid team can help to further enhance the cultural and historic nature of our city then I am sure we will all benefit.

The Finance and General Purposes Committee met this week and one of the agenda items was bus 67. A long and detailed debate took place scrutinising this route and we await the County Councils response to questions they have yet to answer around this service.

As the end of July approaches, we come to the time of year when families start to take their summer holidays. I hope you will all enjoy your own holidays whether it’s a holiday within our own shores or further afield. At the same time can I welcome all our visitors to the City.

Please enjoy our sights, shops and hospitality. If you enjoyed your stay with us, then please tell others so they too can enjoy what Wells has to offer people of all ages.

For the last few weeks Sue, one of our receptionists at the Town Hall has been off ill. Sue does a superb job managing the Mayors diary with the Mayoress and is also helped by Sandy who also covers reception.

Sue, we all wish you a very speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

July 2017 (week 2)
Welcome to the sixth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Time fly’s as we are already into July. This week has seen the Mayoress judging flowers for Wells in Bloom with the Deputy Mayor. Between them they covered six pre-schools in and around Wells.

They saw some wonderful displays and found that the children not only planted, but knew the names of the flowers and vegetables. Perhaps they have already come across the next Alan Titchmarsh or Charlie Dimmock.

I’m afraid you will have to wait till later in the year to find out who has won, when the prizes are given out at the annual Wells in Bloom awards ceremony at the Town Hall.

Next was Speech day at the Cathedral School where Staff and Students said good bye to this year’s leaver. Some to further their academic studies at Universities or Conservatoires, others to take up new teaching posts and some retiring to take up a more relaxing life style. May I wish you all great success in your chosen path.

The closing service saw the Cathedral full of family, staff and students with the Dean giving an inspiring sermon about good byes and new chapters opening. He even managed to include an Austin Maxi which I must admit being old enough to have ridden in one.

Last week I mentioned the Lions and who would have predicted a draw in the last test. Well done to them for going toe to toe with New Zealand for eighty minutes. Not many sides draw a series against the All Blacks. Now the home nations will have an idea of the standard they will need to play, if they have any chance of winning the World Cup in 2019 in Japan.

Saturday saw us in the Town Hall for Pink Bra’ss. (http://pinkbrass.co.uk/) A group of ladies who love to play brass instruments and raise money for cancer treatments. On the night, they were joined by Choir Wincanton who were only formed a few years ago. A lovely evening which was enjoyed by a fully packed Town Hall.

Sunday was a very special day as the Mayoress celebrated her Birthday. I am sure you will join me in wishing Gail a very happy birthday.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

July 2017 (week 1)
Welcome to the fifth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Another exciting week in the life of a Wells’ Mayor.

Firstly, it was a visit to Cedars Hall to watch a performance of the Elton John / Tim Rice musical, The lion King by students of the Cathedral School. The cast was made up of children from years three to six and they all showed just how hard they have worked to put on such a high-quality show. Well done to you all.

In the last few weeks Gail and I have visited both the Blue and Cathedral Schools and the talent emanating for both Schools, is a testament to their teachers, and the determination of the students. It’s good to know that Wells has home grown talent, that will be able to hit the ground running when they leave secondary education.

The next event was something slightly different. After ten years and two weeks waiting to become Mayor, and within the first Month, I was invited to open a field. I even had to cut a piece of new bailer twine supplied by celebrated local farmer Mike Phelps.!!.

This was not any field though as Mike has opened his Palace Field to allow a weekly car boot sale and all-day parking for visitors to Wells. Let’s hope this will help to alleviate some of the congestion we see in Wells on a Saturday. Mike has previously opened the field for major events in the City such as the Moat Boat race which has grown year on year.

Saturday also saw the British and Irish Lions beat the New Zealand All Blacks. Well done to them and let’s hope they can raise their game and win at Eden Park this coming Saturday. A huge ask as the All Blacks have not lost on this ground since the 3rd July 1994 against France.

Sunday saw me going to Weston Super Mayor and attend their Civic Service to celebrate the forthcoming Mayoral year of Mrs Jos Holder and her Mayoress Roz Willis. Two ladies working hard for their local communities.

The last event of the week was to the Romulus and Remus event held by the Italian community of Wells and surrounding area. Gail and I were joined by the Deputy Mayor of Wells, Cllr Celia Wride for this wonderful event.

So far, each outdoor event that Gail and I have attended has been marked by hearing the very distinctive voice of one person upon arrival. That very distinctive voice is none other than Tony Dovidio via a very loud PA system. Sunday was no different however, Tony was one of the main organisers of this event and he and his team should be congratulated for the afternoons food and entertainment.

