'Children thought I was Santa' - outgoing mayor reflects on time in office

The new Lord Mayor of Norwich, Vaughan Thomas, and the new Sheriff of Norwich, Dr Marian Prinsley, o

The outgoing Lord Mayor of Norwich, Vaughan Thomas, and Sheriff of Norwich, Dr Marian Prinsley, on the City Hall steps. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Norwich's outgoing Lord Mayor has said the role has been an "enormous privilege".

Vaughan Thomas will stand down from the role next week after being sworn in for what was meant to be a single year in May 2019.  

“It was unfortunate because of the circumstances but it was needs must,” Mr Thomas said.  

“Everyone has been doing their bit all the way through the pandemic.  

“The elections last year were postponed due to the pandemic, which was no surprise, we have had online meetings but obviously the majority of meetings were cancelled. 

“Thankfully, we have now started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have to be cautious.” 

The new Lord Mayor of Norwich, Vaughan Thomas. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Vaughan Thomas. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Thomas may be the only two consecutive-term Lord Mayor in the city’s history. Since 1900 the only person to come close was Walter Gibbard Cutbush, who served a year-and-a-half between 1947 and 1949. 

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The father of five said some of his fondest memories of being Lord Mayor were the visits to schools. 

Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas made the first contactless donation to Norwich Street Aid. Phot

Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas making the first contactless donation to Norwich Street Aid. - Credit: Archant

“It is an enormous pleasure to meet the youngsters. 

“I remember seeing children who wanted to know if I was father Christmas because of the red robes and one asked if I was a pirate because of the hat." 

Asked what advice he would give to the next lord mayor, he said “always have a speech in your back pocket” and "do the prep". 

While Mr Thomas said while the number of events can be exhausting, he wants the civic teams to get more involved in the community, adding anyone can ask the Lord Mayor along to an event. 

The new Lord Mayor of Norwich, Vaughan Thomas, with his wife, Lady Mayoress, Vivien Thomas, and the

The new Lord Mayor of Norwich, Vaughan Thomas, with his wife, Lady Mayoress, Vivien Thomas, and the new Sheriff of Norwich, Dr Marian Prinsley, with her husband, Peter Prinsley, on the City Hall steps. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

"It's an old role but we need to be working more closely with the community, it's an integral part of Norwich history," he said.

"We have got so much heritage, Norwich is a fine city, It is my adopted city, and I am proud of it."