William Lancaster, the Last Mayor of Mitcham

Clip from Merton Memories photo 49059 (c) London Borough of Merton

Clip from Merton Memories photo 49059 (c) London Borough of Merton

Coun. William Lancaster, 66-year-old veteran of the First World War, was appointed Mayor of Mitcham at the Council’s annual meeting on Thursday last week.

He is the 31st and last Mayor of Mitcham. For at the end of the municipal year Mitcham Council will cease to exist. It will be merged with the new Borough of Merton.

At the mayor-making ceremony, watched by a large audience, Coun. Lancaster said he hoped that, at some time in the future, when he is referred to as the last Mayor of Mitcham, he will also be acclaimed as the last but not least.

His nomination was proposed by Counc. Dennis Hempstead, chairman of the housing committee, and seconded by Ald. Herbert Ash.

SADNESS

Coun. Lancaster has served as a Labour Party member on the councilfor 12 years.

After he had signed the register the new mayor said: “It is with some sadness that we reflect that Mitcham as a separate borough will end in March, 1965, but during the 30-odd years we have been our own authority we can be justly proud of our record, particularly in housing, welfare and predominantly, I would say, in financial administration, for without doubt our treasurer’s department have in their astute handling of the finances of the boorough brought immeasurable relief to us as ratepayers.”

He added: “There are many things we would like to have seen carried on in the development of the borough, but these must now be in the hands of the new Borough of Merton in which I am sure we all will wish the best of good firtune.”

Eralier Coun. Lancaster spoke of past Mayors of Mitcham.

“Apart from my years as a councillor, I have made the acquaintance of many of my predecessors and there have a personal knowledge of the devotion they gave to the duties of this high office and the dignity they brought to the traditions and services of this council and the borough as a whole.

PRESENTATION

“This knowledge will form the basis of the standards that, with my wife, the Mayoress, we will set ourselves to maintain during our term of office and I sincerely trust we shall be successful in our efforts.”

After the mayor-making a presentation was made to the retiring Mayor, Counc. William H. Sanderson.

In a short address he thanked all officers and members of the council for their help during the past year.

Coun. Sanderson, who did not stand in the recent elections for Merton Council, was presented with a self-winding, five-year clock.

Counc. George Shearing has been re-appointed Deputy-Mayor.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 29th May, 1964, page 1.

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