Winchelsea ‘elects’ new Mayor
Cynthia Feast was sworn in as Mayor of Winchelsea on Easter Monday. She is the first woman in the mayoralty’s 752 year recorded history to take the post. She paid tribute to Mary Chetwood and Peta Cameron-Clark who had paved the way. She also pointed out that it had not been unusual for women to serve as freemen of the town in medieval times. Deputy Mayor for the coming year is John Rodley, and Carol Scoines was elected to be a freeman.
Though the Corporation lost its local government functions in the nineteenth century, the Mayor continues to play a ceremonial part in the life of the Confederation of the Cinque Ports on Winchelsea’s behalf. More practically, supported by the Friends of the Ancient Monuments, and revenue from cellar tours and the generosity of town residents, the Corporation takes responsibility for ensuring that the medieval public buildings of the town are kept in good repair.
The retiring Mayor John Spencer was warmly thanked for the way in which he has brought people together during his two terms of office, for his welcome to newcomers to the town and for bringing the Pipewell Gate restoration project to a successful conclusion. Ann Spencer was particularly thanked for organising the events that have raised well over £8,000 from Winchelsea for the Mayoress’ Charity, Hospice at Home. Congratulations were also offered to Rye Sea Cadet, Jack Brown, who as well as serving as Mayor’s cadet has also been appointed cadet to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.