At the meeting of the Council on 8 March 2021, on behalf of the Town Council the Mayor retrospectively appointed David Oliver as the 2020 Honorary Steward and Bailiff of Hexham in recognition of his contribution to the community through his encouragement of and involvement in the musical life of the town.
The Mayor’s presentation in making this award can be seen below:
“There are many residents in Hexham who help their neighbours, support local groups or do amazing things for the community. That’s why 20 years ago Hexham Town Council launched its Honorary Steward and Bailiff Award. Historically this was a post, the holder of which ran the administration of the town. The Council decided to award the honorary title to recognise, thank and celebrate those special people who contribute to making Hexham the vibrant happy community that it is. Each year councillors nominate an individual in the town who they believe deserve recognition and the Council then chooses the recipient.
Normally the Award would be presented at the Mayor’s Annual Reception in March. Last year we had to cancel the event and it is not going to be possible to hold it this March either. Last year we had chosen the recipient but we did not present the award so to maintain the tradition we have decided that we should make the retrospective 2020 award now.
The recipient is a person who has made an important contribution to making Hexham a hotspot for traditional music. Over the years this talented musician has nurtured and encouraged young folk musicians, including through the Folkworks Youth School introducing countless young people throughout the region to folk music. He has cajoled a wide variety up singers to give of their best in the Community Choir. Over the years he has encouraged a lot of those with two left feet to come onto the dance floor of ceilidhs. He has contributed enormously to the success of the Hexham Village Band with his accordion playing. He plays as well in the most recent of his own bands Hedgehog’s Skin. He is a stalwart of town twinning and in the past has been a Chair of Hexham Golf Club and its senior Reivers group.
I am delighted therefore to have the honour, belatedly, on behalf of Hexham Town Council, to appoint David Oliver as the town’s Honorary Steward and Bailiff for 2020. I hope in the next few days to be able to present him with his certificate and I am delighted as well that he was able to join us this evening.”