Your article: New mayor at helm in Pocklington

New Pocklington mayor, Coun David Sykes (left), with the previous mayor Coun Martin Ratcliffe.
New Pocklington mayor, Coun David Sykes (left), with the previous mayor Coun Martin Ratcliffe.

Pocklington’s mayor making ceremony in the town’s Arts Centre on Friday saw councillor David Sykes elected into office for a second time as town mayor.

It was a case of out with the old and in with the new as the mayor for the past 12 months, Coun Martin Ratcliffe, brought down the curtain on his year of office before handing over to his successor.

Coun Ratcliffe summarised the highlights of his year, saying: “It’s been a great honour to represent Pocklington.” He went on to outline how he had attended around 100 events and functions across the East Riding on behalf of the town, and thanked his deputy for his support.

Coun Ratcliffe also praised everyone who had worked so hard on the main town council supported events, such as bonfire night and the summer and Christmas events, which have become popular Pocklington occasions and provided a boost to his mayor’s charity fund. He went on to hand over three cheques for £1,000 to representatives of his nominated charities, Pocklington Guides, Pocklington Scouts and Pocklington Canal Amenity Society.

Coun Ratcliffe then praised three individuals who have made special contributions to the town. Andrew Sefton, archivist of Pocklington and District Local History Group who also runs the renowned website, and June Walshaw, who has been a Pocklington Cub Scout leader for 20 years, both received town plaques for their valued community service; while the Mayor’s Award went to retiring town clerk, Richard Wood, for his 15 years in the post. In addition to naming him for his main award, Coun Ratcliffe also spoke about the clerk’s dedication, summarising his commitment to the job by describing an occasion when Richard had been observed weeding the roundabout entering the town at 6am in advance of an ‘In Bloom’ judging day.

The ceremony included Coun Ratcliffe and his wife, Elinda, handing over the chains of office to the new mayor and his wife and consort, Linda. In turn councillor and Mrs Sykes passed the deputy chains to the new deputy mayor, Coun Tony Marron, and his consort Fiona.

For the new mayor, Coun Sykes, it is his second term of office, being previously elected as mayor in 2009. After service in the RAF, Coun Sykes moved to Pocklington in 1980, becoming a town councillor in 2007. He spoke of his aim for Pocklington to “retain the best aspects of the town while ensuring it remains a lovely place to live with safety and sustainability.” He also announced that he was keen to develop and add to the current list of town events, starting with an additional celebration for the Queen’s 90th birthday on 11 June.

The mayor making ceremony then moved on to the entertainment phase with performances by both of the recent ‘Pocklington’s Got Talent’ show champions. The Under 16 category winners, Woldgate schoolfriends, The Harmonics, opened up with two well received harmony numbers, local singer songwriter, Martin Heaton, followed with three of his own compositions, before town crier, Geoff Sheasby, loquaciously brought the proceedings to a close.