Warwick Mayor's farewell as he prepares to step down from role

Cllr Richard Eddy's time as mayor will be coming to an end next week. Photo submitted.
Cllr Richard Eddy's time as mayor will be coming to an end next week. Photo submitted.

Next week Warwick Mayor Richard Eddy will be coming to the end of his civic year.

On Tuesday May 21, at the annual mayor-making ceremony at St Mary’s Church, Cllr Eddy will be stepping down and Cllr Neale Murphy is set to be the new mayor.

Reflecting on his time as mayor, Cllr Eddy has issued the following message.

He said: “Between 1565 and 1590, the town clerk of Warwick, John Fisher, wrote the Black Book of Warwick as a hand-written log of meetings, ceremonies, lawsuits, town quarrels, and felons of the town.

It was transcribed and published 120 years ago, by Thomas Kemp, a previous Mayor of Warwick. Prior to becoming mayor, I was lucky enough to borrow an original of Kemp’s Black Book transcription.

In the preface, Kemp writes: “As I went on reading the book, I felt a personal interest in the sayings, the doings and careers of the people, who each play their part in the events of Warwick.”

That same sense of a personal interest in the people, communities, businesses, and events of this town, first led me first to become a town councillor in 2015 and then to be Mayor of Warwick.

Being mayor, that personal interest has significantly deepened. It’s evolved from interest to heartfelt investment.

The betterment of Warwick was always in my head, but today, through being mayor, its past, present, and future, courses through my veins. Being mayor does something to you that is not entirely explainable; especially in Warwick when you join a chain of people that began in 1664.

No civic year could have begun better than launching into Warwick’s summer of festivals. At the heart of festivals is the Warwick Folk Festival, which brightens and lightens the town, and I look forward to celebrating its 40th year this summer with organisers.

Last year, more than ever, Warwick remembered those who fell fighting during the First World War in the most magnificent and memorable way – the Warwick Poppies project. The project started out wanting to make a poppy for each of the 11,500 fallen in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment – and ended up with 65,000.

This year has been a whirlwind of events, business openings, hosting civic dignitaries and representing our town at events. During this civic year it has been my absolute pleasure to celebrate 15 new store, business and hospitality openings in Warwick.

We also have an outstanding amount of people involved in Warwick’s charitable community and it’s been fantastic to support four town charities; the Lord Leycester Hospital, St Mary’s Church, Evelyn’s Gift and Safeline.

Behind every mayor is an equally hard-working team and I could not have managed this year’s schedule without the support of my husband and consort Mark. My thanks also goes to the team at the town council office who were the engine room that always kept me at full steam ahead.

I was also grateful to my constituents in the new Leafield ward to elect me as their councillor for 2019-2023.

At this year’s mayor-making, I will be proud to introduce a new award to recognise those who delivered outstanding service to the town – the Golden Bear awards. The Golden Bears are gold pin badges and represent my absolute and joyful respect for the winners’ contribution to the town.

It has truly been an honour to serve as mayor and I have loved every minute of it.”