Halfway through the Green’s year of office as the Civic Party

Now is a good time to share the thoughts that come to mind at nearly the halfway point of a year in office as the Civic party.

There is no let-up in the continuous stream of hugely varied events, but in order to keep one’s head above water I think it is essential to give just whatever time possible to reflection – there may be no food in the house, but no matter, there is no room on the table between the piles of papers at which to eat it.

Some events are relatively simple such as visiting all the stalls at a village show, some are unlikely such as sitting at a table in St. Sampson’s Square with alfresco tea and cakes from Brown’s while watching and congratulating the teams in the Day of Dancing, others are so overwhelming as to need a lot of absorbing such as the three different parts of Remembrance Sunday, with a white wreath laid for the first time in York, and other services in the Minster.


Many events are annual and have been part of the civic calendar for decades, some are in response to one-off invitations from businesses or to celebrate community anniversaries, and if we keep our heads, we can fit in themes that we think important though they have never been done before. One such is visits behind the scenes to the workers in places like the Railway Operations building, the Hospital support workers, the Refuse collectors at Hazel Court etc.

For the first few months of this job, I felt so numbed by the constant change of register three times in the same day, from German disabled cycling visitors to Normandy Veterans, from Lord Lieutenants to small cub Scouts, from nationally renowned musicians to school award winners, that I could not even see the enormous and extraordinary privilege of spending a year of one’s life getting to know the amazing variety of what goes on in one’s home town – and that such a home town as York. But after the first two months I began to adjust, and now I feel that as long as I keep a diary, however sketchy, it will not turn out to have been a dream at the end of our term.


Dave and Susie have fulfilled their role with aplomb, Dave always saying a few appropriate words including a prepared presentation to the Chinese in Nanging which apparently went down very well, where the Lord Mayor signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mayor of Nanjing; so York is effectively ‘twinned’ with the ancient capital of China.

We have just come back from a Liberal Jewish Shabbat service – beautiful and impressive. Last week we had the launch of my book, heard speakers about Local planning, and about the importance of integrity by lawyers, saw a series of photos on screen at Holgate Memorial Hall about how they bought themselves a second-hand Nissen hut for a community hall 70 years ago after their Beideker raid …. Tonight it’s the Guildhall

and so we go on.

Maybe it’s time for something to eat.

Brenda Tyler – Sheriff’s Lady 20.11.2016

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