Every year in Newbury, since 1947 there has been a Mayor’s Drive. Believed to be unique, it is a treasured event in Newbury’s calendar. Starting after the war, it is an afternoon out for Newbury parishioners aged 75 and over, on the first Wednesday in July.
More than 100 volunteer drivers collect participants from their homes and drive them around the local countryside and villages, eventually arriving at the destination of the Tea Party. This year the tea party is to be held in the grounds of West Woodhay House, by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Harry Henderson. On arrival the guests are greeted by the Mayor, Councillor David Fenn alongside the Town Crier, Brian Sylvester and are provided with a picnic tea (sponsored by the Mayor of Newbury’s Benevolent Fund). Volunteer drivers then set out tables and deckchairs for their guests.
The guests this year will be entertained by the Newbury Town Band, Watership Brass, and those who are able will be invited to walk around the gardens of West Woodhay House. The highlight for many of the hundreds that attend each year, is catching up with old friends. Finally, prizes are awarded for the oldest guests and all those over one hundred years old.
This year, as it is the 70th anniversary, participants will receive a special souvenir coaster.
Mayor of Newbury, Councillor David Fenn said: “I am delighted to be a part of this wonderful tradition on its 70th anniversary”
The event takes place come rain or shine