Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Lord Mayors of the City of Oxford


”Since 1963 [Oxford] has boasted a Lord Mayor, instead of a plain Mayor, a distinction which it shares with
18 other English cities and which means, pomp apart, nothing whatsoever” (James Morris, 1965)

Lord Mayor's Parade 2009

Above: New Lord Mayor of Oxford Mary Clarkson with outgoing Lord Mayor Susanna Pressel on her right parading through Queen Street on 25 May 2009. Behind them are the new Deputy Lord Mayor John Goddard and Sheriff of Oxford Elise Benjamin

Below: Three former Labour Lord Mayors at the Remembrance Day Parade in St Giles on 13 November 2005: Carol Roberts (1998/9), Maureen Christian (2000/1), and Gill Sanders (2002/3)

Three lady Lord Mayors

The first Lord Mayor of Oxford was Evan Owen Roberts. He was elected plain Mayor in May 1962, but served as Lord Mayor from 23 October 1962 for the last five months of his year of office. This following is a list only, and there is no plan to add biographies. Where, however, the Lord Mayor in question happens to have an entry in Wikpedia, a link is provided; and a note is made if they have a full entry in the Oxford Dictionary for National Biography (ODNB).

Only four women served as Mayor up to 1962, but since that date there have been another eighteen women, shown in red below. Elise Benjamin was Oxford’s first Green Party Lord Mayor.

  • 1962/1963: Evan Owen Roberts
  • 1963/1964: Alec Percival Parker. Died 1973
  • 1964/1965: John Leonard Norman Baker (University Councillor). Died 1971.
                          Has Wikipedia and ODNB entry
  • 1965/1966: Mrs Florence Kathleen Lower, OBE
                         Wife of Marcus Lower (Mayor 1955/6)
  • 1966/1967: Air-Vice-Marshall William Foster Macneece Foster. Died 1978
                          Has Wikpedia entry
  • 1967/1968: Francis (Frank) Vincent Pickstock (Labour). Died 1985
  • 1968/1969: Peter Spencer Spokes (Conservative). Died 1978.
                           Father of Ann Spokes (Lord Mayor in 1976/7). Has biography on “Oxford at War 1914–1918” website
  • 1969/1970: Percy Dudley Bromley. Died 1986
  • 1970/1971: Michael Maclagan (University Councillor). Died 2003
                         Has Wikipedia entry
  • 1971/1972: Thomas James Meadows
  • 1972/1973: Arthur Bernard Connors
  • 1973/1974: Frederick George Ingram (Conservative). Died 2003, aged 100.
                          Report on his death
  • 1974/1975: Mrs Olive Frances Gibbs (Labour, 1st of two terms). Died 1995.
                          Has Wikipedia and ODNB entry
  • 1975/1976: William George Robert Fagg (Labour). Died 2000. Report on his death
  • 1976/1977: Miss Ann Hazel Spokes, later Mrs Ann Spokes Symonds (Conservative).
                          Daughter of Peter Spokes (Lord Mayor 1968/9). Has Wikpedia entry
  • 1977/1978: Mrs Dora Minnie Carr. Died 1991
  • 1978/1979: William Eaton (Bill) Simpson. Died 1981
  • 1979/1980: John Arundell Hamilton (Conservative). Died 1999
                          Husband of Queenie Hamilton (Lord Mayor 1990/1)
  • 1980/1981: Gordon Woodward (Conservative). Died July 2002
  • 1981/1982: Henry Briskol Nicholson Myers Nimmo (Labour). Died in office 12 December 1981
                          Mrs Olive Frances Gibbs (Labour, 2nd of two terms, December 1981 to May 1982 only): see above
  • 1982/1983: Anthony William (Tony) Williamson (Labour)
  • 1983/1984: Mrs Janet Gillespie Todd (Conservative). Died 2006
                         Report on her death
  • 1984/1985: Frank Arnold Garside (Conservative). Died 1988
  • 1985/1986: Roger Alan Dudman (Labour). Died 1990
                         Has Wikipedia entry
  • 1986/1987: John George William Parker (Labour). Died 1989
  • 1987/1988: Mrs Elizabeth Florence Mary Standingford (Labour). Died 2015.
                          Report on her death
                          She acted as Lord Mayor in place of her husband Councillor Bert Standingford (Labour),
                          who died on 19 May 1987 when he was Lord Mayor Elect
  • 1988/1989: Nellie Dorothy (“Queenie”) Whorley (later Mrs Comfort) (Conservative)
  • 1989/1990: Patricia Anne Tempest Yardley (Conservative)
  • 1990/1991: Mrs Queenie Lewingdon Hamilton (Conservative). Died 2016
                          Report on her death. Wife of John Hamilton (Lord Mayor 1979/80)
  • 1991/1992: Alan David Pope (Labour)
  • 1992/1993: Mrs Barbara May Gatehouse (Labour). Died 2016
                          Reports on her retirement and death
  • 1993/1994: John Gordon Power (Labour)
  • 1994/1995: William Walker Buckingham (Labour). Died 2017
  • 1995/1996: Joseph Charles (Joe) Blewitt (Labour)
  • 1996/1997: Beryl Ivy Keen (Labour)
                         Wife of Bryan Keen below. Report on her retirement
  • 1997/1998: William John (Bill) Baker (Labour). Died 2014
                         Report on his death
  • 1998/1999: Carol Roberts (Labour). Died 2015.
                         Report on her death
  • 1999/2000: Mrs Valerie (Val) Smith (Labour). Died 2015
                          Report on her death
  • 2000/2001: Mrs Maureen Christian (Labour). Died 2009
                         Report on her death
  • 2001/2002: Peter Moss (Labour). Died 2006
                          Report on his death
  • 2002/2003: Mrs Gillian Ann (Gill) Sanders (Labour)   
  • 2003/2004: Patrick (Pat) Stannard (Labour)
  • 2004/2005: Bryan Keen (Labour)
                         Husband of Beryl Keen above
  • 2005/2006: Robert John (Bob) Price (Labour)   
  • 2006/2007: Jim Campbell (LibDem)  
  • 2007/2008: John Tanner (Labour)   
  • 2008/2009: Susanna Pressel (Labour)
  • 2009/2010: Mary Clarkson (Labour)
                          Has Wikipedia entry
  • 2010/2011: John Goddard (LibDem)
  • 2011/2012: Elise Benjamin (Green)
  • 2012/2013: Alan Armitage (LibDem). Resigned 4 March 2012 (Report on reasons for resignation)
                          Mohammed Abbasi elected Lord Mayor on 13 March 2013 to cover the final two months of mayoral year
  • 2013/2014: Dee Sinclair (Labour)
  • 2014/2015: Mohammed Abbasi (Labour)
  • 2015/2016: Rae Humberstone (Labour)
  • 2016/2017: Mohammed Altaf-Khan (LibDem)
  • 2017/2018: Jean Fooks (LibDem)

Lord Mayor’s Parade

This takes place in Oxford each year on the Bank Holiday Monday at the end of May,
soon after the new Lord Mayor starts his or her term of office.

Lord Mayor’s Parade 2007

Lord Mayor’s Parade 2008

Lord Mayor’s Parade 2009

Lord Mayor’s Parade 2010

The election of Lord Mayor usually takes place in May each year (immediately after any city council elections). Section 37 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 established the date of local elections throughout the country as the first Thursday in May (but this can be postponed by Statutory Instrument to June if it is necessary that the election coincides with those to the European Parliament)

Oxford City Council: Lord Mayor of Oxford

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 21 June, 2017

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