Role of the Mayor
Pages in Role of the Mayor
3. Civic occasions
On very formal occasions, such as the annual meeting of the Council, Remembrance Day, Civic Sunday and Freedom of the Borough ceremonies, the Mayoral robes are worn. On these occasions, the chain of office is also worn with the Mayoral robes, which are edged with synthetic fur. The chain can also be worn on its own for other important engagements in the Borough. When the robes are worn the Macebearer is in attendance.
The use of ceremonial maces has its precedence in the use of the mace as a weapon of war. Today's ceremonial maces are a highly ornamental descendant of the prehistoric club or bludgeon.
In the course of time, the mace became no longer a weapon but a symbol of authority. Today's ceremonial maces are therefore carried upside down.
The mace precedes the Mayor when entering and leaving the Council Chamber and rests horizontally in front of the Mayor when council is sitting.
The Council’s mace is 48 inches long and weighs 18lbs. It was made by Elkington and Co. of Birmingham in 1896 and presented by Alderman F.E. Barnes JP CC on 26 November 1900. Alderman Barnes was the Mayor of Reigate from 1897-99.
The Mayor’s Chain of Office
In July 1869 Mayor Charles Smith, the third Mayor of Reigate, presented a loyal address to the Prince of Wales who came with Princess Alexandria to lay the memorial stone to an addition to the Earlswood Asylum. At the following Council meeting he reported the Royal ceremonial event and the agenda contains a proposal that 'a golden chain be provided for the Mayor as his insignia of office at a cost not to exceed 150 guineas'.
The proposal was passed and the Mayor wore the chain for the October meeting. It had been supplied by Mr Henry Fowle, of Fowle & Sons, Redhill, clockmaker and jeweller, who claimed subsequently it had been made at cost, presumably no more than £150 guineas, £157.50. The Chain is triple linked and weighs 20 ounces. It is engraved on both sides of the large links.