A chain gang of Mayors

Inside the corridor leading to the Town Council offices are portraits of all Mayors of Abingdon since Ewart Hemmings in 1978.

254 members of Abingdon Town Council have been Mayor since the office began when Abingdon received a charter in 1556. 98 members have served more than one year. The first Mayor was Richard Mayotte in 1556, and he served on three occasions.
Between 2012 and 2017, there were seven female Mayors in a row. Six of them have been displayed together on the wall.

The first female Mayor was Mrs Agnes Challenor from 1950-51. When first co-opted onto the council, she said, “I felt it such a golden opportunity for a woman to get on to the council that I accepted it”.
Albert Earnest Tombs held the office of Mayor for the longest time, five consecutive terms between 1932 and 1937.
He later received an O.B.E. for his work rehousing people in Abingdon from slums. Despite all his house building, I don’t think a road has been named after him.

Thomas Knight was Mayor ten times between 1800 and 1832. That is unlikely to be beaten as since 1953, it has become usual for members to only serve one year.

In 1645-1646 there were three Mayors due to the death of the first two in office.

(Thank you to Jackie for the picture and newspaper clipping of A.E. Tombs. Most of the information came from https://www.abingdon.gov.uk/town-council/your-mayor/mayors-abingdon-thames-1556 )

4 thoughts on “A chain gang of Mayors

  1. John Styles

    Following your post on the theme of new roads being named after mayors, I wonder if we are we getting a Tombs Road or better still a Tombs Close? The perfect address for sheltered accommodation for the elderly. (In this spirit M’s mum lived in a village where a small road of council (probably) bungalows for the elderly called St. Peter’s Close)

  2. Michael W.Matthews

    One important fact is missing in your list of Mayors. Peter Merritt was elected as Mayor of the Municipal Borough of Abingdon in May 1973. On 1st April as a consequence of local government reorganisation Abingdon lost it’s status as a Municipal Borough and became just a town with a Town Mayor equivalent to a parish with a parish chairman.

  3. Sarah Smith

    Aha! My old Papa now has his picture on the blog–that’s all the immortality he needs! And “chain gang” is an inspired collective noun for mayors.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.