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Cllr Mary Coleman set to become mayor of the Great Yarmouth borough in the 2018/19 municipal year

Cllr Mary Coleman is to become the mayor of the Great Yarmouth borough in the 2018/19 municipal year, having served previously as both mayoress and deputy mayor.

Mayor Cllr Mary Coleman


She will be officially elected into the ceremonial, non-political role at the annual council meeting on Monday, May 14, when she will take over from Cllr Kerry Robinson-Payne who will become deputy mayor.

As the first citizen of the borough, she will chair full council meetings, help to raise money for her chosen charities, and represent the borough and its people at functions both inside and outside of the area.

Mary, who lives in Martham, was elected to the West Flegg ward in 2007, working alongside her husband, Cllr Barry Coleman, to represent the villages of Martham, Repps with Bastwick, Thurne, Ashby, Oby and Rollesby.

She said: "I have lived in the borough for 45 years now and it's a wonderful honour and opportunity to be chosen by my fellow councillors to represent our great borough and its people in the historic role of mayor.

"Serving as mayoress twice and deputy mayor were real privileges and I am really hoping as mayor to re-visit some of the community groups and charities I was invited to before, to see how they have progressed and help celebrate their marvelous work, as well as meet some new groups and individuals. 

"I'm looking forward to raising money and awareness for my chosen charities, which are close to my heart. I am also looking forward to welcoming the mayors and chairman of the other Norfolk councils to the Great Yarmouth Air Show, which will be a major showcase and boost for our borough."

Originally from Coventry, Mary met Barry at teacher training college, near Grantham, in 1962, and worked for a while as a teacher in Nottingham, then Thetford. In the early 1970s, the couple moved to Martham when Barry secured a post at Martham Secondary Modern School, now Flegg High. Mary took a break from teaching to bring up their two children.

In 1986, she started teaching again and served for 18 years at Flegg High until her retirement. While initially an English teacher, she branched out to cover a range of subjects, including geography, history and special needs, before specialising in IT.

Mary served twice as mayoress when Barry was the mayor, in both 1983/84 and 2011/12. She was also deputy mayor in 2014/15. Barry will be mayor's consort during her own special year as mayor. The couple have two children and one grandchild.  

Among her many voluntary interests, Mary is a member of Great Yarmouth Inner Wheel, St Mary's Church, Martham, and Martham Churches Together, as well as being an active supporter of the Great Yarmouth Stroke Association Support Group.

She is also known for her performances for charity as a long-standing member of the Martham Handbell Ringers and in her comic stage role as Mrs Mopp, a story-telling Norfolk housewife. She has also been a Norwich City FC supporter for 52 years and is a proud Canaries season ticket holder. 

For her year as mayor, Mary's chosen charities include the Great Yarmouth Stroke Association Support Group and the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Young Carers.

Last modified on 10 May 2023

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