Mayor of Chorley 2018/19 - Margaret Lees

The Mayor of Chorley and her Consort are Councillor Margaret Lees and Councillor Roy Lees.

A long serving dedicated councillor is looking forward to serving the residents of the Borough of Chorley after being elected as the new Mayor of Chorley.

Councillor Margaret Lees, who has been a Councillor for 16 years, representing Coppull North, Chorley South East Ward and currently Chorley South West Ward, will be the new Mayor with Councillor Roy Lees as her Consort.

“I am extremely proud and honoured to be the Mayor and will endeavour to do my utmost to serve the Borough and its residents, to promote the benefits of Chorley and raise awareness and funds for my chosen charities. They are Derian House Children’s Hospice, Homestart Central Lancashire and Chorley Mencap. I am also looking forward to meeting the unsung heroes of the Borough, the selfless volunteers, i.e. charities and other organisations such as Scouts and Brownies etc.

This year is particularly poignant for me as well as many others as it’s the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and during which my Grandfather was killed at the Battle of the Somme. As Roy was the Mayor at the centenary of the start of that war it is an added honour to be the Mayor at the centenary of its end.”

Born in Eaves Lane Hospital and raised in Coppull, Margaret attended Coppull Old Parish School and St. Albans (now Albany High School). She trained for two years and qualified as a Nursey Nurse at Lancaster and Morecambe College of Further Education. Once qualified she worked at Chorley Hospital Maternity Wing and at Leyland Day Nursery.

She married her husband Roy in 1970 and they have three children Diane, Michael and Susan. Whilst their children were small she helped to run playgroups in the village. In 2011 she partnered with her youngest daughter Susan in running a successful wedding cake business ‘Elizabeth May’ until her daughter moved to Cheshire.

She has been married to her husband and Consort for 48 years and they have known each other since they were infants, living opposite to each other from the age of 12 years. They now live in the family home which her father built in 1960 and in the Lane that Roy was born in. They have three grandchildren, William and Finley who live in Cheshire, and Violet who lives in Dubai.

She loves her garden, walking along the River Yarrow, reading and re-searching her family tree.

In 2014, when her husband was the Mayor, she was active in events raising funds for his chosen charities, one of which was setting up ‘Chorley’s Got Soul’ in the Lancastrian at the Town Hall. Due to its success, she has held two events in every year since, raising monies for local charities including Homestart, Chorley Help the Homeless and Chorley Mencap. She has planned another for the 20th October 2018. ​
  • The Mayor's Role
    Being Mayor of Chorley is a prestigious role. Here you can find out what the Mayor does and how the Borough's first citizen is chosen.

    The role of the Mayor
    The Mayor is Chorley's first citizen and represents the borough at various community events and at civic and ceremonial occasions. The Mayor also chairs full council meetings. Most Mayors also use their time in office to raise money for charity by organising fundraising events.

    The Deputy Mayor
    The Mayor is supported by a Deputy Mayor who represents and stands in for the Mayor when he is unable to attend functions and events.

    How the Mayor is chosen
    Every year, at the Council's Annual Meeting in May, a new Mayor is formally elected into office and serves as Mayor for one year. In Chorley, the Mayor is usually chosen according to how long someone has served as a councillor.
  • The Mayor's Charity Appeal and Events
    The Mayor will be raising money for Derian House Children’s Hospice, Home-Start Central Lancashire and Chorley Mencap and will be holding the following fundraising events during her year in office:

    Monday 18th June 2018 – Golf Tournament at Duxbury Golf Course
    Saturday 15th September 2018 – Lancashire Night in the Lancastrian at Chorley Town Hall
    Saturday 20th October 2018 – Chorley’s Got Soul in the Lancastrian at Chorley Town Hall
    Friday 30th November 2018 – Christmas by Candlelight at Astley Hall
    Friday 15th February 2019 – Charity Ball in the Lancastrian at Chorley Town Hall
    Saturday 2nd March 2019 - Chorley’s Got Soul in the Lancastrian at Chorley Town Hall

    For further information please contact the Mayor’s Secretary on 01257 515113 /
  • The Mayor's Robe and Chains
    The Mayoral robe and chains are always associated with the town's first citizen but most people do not know the origins of the formal attire.

