A new book has been launched celebrating an Otley councillor’s “extraordinary” year as town mayor.
Councillor Mary Vickers (Lib Dem, Prince Henry’s) carried out 325 mayoral engagements during her time in the role, which coincided with the Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics.
Her duties included everything from welcoming back Otley’s Olympic medal-winning cyclist Lizzie Armitstead and lighting beacons on the Chevin to shaving two men – parish priest Canon Lawrie Hulme and resident Raoul Guise – for charity.
Coun Vickers has, working with Otley-based Catapult Books, brought out My Year as Mayor of Otley to both document her whirlwind 12 months and raise more money for her former mayoral charities.
She said: “I think I’m the first Otley town mayor to write a book .
“I just thought, to celebrate the Jubilee and the Olympics and my fantastic year as mayor, it would be appropriate to bring a book out to help the community of Otley understand the job and how many commitments you can have.
“There are photos of many schools, lighting the beacons on the Chevin, welcoming Lizzie home and much more.”
The book costs £5, with all profits going to the Sylvia Wright Trust, Leeds General Infirmary’s Breast Cancer Unit, and St James’s Hospital’s Cleft Palate Unit.
Coun Vickers raised £3,125 for each of those causes during her mayoral year.
She will be available to sign copies at the Otley Core Resource Centre, Orchard Gate, between 10am and 11am and from 3pm to 4pm, throughout August.
In the epilogue, she writes: “I have had an immense number of engagements over the year and it has been a great pleasure and privilege to meet so many people of all ages.
“A particular highlight, given that I am a retired nursery teacher, has been to visit local schools and especially early-years children.
“Some of the questions from the children have been quite challenging.
“Do I live in a big house with a big car and loads of money? The children were shocked to discover the answer was no!
“You certainly need to think on your feet. Nevertheless, the children’s respect for the mayor has been particularly humbling.
“What a pleasure to see my role through the eyes of a child.”
Other events featured in the book include switching on Otley’s Christmas lights with local Olympians Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee and the unveiling of the Diamond Jubilee sculpture – created by Otley artist Shane Green – in Wharfemeadows Park.