'A unique and honourable role': Joy as new Town Reeve is unveiled
PUBLISHED: 00:01 04 December 2019
A former mayor admitted she was honoured to have been asked to take on a prestigious role.
Judy Cloke was installed into the unique and ancient office of Town Reeve of Bungay on Tuesday night (December 3).
Mrs Cloke was presented with the robes and chain of office by outgoing reeve Sylvia Knights, who said she was a worthy successor.
A former town mayor, and currently a town councillor and Bungay's representative on East Suffolk Council, Mrs Cloke said she was "flattered, delighted and honoured" to be asked to take on the Town Reeve role.
Bungay is believed to be the only town to retain the unique and ancient role, which dates back to Saxon times.
The Town Reeve serves as head of the Bungay Town Trust, which is made up of feoffees (trustees)
She said: "I had to think about it, because I am very busy anyway, and I want to be able to do it justice.
"But I have accepted this honour to represent the town as the holder of this ancient office. I appreciate how important the role is to the people of Bungay.
"It is certainly a unique and honourable role which I look forward to fulfilling to the best of my ability."
Mrs Cloke, who is a claims adjudicator at the Department of Work and Pensions in Norwich, said she was looking forward to a busy year, and aimed to so some fundraising for the planned new community centre on which work should start shortly.
She is chairman of the centre trustees, who have been working on the project for some time, and she has been instrumental in moving it forward to a point where work can finally start.
It will be built on the old grammar school field in St John's Road, replacing the current outdated community centre in Upper Olland Street.
Born in London, the youngest of five sisters, Mrs Cloke moved to North Norfolk with her parents as a child.
She moved with her husband, Brian, to Bungay in 1982 having previously lived in Norwich. They have two daughters, Tamzin and Jennifer.
Paying tribute to the work Mrs Knights had done as Town Reeve, Mrs Cloke said: "Sylvia has conducted herself in the role as Reeve with dignity and charm.
"She has been a huge credit to the town as Reeve and I only hope I can do half as well - she is a hard act to follow."