Can I also congratulate the Ambrosini family on an excellent homemade Red Wine and to Richard for introducing me to so many lovely people?

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

June 2017 (week 3)
Welcome to the fourth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Summer truly came to Wells earlier this week as we had five consecutive days of sun and high temperatures. As ever, the British weather was changeable and we returned to more cooler days at the end to the week for the Glastonbury festival. The message here is to make sure we all take on board plenty of water when the weather is hot and prevent ourselves from dehydrating.

This week has seen a shift from public engagements to committee and council meetings. Saying that, the Mayoress has met up with the judges of “Wells in Bloom” as she has been invited this year to be a judge herself. Good luck to all those entering and displaying this year.

We must also say a very big thank you to all those who help with Wells in Bloom, who make our City a sea of colour all year round. The flower displays are magnificent and enjoyed by both the people of Wells and all our visitors throughout the year.

Meanwhile, I attended a meeting of the Little Theatre Committee and came away very excited by their plans for the continued development of the theatre and the shows they are looking to put on over the coming year. I hope you will all be able to go along and support the operatic society as they put on superb shows to a very high standard. Please phone or visit their ticket office for more information.
https://www.wellslittletheatre.com/

Next came the monthly full council meeting for Wells City Council, with a headline presentation from the Chair of Somerset Partnership NHS Trust.
http://www.sompar.nhs.uk/

This proved to be of great interest to all Councillors who were pleased to be briefed on the challenges and direction of travel for the NHS in the future.

I was also very pleased that the Council asked to be part of any future consultation processes. This will cover essential topics such as “care in the community” and how the NHS can meet 21st century challenges. The Chair of Somerset Partnership NHS Trust said there was a need to pull together cross functional teams within the NHS and leave behind a silo mentality, so they can deliver a service that will meet the needs of local communities.

On Sunday 25th June, Gail and I were invited to join the Masons to celebrated 300 years. Members of lodges from across the area processed to the cathedral for evensong hosted by the Dean of Wells, and then afternoon tea at the Town Hall.

To all those at Glastonbury – Have a great time and my challenge to Mr Eavis is, can he get Led Zeppelin to reform and headline at the next Festival...!

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

June 2017 (week 2)
Welcome to the third instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This last week has seen our busiest week to date.

It was also a sad time as we said goodbye to our late Councillor, Chris Briton on Friday. Sad, but also a time to celebrate his life as a family man, his achievements and his contribution towards caring people, for our world and ensuring we have a sustainable future.

The crematorium was not only full, but people were standing outside in large numbers to pay their last respects and say their farewells to a very, much loved man in our community. The Eulogy given by Chris’ son truly reflected Chris’ life and will be remembered for a very long time. Chris, you really did have an impact on us all.

On Tuesday 13th June, with the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Annie Maw and Dean of Wells Dr John Davies, I had the pleasure of welcoming HRH The Duke of Gloucester to our City. The Duke came to visit Vicars Close and Cedars Hall to view both Mediaeval and 21st Century architecture that is now part of Wells. The Duke is a trained architect and was very keen to see both the old and new.

Next it was the Blue School on Wednesday evening to see the work of some very talented students displaying their art and design skills which forms part of their portfolio for their GCSE and A levels. There were some truly innovative pieces of work and they would not have look out of place in the professional arena. Well done to all of you and to your Teachers for showing you what you can achieve and aspire too.

Friday saw Gail and I welcome our friends for Bad Durkheim (one of the Twining Towns). We welcomed them in the Old Court room and the Town Crier gave them a tour of the Town Hall. Twinning is very much a community based activity. I hope as many people will take the time to enquire about how they could become part of this important partnership Wells, has with its twinned towns.

In the afternoon, we paid a visit to Fletcher House for their “Mad Hatters Tea Party” and later we were joined by the young boys and girls for the Kindergarten based next door. Again, Gail and I had a lovely time and met some wonderful people who, had some great stories to tell about their life and times.
A Hog Roast started our evening at the Rugby Club where our visitors were thoroughly entertained. I gather the singing was of the highest Calibre.

Unfortunately, we had to leave early but we were not disappointed because we visited Wells United Church for a stunning flower display. The Church was so full of colour and the floral displays depicted a decade in time over the last hundred years. Congratulations to all of you for such wonderful displays.

Saturday 17th June was not only one of the hottest days of the year, but it was also a day for dancing on the green. Processing from St Cuthberts’ Church, to the green and then for an afternoon of Dancing. Gail and I had a lovely time meeting all the dancers and Teachers who all worked so hard dancing to such a high standard. Well done to you all and to all the Mayors and Chairs who came along to support their schools and, for managing to keep their robes on for the entire afternoon.!

