My year as Guild Mayor

Carl Crompton will go down in the history books as one of a select few lucky enough to become a Guild Mayor.

For the past 12 months, the University ward councillor has had the responsibility of representing the city during it’s internationally-recognised Guild celebrations, along with wife, Councillor Linda Crompton, as Mayoress.

Coun Carl Crompton getting into character

Coun Carl Crompton getting into character

He said: “People talk about highlights of the year, but to me, every individual event has been a highlight.

“I’ve met the Queen, I’ve sailed on board HMS Charger, I’ve met Katherine Jenkins and Jose Carreras, but I can’t forget all of the visits I’ve done to schools and sheltered housing complexes.

“From my first day as mayor, my aim was for it to be a people’s Guild, and people’s year. I didn’t want to be a ‘desk mayor’, I wanted to get out and meet people.

“I have never refused any event offered to the mayor’s office, unless it clashed with another, because a visit by the mayor is important to everyone.”

During the Guild celebrations in September, Coun Crompton was called upon to officially open the events on Preston Flag Market, and to officiate over numerous activities such as the Guild marathon and official dinners.

He added: “It’s been really, really wonderful, but we were flat out during the Guild week.

“We’d be collected at 8am by our driver, and we’d be out at functions all day, getting back at one or two in the morning, ready to do it all again the next day.

“There were a lot of engagements around that time, and I wanted to be out there, with the people of Preston. Sometimes an event would finish, but instead of going back, I’d spend the rest of the day walking around the city, talking to people, doing as much as I could.”

Later in the term he threw himself into action days and festivities, including getting dressed up as Father Christmas and wearing a skeleton ‘onesie’ to raise awareness of the children’s charity, the Space Centre.

The two Mayor’s charities supported throughout the year were Integrate, a group which helps adults with mental health problems back into work, and the other Gift 92 - a charity which donates unwanted furniture to needy families.

Coun Crompton said there were “far too many people” to thank individually for support during his term, but he did praise council staff for their hard work during the Guild celebrations.

He said: “We’re in troubled times now with redundancies, but the staff can’t be faulted. Some even slept out in a caravan in Avenham Park during the Guild, to make sure that they were there, and everything went according to plan. Others slept over at the Guild Hall.”

He added: “The role of Mayor is really important, and one that is vital to keep. The people of this city like to see the mayoralty out.

“And the people of Preston are a credit to the city. Preston has been recognised around the world for it’s fabulous celebrations, and we really know how to party.”