Amanda Taylor

News and views about Cambridge and Cambridgeshire politics, especially Queen Edith's Learn more

Midsummer Octo

by admin on 25 June, 2011

Cllrs Zoe Moghadas, Gail Marchant-Daisley, Tim Ward, Sheila Stuart and Ian-Nimmo-Smith, Mayor's Cadet Daniel Pereira.

The great thing about being a councillor is the tremendous variety of things you do. In the past ten days, I’ve taken in part in council meetings, enjoyed the Mayor’s Dinner, done a councillor’s advice surgery, written oodles of emails and letters, read council papers, written press releases, carried out a residents’ survey,  attended the inaugural meeting of the Cambridge Muslim Council – and helped to open an 800 year-old fair! Never a dull moment.

As a City Bailiff, it’s my job to dress up in a Cambridge blue robe and accompany the Mayor on official engagements. In older times, we had to protect the Mayor’s person by fending off insurgents, and remove furniture from tax-dodgers. You can see the snazzy uniform on my fellow Bailiff Sheila in this picture. There are four of us altogether: this year there are two Labour ones and two Lib Dems.

Midsummer Fair is one of my ‘duties’ – and a very pleasant one it is too. Instituted by King John by Royal Charter in 1211, the fair is proclaimed on the fourth Wednesday in June, followed by the throwing of newly minted pennies to the children in the crowd. This year was the big year, as the fair is 800 years old this year, and we were joined by a glittering pantheon of mayors from all over the county as well as our own councillors and honorary councillors.

We toured the fair with the mayor, starting with the dodgems and taking in the carousel and the ghost train, pictured here. I don’t know if they had the ghost train in King John’s day – that could explain a lot! Many thanks to Ridgeons, who sponsored the event.

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