THE HISTORIC Bromsgrove Court Leet has elected Neil Beaumont to be the Bailiff for the next 12 months and Robert Bird to be his Reeve.
Outgoing Bailiff Joanne Slade, the first woman in the Court’s history to hold the role, became the Custodian of the Records and Herald – a new position created to cover communications.
The business took place at the Great Autumn Court held annually to elect the Bailiff and officers.
In recent years the meeting has been held at Bromsgrove School and Court Leet
Members gathered in the Old Chapel ahead of the meeting.
Also in attendance were the High and Low Bailiffs from neighbouring Courts Leet in
Alcester, Henley-in-Arden and Warwick, along with the High Bailiff from Northleach Court Leet.
The 50 Court Leet members present and their guests made a short procession from the Old Chapel to the Cookes Room where the Autumn Court was held.
Newcomers who joined during the pandemic when meetings were held on Zoom were officially sworn in by the Worthy Steward John Fisher.
Ealdorman Jeremy Sharp was sworn in as an Affeeror, Past Tythingman for the Burcot yield Charlie Ayres was sworn in as The Headborough, past Tythingman Mark Robinson took the oath to join the Jury.
Retired teacher Peter Gale and Bromsgrove Printer Richard Nokes were sworn in as Tythingmen for the Gannow and Fockbury yields.
A vote of thanks was given for Immediate Past Bailiff Joanne Slade who responded by saying it had been her great honour and absolute joy to serve the Court and town as Bailiff.
She said whilst the pandemic had stopped some of her plans, she had very much enjoyed the events on Zoom and, once restrictions were lifted, had used the traditions of the Court to support local independent businesses, charities and schools.
Among her highlights were arranging the bunting in the town for Fair Day, the Assizes Day for Heritage Open Day and supporting Avoncroft Museum at its reopening weekend and for Lammas Day.
Jo also paid thanks to Town Crier Kevin Ward for his support and long-term commitment to the Court and town.
New Bailiff Mr Beaumont said he was very honoured to take up the role.
“We are so fortunate previous members worked hard to preserve its existence.
“Bromsgrove remains one of the relatively few such Courts in the country with the legal right to uphold its ancient customs.”
He also paid tribute to his predecessor.
“Immediate Past Bailiff Joanne Slade has steered the Court so energetically through these last two Covid-plagued years, not just delivering an extremely successful programme of events, but managing to enhance the Court’s community profile.
“I am looking forward to building on Jo’s legacy and to serving our great town and Court Leet of Bromsgrove.”