Coun Joyce Pritchard has taken over as the mayor of the city of Lancaster in a tradition that dates back to 1338 when Robert de Bolron was appointed to the role.
The new mayor has lived in the Lancaster district her whole life, having been born in Over Kellet before moving to Brookhouse in 1977.
Coun Pritchard left school at 15 and became a factory lass at a sewing mill in Carnforth before taking a City and Guilds dress design course. She later worked at Decorous Garments in Lancaster.
She and her husband later bought a shop in Brookhouse and she went on to have a 20-year career working with people with severe learning difficulties.
As a coach driver, she took holidaymakers to destinations around the UK and Europe.
For 18 years she was a parish councillor for Caton-with-Littledale and involved with voluntary organisations.
Now retired, she has plenty of time to spoil her grandchildren and also to take on the new responsibility for being the mayor of Lancaster.
Coun Pritchard will be supported during her mayoral year by her daughter Amanda, who also lives locally with her family, as mayoress. She also has a son, Andrew, who lives in Australia.“I love this district and have never wanted to live anywhere else, so to be asked to be mayor is a great honour and privilege,” Coun Pritchard said.
“My intention is to invite as many of the people in this district to Lancaster Town Hall. It’s a beautiful building, so I will be having coffee mornings in the Mayor’s Parlour to raise money for my charities.”
The mayor’s charities for 2022/23 will be Morecambe Bay Foodbank and the SAFE: Prop Up Project, which works with young people and adults who are going through mental health issues and other life challenges.Coun Pritchard will be the first Lancaster mayor to have a Facebook page, and has many ideas for the coming year.
She takes over almost 90 years on from the appointment of Lancaster’s first lady mayor back in 1933, Annie E Helme, whose own father was a former mayor of Bradford. Annie was a suffragist and a Justice of the Peace and was the first woman to be voted onto the council in 1919.