So much has happened to me as Mayor in the last few weeks that I hardly know where to start – or what to include or to leave out.

It has been a month of contrasts. There has been a strong military theme running through these last few weeks. My wife Christine and I were invited by the British contingent at the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps to share in the King’s birthday celebrations at the Imjin Barracks in Innsworth for Beating the Retreat. I had to ask what that meant – it is an historic tradition refereeing to when soldiers are recalled to barracks when the day’s work is done. In this case, the 4 Scots Pipes and Drums and the British Army Band Colchester, delighted and amazed everyone with both their music and the precision of their marching.

Tewkesbury Borough Council has signed up to the military covenant, in which we committed to treat military personnel and their families with fairness. I was also privileged to lead a brief ceremony outside the council offices to mark the beginning of Armed Forces Week. And thanks are due to the members of the Royal British Legion who brought their standard to this ceremony.

Continuing the theme of Armed Forces Week, I visited the Jet Age Museum where I was shown a number of prized exhibits, and learnt a great deal about the development of aviation in general and the important role played by the people of Gloucestershire.

The museum, and the workshop where aircraft are restored and replicas are built, is entirely staffed by volunteers. When you see the results of initiative and perseverance, as well as skill, it takes your breath away. The whole of our community owes a great deal to these dedicated volunteers. Sadly, with the Covid restrictions over the last few years, the number of people able to offer their services has declined. If you have a few hours to spare, don’t let boredom overcome you; this could be the opportunity you need! To get involved, contact the Volunteer Co-ordinator at

Speaking of initiative and excellence, another fascinating experience was a visit to Hartpury College and University for an awards ceremony. I know that physically the college is just outside the Tewkesbury Borough boundaries, but many staff and students are residents in the borough. Whatever the case, what has been achieved there deserves our praise.  We applauded as many young people received awards for their achievements across a range of skills and studies related to farming, and land and animal management, as well as a variety of other outdoor pursuits. I cannot stress enough that we have a whole generation of motivated and determined young people growing to maturity in our midst. There was an inspirational address by Lewis Ludlow, who is a former student of the college and now Captain of Gloucester Rugby.

All these things – and many other people and activities – make up an incredibly varied tapestry of life that adds to the richness of our borough.

Category: Mayor's blog