paid to former Burnham-On-Sea Mayoress Margot Jones
have this week been paid to a former Mayoress of Burnham-On-Sea
and Highbridge who has died at the age of 84.
Jones, the wife of Burnham district and town councillor Neville
Jones, has passed away after a brain tumour.
was a strong supporter of the town and gave her backing to many
community groups over the years. While Mayoress, she introduced
the town's Civic Awards ceremony to recognise the efforts of local
people and she also held many civic receptions and helped fundraise
for BARB's first rescue boat.
and Margot met in 1948 after a mobile hairdressing business set
Neville on a blind date. After they married in 1949, pictured
below, they bought a house on the edge of the Cotswolds while
Neville took his first steps into local government, becoming the
youngest member of Oxford County Council at age 29.
there, they moved to Devon and ran two successful hotels. The
couple moved to Burnham in 1972, where Neville has served on the
town, district and county councils and received an OBE in 1993.
He has been Mayor of Burnham and Highbridge four times, with Margot
giving strong support as Mayoress.
could never do the things I have achieved without her," says
Neville. "She spent a huge amount of time supporting me and
was the most excellent hostess with guests. She was a very active
Mayoress - I say that with pride - and was very energetic in so
many things. She never minded putting her hand into her purse
to help with hospitality, a standard that has been maintained
had a key role in helping to fundraise for the first BARB rescue
boat in Burnham and helped with many follow-on fundraising events.
She was also instrumental in the major alterations that took place
at the Princess Hall, as it called was then. It was her idea to
take away the middle floor for a theatre with a retractable floor
and to put a balcony in there. She loved being Mayoress and was
very proud of the role."
Mayor Cllr Martin Cox paid tribute to her this week, saying: "I
will always have fond memories of Margot. A devoted wife to her
husband Neville, she had a ready smile for everyone and always
looked glamorous, even in her most recent years. She was also
the perfect hostess for the many dinner parties at their seafront
apartment. Margot was the rock behind Nevilles busy life
dealing with his varied council responsibilities and her encyclopaedic
knowledge of people and places also helped in this regard. Margot
was a very strong woman, not without her own opinions, as Neville
will very well know! Margot was a remarkable woman and the world
is a much poorer place without her."
Parkin, a close friend and fellow town councillor, added: "Margot
was instrumental in setting up the civic awards system whilst
her husband was Mayor with Sir Mark Pizey being its first recipient.
She felt that ordinary people who put so much time and effort
into voluntary work as well as notable figures should receive
their due recognition. She also introduced some much-needed glamour
to the position of Mayoress and was rarely seen in public without
worked alongside her husband to secure funding from Sedgemoor
District Council to redevelop the then Princess Hall after it
had fallen into disrepair. Visiting officers and councilors were
always welcome to her home and treated to her wonderful home cooking.
With a background in the hotel trade she found no difficulty in
catering for dignitaries who had previously been welcomed with
tea and biscuits. Whilst it may be the norm now, it was she who
started the trend of holding mayoral receptions for town twinnings
and whenever councillors and officers needed to be shown around
the parish. Many of the traditions that she started have been
copied by other towns and parishes and she was always a popular
figure among councilors not only from local parishes but also
from farther afield where she supported her husband who become
Chairman of the national Federation of Economic Development Association."
Eileen Shaw, who was Town Clerk while Margot was Mayoress, added:
"My husband and I were saddened to hear of Margots
death. We will always remember her as an attractive, sometimes
feisty, but always kind and generous woman. She was always a great
support to Neville during 65 years of marriage, through good times
and difficult times. She was also a great asset to the towns as
Mayoress and was well-known for the way in which she hosted dignatories
and us ordinary folk alike. I will miss her, and send my deepest
sympathy to Neville and her family."
funeral service will be held at 12.30pm on Thursday, January 29th
at St Andrew's Church in Burnham-On-Sea. The dress code will be
lounge suits, black ties and 'cheerful button holes'.
and Neville meeting Prince Edward during his visit to BARB last
couple arriving at the Burnham and Highbridge Civic Service in