37 Emma Lady Hamilton Memorial Re-unveiled 16 January 2016

Although the anvil memorial outside Mealor’s Courtyard on Burton Road had been officially unveiled in April last year, we have had to wait some time before planning permission allowed it to be reinstalled.

It was a pleasure with Winston Lees of the 1805 Society to unveil this, the only memorial to Emma Hamilton in the country.  Born in Ness as Emy Lyon in 1765, her father was employed as a blacksmith servicing the Denhall colliery.  Although after her father’s death a matter of weeks after Emy’s birth, she and her mother moved to Hawarden, her maternal grandparents’ home, the memorial celebrates her association with Ness.

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After the unveiling with Winston Lees from the 1805 Society

Picture by courtesy of Rob Clive

36 Showmen’s Guild Annual Luncheon 8 January 2016

Bling to the right of us, bling to the left of us; into the Pennine Suite strolled 40 mayors, as many consorts and former mayors and many other guests beside.

This was the annual luncheon of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain (Lancs, Cheshire & N Wales section), an event staged to say “thank you” to the many local authorities, including Neston Town Council, that members do business with in bringing their fairs to them during the course of the season.  It is the largest annual gathering of civic dignitaries from across the North West of England.

Arriving at the splendidly-named Mercure Last Drop Village Hotel at Bromley Cross outside Bolton after following the gleaming Bentley chauffeuring the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Chester and two CWaC Council guests, we told civic guests would be dining in the Pennine Suite, chauffeurs in the Courtyard Bar.  Our greeter seemed a little perplexed when I said I was both.

Sue and I were welcomed by the section president and national president of the Guild resplendent in their own magnificent chains of office, chains which put to shame many of those being worn by borough mayors.  The National President, David Wallis, knows Neston well, being here for our annual fair in connection with Ladies Day. In fact he took part in the 200th Anniversary Walk in 2014.

Following a welcoming drink and socialising with other local mayors including those from Chester, Cheshire East and Wirral we were shepherded into the dining room for our three course lunch, wine included, toasts and speeches.

A truly memorable and pleasant event.  It’s a tough life being Mayor, but somebody’s got to do it.