    The Mayoral Robe - is made from the finest quality wool and is trimmed with artificial fur. The sleeves are also trimmed with artificial fur and a band of velvet. The colour of a Mayor's robe is optional but most Mayors wear a red robe.

    The Mayoral Chains - the Mayoral badge of office is enamelled with the Chorley Borough Coat of Arms. This was bought by public donations and presented to what was then called 'Chorley Corporation' to commemorate Queen's Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.

    The chains include three crowned shields as well as two images of Queen Victoria. One image was bought in Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee year in 1887. The other was bought by public donations and presented to 'Chorley Corporation' 10 years later to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. As far as we know Chorley's Mayoral chains are the only chains in the country to include two images of Queen Victoria.

    The chain was made by F. Elkington of Birmingham in 1886. It weighs 3 ½ lbs which is just over 1 ½ kilos.

    The Mayoress' Chain - is a smaller version of the Mayor's badge of office and is made of 15 carat American gold. The badge is attached to a necklet of 12 scrolling open work links with scrolling connecting links set alternately with pearl and peridot.

    The chain was presented to the then 'Chorley Corporation' by Councillor John Sharples who was Mayor in 1924 because at that time there was no official chain for the Mayoress to wear.

    Consort's Badge of Office - was manufactured by Vaughtons, in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, in late 2004.

    The jewel is made from hallmarked silver, which was assayed at the Birmingham Assay Office. The council crest was hand painted and mounted onto the centre of the jewel, then highly polished. The jewel was suspended from a blue double mitred ribbon, and is housed in a blue handmade leatherette case.
  • Deputy Mayor

    The Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress are Councillor Greg Morgan and Mrs Jocelyn Morgan.

  • Former Mayors
    The list of former Mayors goes back to the 19th century. You can read the roll of honour below to find out who was Mayor when you were born.

    1881-1883 Augustus William Smethurst
    1883 – 1884 Thomas Anderton
    1884 - 1885 Thomas Whittle
    1885– 1886 John Heald
    1886– 1887 Thomas Forrester
    1887-1889 Arthur George Leigh
    1889-1891 Sir Henry Fleming Hibbert
    1891-1893 John Whittle
    1893 -1894 James Lawrence
    1894 -1896 Thomas Howarth
    1896 – 1897 Humphrey Norris Whittle
    1897-1900 Bertram Jackson
    1900-1902 George Thomas Brown
    1902 –1904 Henry Bradley
    1904 -1905 George Thomas Brown
    1905 -1907 James Sharples
    1907 – 1909 James Winder Stone
    1909 -1911 Henry William Hitchen
    1911-1912 Alban Jolly
    1912-1913 William Henry Killick
    1913-1915 Ralph Hindle
    1915-1917 James Turner
    1917-1920 Lewis Wilson
    1920 – 1922 John Fearnhead
    1922 – 1924 John Sharples
    1924 -1925 John Karfoot
    1925 – 1925 John Sharples
    1925 - 1927 Arnold Gillet
    1927 – 1930 Ernest Ashton
    1930 - 1931 Arnold Gillet
    1931-1933 Bertha Maud Gillett
    1933-1935 Peter Henry Hodgkinson
    1935 – 1936 William Wilcock
    1936-1939 Ralph Gent
    1939-1942 Tom Hamer
    1942-1944 Fredric Brindle
    1944-1946 John Green
    1946-1947 Richard Evans
    1947-1949 Ernest Warburton
    1949-1950 Samuel Cookson
    1950-1951 George Brown Fletcher
    1951-1952 Charles Williams
    1952 – 1953 Thomas Heaton
    1953-1954 Edith May Edwards
    1954-1955 Bertram Harry Gaskell
    1955-1956 William Wilcock
    1956-1957 Willie Lowe
    1957-1958 Thomas Grime
    1958-1959 Edith Cunliffe
    1959-1960 Constance Monks
    1960-1961 Wilfred Rawcliffe MBE JP
    1961-1962 George Reginald Rigby
    1962-1963 Alic Robert Sheppard
    1963-1964 David Dunn
    1964-1965 Ian Sellars
    1965-1966 Tom Clifton Shorrock
    1966-1967 - George Frederick Jones
    1967 – 1968 Annie Forshaw
    1968-1969 Walter Bleasdale
    1969-1970 Adam Barnes
    1970-1971 Thomas Rowlandson
    1971-1972 Henry Vickers Davies
    1972-1973 Dennis Edmund Seabrook
    1973-1974 William Wilcock
    1974-1975 William Corcoran
    1975-1976 Patrick Keane
    1976-1977 James Moorcroft MBE
    1977-1978 Elizabeth Raby
    1978-1979 Albert Edward Lowe
    1979-1980 James Glynn
    1980-1981 John Noel Lucas BSc, JP
    1981-1982 Richard Morris JP
    1982-1983 Karl Elijah Sandham
    1983-1984 John Whalley Holme ​
    1984-1985 Geoffrey Simons
    1985-1986 Arthur Miller Crook
    1986-1987 John Gerald Wilson
    1987-1988 Edna Shone JP
    1988-1989 John Livesey
    1989-1990 James Meadows DFC, JP1
    1990-1991 Francis Culshaw
    1991-1992 Barry James Hodson
    1992-1993 Ralph Snape MBE
    1993-1994 Donald Simkin
    1994-1995 Anthony Gee
    1995-1996 George Arthur Birtrill OBE, JP
    1997-1997 Melville George Coombes
    1997-1998 Lindsay Hoyle
    1998-1999 Alan Whittaker
    1999-2000 Mrs Florence Molyneaux
    2000-2001 Thomas McGowan
    2001-2002 Dennis Edgerley
    2002-2003 Raymond Parr
    2003-2004 James Eric Bell
    2004-2005 Daniel Peter Gee
    2005-2006 Marie Gray
    2006-2007 Mary Wilson
    2007-2008 Adrian Lowe
    2008-2009 Terry Brown
    2009-2010- Iris Smith
    2010-2011 Ken Ball
    2011-2012 Pat Case CBE
    2012-2013 June Molyneaux
    2013-2014 John Walker
    2014-2015 Roy Lees
    2015- 2016 Marion Lowe
    2016-2017 Doreen Dickinson
    2017-2018 Mark Perks


