Rita Crowe
The Mayor of Newark, Mrs Rita Crowe, in the parade from Newark Parish Church to the town hall, following the commemoration service. 040318TV1-4

The Mayor of Newark has asked social media users to post positive remarks about the town rather than critical ones.

Mrs Rita Crowe was speaking at a reception in Newark Town Hall on Sunday after the annual Hercules Clay commemoration service.

“So much is happening in Newark,” she said.

“So it is sad and frustrating that the minority turn to social media to criticise and decry our wonderful town.

“I would urge those of us who use social media to regularly post positive remarks whenever possible.”

Mrs Crowe said Newark Town Council was continually looking at ways to encourage people to return to the town centre and Market Place. The council has responsibility for the market’s operation and Mrs Crowe said significant investment has been made.

“We believe our market has a valuable contribution to make in attracting our local community and visitors,” she said.

“Having invested in market stalls and changed methods of management and operations, we have made the service financially viable.”

Mrs Crowe said bright and colourful tiered-planters in the Market Place impressed many people and she had great pleasure in showing the town off to East Midlands In Bloom judges last summer (when Newark won gold).

She said the town council put a lot of effort into promoting the hanging basket scheme last year. There was a 60% increase in takeup, with more than 200 baskets on display throughout the town.

'A high level of civic pride'

“They are a small matter of detail, but when the majority of shops and businesses come on board they give the town a fabulous lift of colour and demonstrate that the local community has a high level of civic pride,” said Mrs Crowe.

“I urge all businesses to continue to support this scheme in 2018 and, all being well, we can maintain the gold award and could even achieve overall winner with more community involvement.”

The Hercules Clay service is held in Newark Parish Church each year to remember Hercules Clay, whose family survived the Civil War because of a dream.

A merchant by trade, Clay was mayor in 1643 when Newark, a Royalist stronghold, was besieged by Parliamentarian forces.

He moved his family from their home after having a recurring dream that it was in flames. Shortly afterwards it was hit by a mortar shell and set alight. As a result, Clay left a legacy for an annual sermon and for bread to be distributed to the poor.

The service has continued since and is organised by the town council and Newark Business Club.

A parade from Newark Town Hall to and from the church was led by Mrs Crowe and the chairman of the business club, Mrs Amy Codd.

During the service the church’s mission statement was presented to the priest-in-charge of Newark, the Rev David Pickersgill.