New Mayor to continue Austerlands traditions

A 60-year-old quirky traditional is still going strong as community champion David Needham has been appointed as the new Mayor of Austerlands.p6 mayor of austerlands

p6 Amber and Mayor of Austerlands
David with his granddaughter Amber

David will be the 15th mayor since the fabled custom, which dates back to the late 1940s, was reintroduced in 1998 after the discovery of the clog-iron in the cellar of the now-closed Red Lion public house.

He received the ceremonial clog-iron chain of office from retiring mayor Geoff Wood at a special ceremony conducted by ex-mayor Roger Fielding at the Old Original in Scouthead.

David’s first duty as mayor will see him lead the first band on to Dawson’s Field for the annual Whit Friday band contests – a tradition since 1999.

​David, a former Saddleworth Parish Councillor who has lived in Austerlands for 38 years, said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed Mayor of Austerlands and I am pleased I can help to keep this Saddleworth tradition alive.

“Of course, it is all a bit of fun but I shall be proud to lead up the first band at our contest on Whit-Friday.”p6 mayor of austerlands

David’s other local voluntary roles include launching the Saddleworth Village Olympics and being secretary of Scouthead and Austerlands Whit-Friday Band Contest for the past sixteen years.