The Mayorality of Appleby

Appleby received a charter from Henry II in 1179, conferring on the town the same borough rights as those enjoyed by York.  Medieval Appleby returned two Members of Parliament, hosted Assize Courts and was ruled by a Corporation, at the head of which was the town Mayor, annually chosen by the Common Councillors and Aldermen.  The Mayor was the town’s first citizen and presided over meetings of the Council, working in conjunction with the Town Clerk, the principal officer of the Corporation.  It imposed local bye-laws regarding trading standards, charged tolls on traffic through the town and ran the Borough Market and Whitsuntide Fair.

The first Mayor whose name is recorded was Robert de Goldington, c.1264.  From the late 14th Century, we have a continuous sequence, some of whom remained in office for several years, others for one year only.  The Appleby Mayoral year now conforms with the practice of councils up and down in the country in beginning in May; but for most of the town’s history Mayor and Corporation took office in October.   One of the Mayor’s most important functions was to act as returning officer in Parliamentary borough elections.  Votes in Appleby were attached to particular properties, known as burgage plots.  In practice the Mayor’s power to influence the result was restricted by the competing aristocratic families who owned large parts of the town: Cliffords, and later Tuftons; Whartons and later Lowthers.   They usually agreed on one nominee each, so there was rarely a contest.

To see a list of Mayors of Appleby from 1265 to date click on: Mayors of Appleby

Our Current Mayor

A message from Gareth:

“I feel immensely proud and honoured to be to be elected Mayor of Appleby-in-Westmorland and take on the role as the Chair of the Town Council for the next term, and rest assured I will do my very best to be a trusted servant to the community. I look forward to working with everyone to make our lives safe again, and help our economy to recover. Let’s be optimistic and make progress together.

It is so important that we continue to stay safe and be kind to our families, friends and neighbours for the forthcoming days, weeks and months. I find the terms ‘resilience’, ‘troubled times’ and ‘lockdown’, although true, a wee bit downbeat. We can and we will aim to elevate the mood with a series of activities and projects to pick up the pieces of flood damage and Covid confusion by embracing engagement groups and working parties to look at many subjects that need attention. From healthcare assurances to youth interaction, from architectural promotion to arts opportunities, from service improvement to tourism development; the challenges are many yet with open minds and willingness, they are all within reach. The townsfolk, our townsfolk, are happy people with a spirit second to none. Abraham Lincoln once said “Most folks are as happy as they make their minds to be”. We build on the Town’s esteem by doing estimable things.

Those that know me know that I don’t take myself too seriously. However, I do know what to be serious about. I embrace our unique local history. I’m passionate about education and I am motivated by positive people. I want people to play their part in making Appleby a great place to live, work and visit.

My Mayoresses, Mary McKenzie and Rebecca Page, my Deputy Mayor, Jim Chalmers and Town Clerk, Karen Lowthrop are all fantastic ambassadors for the Town and along with the volunteers on the Town Council, the fabulous Tourist Information Centre team and all our many dedicated community groups, are here to serve you. Thank you for joining in and being part of Appleby.”

Gareth Hayes
Appleby Mayor

Summer 2020

Requesting the Mayor

To book the Mayor Cllr Gareth Hayes for your event please contact the Town Clerk, at the Moot Hall, Boroughgate, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6YB or email: clerk@applebytown.org.uk