Reflections 2012: A grand mayoral journey

Lincoln had only 12 women Mayors in 806 years, and as an ordinary working woman with a family, I hope I have shown that it can be done and more women are encouraged to become Councillors and Mayor. I hope that will be my legacy.

This year has certainly been a busy one for me, and getting the chance to meet lots of new people and to try many new things.

I have seen the next generation stepping out into the world at graduation ceremonies, visited residents of care homes to wish them a Merry Christmas, and on Christmas Day I paid a visit to the maternity ward at Lincoln hospital to meet the new arrivals.

For me Lincoln Cathedral never loses its magic, and the people at the Cathedral have become good friends.

The highlight of 2012 was the Olympic torch coming through Lincoln and the celebration at Yarborough afterwards. It was great to see so many people coming together to celebrate the start of the Olympic games.

Opening Lincoln’s Christmas Market and switching on the Christmas Lights were very memorable.

My very first engagement was the Moroccan Market. Later on, the Sausage Festival, Beer Festival and Stokes Coffee Shop 75th birthday were great local events

New experiences have included several concert performances, RAF swing wing evening at the Drill Hall, and as Mayor I was invited to Buckingham Palace for a Royal Garden Party. I loved visiting the Lincolnshire Show, even though I went on the day the heavens opened.

As a Civic Party we have been made particularly welcome by all of those at local RAF bases. We have made friends at RAF Waddington and enjoyed the air show. In June we were invited to RAF Cranwell for a jubilee celebration, where a marching band and a flypast by the Dakota plane were pretty spectacular.

The two most poignant parts of my year were the Battle of Britain service at the Cathedral in September and the Remembrance Sunday service in November where I laid the first wreath. Seeing the veterans and then visiting some of the widows after the Battle of Britain Service was a genuinely humbling experience and I was honoured to have been involved.

This year I have taken part in a number of fundraisers for my charity of the year, St Barnabas Hospice. When someone has cancer or another serious illness, they do not have many choices, but St Barnabas give them and their families choice, dignity and support, both during their illness and their final days. I am very pleased that donations at the Christmas Market raised almost £1,500 for the hospice, and I have been involved in events such as a dress-down day at the council and the Santa Run.

Looking to 2013 I am excited about going to the Great Australian Breakfast in January and visiting our twin town Neustadt in Germany in the spring.


— Karen Lee is a Labour Councillor for the Carholme Ward and the 806th Mayor of Lincoln