Memorial mace designed in memory of former mayor Peggy Thorpe
- Credit: GOLDSTRAWS
A former mayor of St Neots has presented the town with a gift which represents a lasting memorial to his late wife.
Cllr Gordon Thorpe, who still serves on St Neots Town Council, worked with St Neots-based Goldstraw Goldsmiths to create a unique ceremonial mace in memory of Peggy who was mayoress between 2009 and 2011.
Maces are used by universities, councils, and parliaments as symbols of jurisdiction, authority, and independence. This one-of-a-kind, hand-made, private commission from Cllr Thorpe was officially presented at a virtual Town Council meeting on May 4. It will be used during St Neots ceremonial processions and displayed at full town council meetings.
Cllr Thorpe said: “When Peggy and I looked around St Neots in 1996, for a permanent home on my retirement from the Royal Air Force, it was Peggy who fell in love with the area and decided it was to be our new home. We never looked back. I adore St Neots.
“The mace is a gift to the community of St Neots: a place filled with so many happy memories of Peggy. It’s an everlasting memorial to her.
Mr Goldstraw said, “We are a proud St Neots business, celebrating our 40th year of trade in the town. When Gordon came to me with the idea for a mace, I felt honoured. From the first sketch to the final details, Gordon’s love for Peggy has shone through, and I am sure St Neots Town Council will treasure its new finery.”
Key design features include a representation of a crown atop a dark heavy wood staff. The decorative elements, including the crown, are crafted from silver and covered with 22ct gold. The ceremonial object shares similar aesthetics to the new mayoral chain, gifted to St Neots Town Council by Goldstraw Goldsmiths in 2019.
St Neots mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, said: “I am grateful to Paul for the exquisite craftsmanship that has gone into designing and making the mace, and indeed my ceremonial chain.
“This ceremonial mace is an impressive and beautiful piece of craftsmanship. I am very proud to receive it as mayor of St Neots. It is a fitting tribute to my predecessor, mayor Gordon Thorpe, and his excellent service both as a councillor and as chairman of the Council. It is also a wonderful way to remember his late wife Peggy and her service to the town as mayoress.”