  • Civic Maces

    The mace was originally a weapon of war and is without doubt the most primitive of all weapons produced by man. Today's mace is a highly ornamental descendant. It is no longer seen as a weapon but a symbol of authority. Chorley has two maces.

    Brass Mace - this mace was presented to the Mayor and Aldermen of the Borough of Chorley by Alderman John Whittle during his year as Mayor in 1892. It still displays the original motto BEWARE. Made out of solid brass, the mace is quite heavy. It weighs 50 lbs or just over 22 kilos.

    This mace is used to open Full Council meetings every six weeks in the same way that parliament is opened by banging the Council Chamber door three times at 6.30pm. The Civic Attendant then takes the mace into the Council Chamber followed by the Mayor, Chief Executive and Mayoress.

    The mace is placed on the dias in front of the Mayor with the crown pointing to the Mayor's right. The mace would only be pointed left if Head of State was present. The Civic Attendant leaves the Council Chamber and waits in the Mayor's Parlour until he hears a buzzer which is the signal to go and collect the mace followed by the Mayor which ends the Council Meeting.

    Silver Mace - this mace is solid silver and is used for Mayoral parades in the town such as Civic Sunday, which usually takes place in May shortly after the Mayor comes into office. It was presented to the Town Hall by Alderman Arnold Gillett in 1930 on his appointment as Jubilee Mayor. The figure on the top of the mace represents St Laurence, deacon and martyr of Rome. The mace has precious stones around the edges and three dragons similar to those on the brass mace.

  • The Coat of Arms

    The census of 1881 showed that the population of Chorley had reached almost 19,472.

    By Royal Charter, which is granted by the Sovereign to legitimise an incorporated body such as a town, Chorley became a borough with four wards, eight aldermen and 24 councillors. There were 42 nominations for these seats.

    Along with the charter the borough acquired a handsome coats of arms incorporating the blue cornflowers of the Chorley family's coat of arms, yet the motto chosen BEWARE generated much curiosity. In 1988, the motto was amended to BE AWARE.