Mr Norwich City to be Mr City of Norwich
Mr Norwich City is about to become Mr City of Norwich as civic leaders are set to unveil Roy Blower as the next Lord Mayor.The 63-year-old city councillor will be proposed for the position during a full council meeting at Blackfriars Hall next Tuesday .
Mr Norwich City is about to become Mr City of Norwich, as civic leaders are set to unveil Roy Blower as the next Lord Mayor.
The 63-year-old city councillor will be proposed for the position during a full council meeting at Blackfriars Hall next Tuesday.
The switch from the City Hall chamber, which is being refurbished, is itself going to make a bit of history and last night Mr Blower said Tuesday will be the 50th anniversary of another memorable civic occasion when the then Lord Mayor Sir Arthur South made an impassioned appeal to save Norwich City Football Club, which was in dire financial straits.
"We were bottom of the third division south and we finally finished five points below the second from bottom club," he said. "He made a fantastic speech and I was holding the blanket as people were throwing two bobs and half crowns into it.
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"I can still remember that speech and to be in a position to emulate somebody like that, who I rate as the best orator to come out of Norwich, is fantastic."
And as he dons his civic robes, the father of three appears untroubled that he could have more silverware around his neck than is stored in his beloved club's trophy cupboard.
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Born in the city, he went to Bignold School and grew up in Vauxhall Street. In 1972 he became the youngest ever city magistrate.
He served as a county councillor between 1997 and 2001 until defeated by the Liberal Democrats. He reclaimed the seat in 2005.
An active campaigner, he led the battle for a West Pottergate community centre and has also led resistance to the installation of mobile phone masts. He has also been a vociferous supporter of anti-social behaviour orders to tackle yob culture.
More recently, he success-fully spearheaded moves to get a controversial city council contract with Citycare rewritten after complaints some residents were being overcharged for repair work.
He is also been a governor at Earlham High School for 29 years and at Avenue Middle School for 27.
But it is as chairman of the Norwich Independent Supp-orters' Association that he may be better known - leading the campaign to oust former chairman Robert Chase from the club in the 1990s.
However, like the result of a Norwich City match, he said he was taking nothing for granted until a formal announcement had been made. And with his seat up for election in May there is a risk that he could be substituted before taking up office.
"I would be extremely proud as a Norwich boy to have that honour," he said. "It's a fantastic tradition and I'll be one of only 25 lord mayors in the country."
The EDP also understands that former council leader Nick Williams will be proposed as the new Sheriff of Norwich.
The pair would succeed current Lord Mayor Felicity Hartley, and Sheriff of Norwich John Drake.