Beverley's new mayor out to make Beverley brighterTue 5th June 2018
Stepping into the breach left by former Deputy Mayor Phil Dodsworth, who has had to step down is Councillor Bryan Pearson. After 50 years of continuous public service, it seems fitting that Bryan takes the reins at Beverley Town Council and builds on the success of previous Mayor, Councillor Ann Willis.
Bryan was Mayor of the old Beverley Borough Council in 1994/95 but the role is now very different. Bryan is already discovering that he is now in great demand to appear with the Chains of Office, flying the flag for Beverley from many different quarters and is already having to make choices between events he is attending. So, it’s a good job that he has Councillor Duncan Jack as Deputy!
Bryan is Beverley born and bred. 84 years ago, young Pearson arrived, the 8th of 9 children, and although one sibling died, his parents adopted a nephew, so there were still 11 of them in the house. His family lived on ‘Shanghai’ (Cherry Tree Estate) and were very poor. His Dad worked in the Beverley shipyard and died when he was 76; his Mum did part-time jobs to try to make ends meet and had a major stroke when she was 49, dying at 59 – Bryan says she was ‘worn out’.
He said: “We lived on hand-outs from the Salvation Army. I managed the ration books and begged and borrowed extra supplies for my brothers and sisters. My Grandad, Josh Robson, was a rabbit-catcher and I would go out with him to catch rabbits and hares to keep us going. I went to St Mary’s Boys School and then to the High School for Commerce in Hull. I got a free transport pass which meant I could go to Albert Avenue Swimming Pool as I loved swimming and I was good at it – I was County of Yorkshire Back Stroke Swimming Champion in 1959/60. I was in the RAF from 52-56, working as an accounts clerk, but the Station Commander was a swimming fan, so he let me form a swimming team and a water polo team. I don’t swim nowadays, but I do keep fit by walking and gardening.”
Bryan married his wife, Shirley, now Mayor’s Consort, 58 years ago. “She trailed round after me whilst I was at swimming training” said Bryan “so I knew she was serious about me. We now have 2 sons, 4 grandchildren and a great grandchild who was born on my birthday and lots of nieces and nephews.”
Bryan first became a Councillor in 1976 and has been elected every year since bar one when he temporarily lost his seat on East Riding Council. He is very proud of his achievements which he firmly believes have made Beverley a better place. Beverlonians clearly concur with his vision and hard, mainly voluntary work (Beverley Town Councillors are not paid) as he keeps being re-elected. He said:
“Councillors should work together no matter what their political colour. We’ve stopped planners wanting to knock the Friary down, stopped them bull-dozing St Andrew’s Street, from demolishing the cottages on the corner of Swaby’s Yard, from destroying the corner of Saturday Market with what is now Browns. We’ve made cost-savings although people don’t realise we have and bid for pockets of money to make improvements such as road developments and we’ve removed sex inequality so there’s no work-place discrimination.”
Bryan’s aim for his Mayoral Year is to encourage more collaboration between the town’s organisations with the Town Council as the hub and to make Beverley even more attractive to visitors, which should also help to counteract on-line purchasing. “Beverley blossoms with activity” said Bryan “but there are some buildings which let the place down. I want everyone to have pride in the town and make sure it sparkles. I don’t care if you work for a multinational – if you work here in Beverley you are contributing to its success. And every contribution is important. So get out the paint-tin, clean those windows, hang up a basket of flowers and let’s look bright and welcoming. If there’s a problem, come and talk to the Town Council – we are open to ideas!”
Our new Mayor is a very engaging man and one thing we can be very sure about is that, with him at the helm, Beverley is in safe hands!
Councillor Bryan Pearson can be contacted via the Town Council on 01482 874096.
Councillor Bryan Pearson was elected as Mayor of Beverley at the Guild Hall in Register Square.
Out going Mayor Ann Willis presented awards for ;-
Good neighbour award - Beverley in Bloom.
Young Persons award - St Marys Boys and Girls Brigade
Highly Commended - Beverley interaction club
Cheques to - Beverley Riding for the Disabled and CRUSE Bereavement Care
Honorary Freeman Presentation - Tina Cerutti and Andrew Marr MBE in recognition of the service given to the town and people of Beverley.