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Archive - Monday, 7 December 2009
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Burn elect Harry Gration and Hilda Ogden as its honorary mayor and mayoress
A TINY village near Selby has elected BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration as its honorary mayor – with actress Jean Alexander, Coronation Street’s Hilda Ogden, as his mayoress.
Harry Gration with the key and scroll appointing him as mayor of Burn
Harry accepted the office after switching on Burn’s Christmas lights on Saturday. Jean performed the switch-on last year.
Burn has a population of 300 and only 12 Christmas street lights plus a display on and around the Christmas tree, but the little village, south of Selby, celebrates Christmas big style. Harry, who lives in York, was presented with a giant key representing the freedom of the village along with a scroll of office which entitles him to free beer in the village’s sole pub, The Wheatsheaf.
He told residents after the switch-on: “I am honoured and delighted to accept, especially with Jean Alexander as mayoress. I think I will have a fun term in office.” The actress, a regular visitor to Burn, said she was looking forward to her new role and to serving alongside Harry. One villager commented: “Wetwang has weatherman Paul Hudson as its mayor, but we’ve got Harry Gration and Hilda Ogden. How can you beat that?”
Residents also organised Burn’s first Edwardian Christmas market in The Wheatsheaf car park and raised hundreds of pounds for the village’s Methodist Chapel.
The Christmas lights were also switched on in Selby on Saturday, with Mayoress Jennifer Shaw-Wright and Margaret Fewer, chairman of the Friends of Selby War Memorial Hospital, performing the honours. Many local families turned out to attend the event.