Honorary Positions and Past Mayors

Honorary Aldermen of the Borough and Freedom of the Borough

Under the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council is able to bestow historical titles to previous Members of the Council or persons of distinction who have rendered eminent services to the Borough.

Historically, there were two categories of Members, Councillors and Aldermen. Where Councillors were chosen by the electorate, Alderman were elected by their fellow councillors and served alongside them. The office of Alderman was abolished in 1974. and the position is now honorary.

The term ‘Freeman’ dates back to the Middle Ages, when it bestowed commercial privileges and a route to a position of power in a town or city. Freemen enjoyed special rights, dependent on local customs that were usually rights of pasturage on common land and exemptions from certain tolls and dues. Since 1835 Borough Councils have continued to be given the power to appoint Freemen but the law has gradually reduced the privileges associated with the office. 

The 1972 Act enables London Borough Councils to confer the award of Honorary Freeman of the Borough on persons of distinction and persons who have, in the opinion of the Council, rendered eminent services to the Borough. This is carried out at a meeting of the whole Council convened specifically for this purpose, with all due ceremony, and a presentation to the recipient. 'The Freedom' is the highest tribute that a Borough can bestow, and although in modern times it does not convey any legal rights or responsibilities, Honorary Freemen are invariably invited to take part in important ceremonial occasions in the Borough.

Plaques listing Honorary Aldermen and Freemen of the Borough are on display within the Council Chamber. Please contact Committee Services for further information on Honorary Aldermen and Freemen of the Borough or to arrange to view the plaque.

Past Mayors

1969 - 1979

  • 1969-70 William Tansley Smith
  • 1970-71 Albert Thomas James
  • 1971-72 Francis James Coffin, MBE
  • 1972-73 William Frederick Cole
  • 1973-74 Stanley Gordon Heath-Coleman
  • 1974-75 Reta Christabel Coffin
  • 1975 Dennis George Peters
  • 14/10/1975-76 Albert Godfrey Charles Davis
  • 1976-77 Henry James Sidney Turner
  • 1977-78 John Farbon Moultrie, JP
  • 1978-79 Jean Frost
  • 1979-80 Alice Emma Smith

1980 - 1989

  • 1980-81 Peter D H Marsden
  • 1981-82 Leslie Reilly
  • 1982-83 Norman Symonds
  • 1983-84 Winifred Whittingham
  • 1984-85 William Todd
  • 1985-86 Eric Munday
  • 1986-87 Roy Knell
  • 1987-88 Robin Adaire
  • 1988-89 Louise Sinclair
  • 1989-90 Thomas W Orrin

1990 - 1999

  • 1990-91 Ronald F Latchford
  • 1991-92 Denis R O'Flynn
  • 1992-93 Len F Long
  • 1993-94 Mary Edwards
  • 1994-95 Jack Hoepelman
  • 1995-96 Jack Hoepelman
  • 1996-97 Ivor Cameron
  • 1997-98 Del Smith
  • 1998-99 Harry Webb
  • 1999-00 Maisie Whitelock

2000 - 2009

  • 2000-01 Brian Eagling
  • 2001-02 Denis O'Flynn
  • 2002-03 Peter Gardner
  • 2003-04 Edward Cahill
  • 2004-05 Louise Sinclair
  • 2005-06 John Mylod
  • 2006-07 Wendy Brice-Thompson
  • 2007-08 Georgina Galpin
  • 2008-09 John Clark
  • 2009-10 Roger Ramsey

2010 - present

  • 2010-11 Pam Light
  • 2011-12 Melvin Wallace
  • 2012-13 Lynden Thorpe
  • 2013-14 Eric Munday
  • 2014-15 Linda Trew
  • 2015-16 Brian Eagling
  • 2016-17 Philippa Crowder
  • 2017-18 Linda Van den Hende

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