Vexed question of the Mayoralty

[The Luton Reporter: Tuesday, August 26th, 1919]

It is usual for the Mayoralty to come up for consideration at an early meeting of the Council after the summer vacation, but it is difficult to see how any binding decision can be arrived at this year until after the municipal elections.

Everyone is agreed a change is inevitable. Friends of the present Mayor, who scouted the suggestion that his flight from the town meant the practical termination of his period of office, have had to recognise that their confidence in his strength of will and purpose has miscarried.

The Mayoress, having finished the month's holiday planned for her, has returned home to Luton with the Mayor, but they are not staying on in the town.

The Mayor was present at last week's meeting of the Peace Celebration Committee, and we hear he intimated to his colleagues that his doctor has impressed upon him the necessity for a long rest and refused to be responsible for his health if he persisted in his determination to resume public work. This occasioned no surprise to anyone who has had the opportunity of judging for themselves the physical condition to which the Mayor has been reduced, and it is not unlikely that the reins of office will continue to devolve upon the Deputy Mayor until a fresh appointment is made.

The public are taking unusual interest in the question of who will be the next Mayor. The need for a strong and popular personality whose influence at the head of affairs will be calculated to restore the town generally to a normal state of affairs is generally recognised, and after all that has happened no one can pretend to be surprised that the linking of Luton Hoo with the office should appeal strongly to the popular imagination.

Lady Wernher happily voiced the sentiments of many Lutonians as well as her own when she described recent events as forming “a bond between Luton Hoo and Luton that no ages can destroy,” and she would probably view with sympathy any proposal tending to further cement that bond.

Whether her Ladyship would consider it politic to assume such a position in person or prefer the Hoo to be represented by her gallant son, Major Harold, is a point it is not competent to argue, but we have no doubt that either choice would be hailed with general satisfaction.

In any event this a matter upon which the newly elected councillors, more than any other members of the existing body, have a right to express an opinion, and therefore the policy must be that of wait and see.