IT was three knocks on the door that began the showpiece event of the new mayoral year, writes news editor Phil Simms.
In came town sergeant Cliff Austin bearing the mace and town clerk Mike Kennedy in a wig to be met by councillors dressed in their blue robes of office.
There should have been no doubt among those stood to receive them inside the town hall that this was an event for the purists.
Mayor-making is, in practice, a fait accompli with all the debating over who should wear the chain of office already done behind closed doors.
So cue some paper shuffling of pre-prepared speeches, the outpour of gushing affection and political back-slapping. Councillor Ian Reissmann spoke of outgoing Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak’s success at asserting his authority, describing his put-downs as like “being hugged by a bear”, adding: “We’ve all felt it — I certainly have”.