A lot of hard work has gone into holding all these events and a lot of people have given freely of their time to make these events so special for all of us in Wells, and all our visitors to enjoy. You are too many to mention by name but -

A big thankyou to all of you from the Mayor and Mayoress of Wells.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

June 2017 (week 1)
Welcome to the second instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Since taking office on the 20th May, life has certainly been busy for Gail and me. We have already attended some great events and met many people.

Firstly, though I would like to take a moment to remember Cllr Chris Briton who after a short illness sadly passed away on the 29th May. Chris, you will be missed by all your fellow Councillors and whilst we may not have agreed on everything, you certainly made me think a lot more about trees when discussed at Planning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sarah, Chris’ wife and to all his family at this difficult time.

The Wells fun run saw us starting the races and giving out prizes to the winners. Can I congratulate all those who were placed and say how wonderful it was to see so many people running just for fun? We should all try to do more exercise and keep ourselves a little fitter.

Royal Enfield
Secondly it was on to the Classic Motorcycles where we saw bikes from all eras. In fact, there were even bikes older than the Town Crier. I was also asked to choose the Mayors Motorcycle. This year’s winner was a 1947 Royal Enfield who had been in the same family for seventy years. Well done to all for taking part in this year’s run and I am glad that you could overcome the inclement weather which was encountered.


Once again Bath held its Mayor Making Ceremony in the Abbey processing through Bath in our robes. A glorious Sunny day with Mayors coming from all over Somerset and neighbouring Counties. Congratulations to Ian their new Mayor. I am sure he will have a great Year.

The most recent event was to attend an exhibition at Wells Museum for “Space Art” and to hear a talk on the Moon. Not only did we see some truly wonderful works of art, but some models created for TV which were scaled down version of the real thing.
http://www.visitwellssomerset.co.uk/whats-on/visions-space

Thanks, must go to all those people who take the time to organise such great events for so many people to enjoy and take part in.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

May 2017
The Mayor & Mayoress of Wells - Cllr and Mrs John North

Welcome to the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

On the 20th May, 2017 the City held its Mayor Making Ceremony where I was sworn in as the 644th Mayor of Wells. A tradition dating back to the thirteenth century when Wells was granted its City Charter, in 1201 by King John.

Firstly, I would like to thank Cllr Alison Gibson and her Consort Mr Steve Luck for their excellent Mayoral year. You will be a hard act to follow and on behalf of the Council and City can I thank you both for your year of service. It is indeed a great privilege, honour and very humbling to have been elected and made Mayor of Wells, and to have been able to have appointed my wonderful wife Gail, as my Mayoress. I also wish to congratulate Cllr Celia Wride on her appointment of Deputy Mayor. I know she will have a great year.

Two days after, we heard of the tragedy that occurred in Manchester. Therefore, my first official engagement was to attend the vigil (held in the Cathedral) on Wednesday 24th May for all the victims, those injured and all the families affected by the bomb blast at the Ariana Grande Concert. May I say how well the Dean of Wells who conducted the vigil, and for setting the tone of the service so well.

Lighting the first of the twenty-two candles, truly brought home the tragic and needless loss of life.

On the same day of the vigil I wrote to the Mayor of Manchester on behalf of the City Council and all the people of Wells.

“On behalf of the City Council and people of the City of Wells, may I say how shocked and appalled we are at the needless loss of life on Monday evening at the Ariana Grande Concert.
May I offer my personal condolences to all those families who have lost loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to all those families and communities who have been affected by this needless act of violence.
This evening (Wednesday) the people of Wells will come together in our Cathedral for a vigil, to spend a period of reflection thinking of Manchester and its sad loss”. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

On Thursday 25th May I chaired the Annual City Council Meeting where we appointed members to our working committees and outside bodies for the year.

On Sunday 28th May I started the races for the Wells Fun Run. Well done to everyone who took part in all the races. Gail and I thoroughly enjoyed presenting the trophies to all the winners. Another great day for Wells.

To conclude my first diary entry, can I just say, Gail and I will work hard over the coming year to support Wells and our chosen Charities. The (1955 City of Wells Sqn) Air Training Corp and Heads Up. I will keep you posted when we will be having fund raising events so you can help support these two very worthwhile organisations. Gail and I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the coming year.

Heads Up - http://www.headsupsomerset.org
The Wells Air Cadets - https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/find-a-squadron/south-west/devon-somerset-wing-hq/1955-city-of-wells/

Gail and I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the coming year.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 



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