Hastings mayor, and speaker of the Cinque Ports, Councillor Nigel Sinden, hosted ‘Speakers Day’ in Hastings last Saturday.
There are seven Cinque Ports, and each year, in rotation, the mayor of one of the five head ports and two ‘antient towns’ (sic) is appointed as speaker. The speaker acts as chairman and principal representative of the Cinque Ports Confederation, and Mayor Sinden took up the role in May this year.
The Hastings mayor led a procession of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the Bishop of Dover – the Lord Warden’s chaplain – the Admiralty Judge, the Deputy Constable of Dover Castle, the Judge Surrogate, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Cinque Port mayors, town clerks, the Admiralty Sergeant and town sergeants and Simon Corello JP, from St Mary in the Castle to St Clement’s Church, in the Old Town.
In all, mayors from Deal, Dover, Faversham, Folkestone, Hythe, Lydd, New Romney, Margate, Ramsgate, Rye, Sandwich, Tenterden, and Winchelsea attended.
Sussex Brass marched at the head of the procession and played during the church service.
Following the service, the dignitaries paraded back along the seafront to St Mary in the Castle, before making their way to Sussex Coast College, Hastings, for a formal lunch and speeches.
Mayor Sinden said: “We have had some very good feedback on the day. The procession of dignitaries in their ceremonial robes and regalia looked superb, and the church service was excellent. I was very proud to show Hastings off to our distinguished visitors.”
The Lord Warden, the Lord Boyce added: “Speaker’s Day was an outstanding success. Hastings has every reason to be very proud.”