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County News


April 2017

1st – This afternoon, we went to the Cutlers’ Hall and Sheffield Cathedral to check that everything was in order for the Legal Service and Lunch tomorrow.

2nd – A glorious, sunny spring day – perfect weather for the South Yorkshire Legal Service. The guests who were to be in the processions gathered at the Cutlers’ Hall from 9am - standing guard outside the Hall, were 2 mounted officers from South Yorkshire Police. There were over 100 people in the 3 processions and I was delighted to be the first High Sheriff of South Yorkshire to include a number of magistrates as well as the Bench Chairs. 
I had made a number of changes to the Service itself and, from comments made to me afterwards, I know that these were well received and appreciated. The biggest change was that, instead of my chaplain, the address was given by the Senior Presider of the North East Circuit, Mr Justice Males – a well thought out and thought provoking sermon that had everyone listening intently. There were over 400 people in the Cathedral. Musical accompaniment was provided by the Cathedral choir and Orichalcum Classic Brass. Antonia Johnson, a young soloist from Sheffield Music Academy, sang ‘Panis Angelicus’. We were trumpeted in and out of the Cathedral by trumpeters from South Yorkshire Police Band.
After the Service, we entertained 240 guests to Sunday Lunch in the Cutlers’ Hall. I also presented 4 local charities that work with young people with a High Sheriff’s Award and a personal donation.

(All photographs courtesy of Seaman Photographer Ltd)

The High Sheriff processing to the Cutlers’ Hall following the Legal Service, proceeded by the High Sheriff’s Sword Bearer, Rob MacDonald, and followed by the Chaplain, Father John Cooke.

The High Sheriff with members of the Judiciary, HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, the Chaplain, the Sword Bearer and the High Sheriffs of Derbyshire and of the East Riding of Yorkshire.


Pitsmoor Adventure Playground.

Sheffield Young Carers.

SYEDA (South Yorkshire Eating Disorders Association).

TADS (Therapies for Anxiety, Depression and Stress).

3rd – After yesterday’s excitement, a relatively quiet day! I chaired a meeting this afternoon of the High Sheriff’s Advisory Committee.

5th – This evening, I hosted my final ‘At Home’ dinner. Our guests were Mr Justice Males; HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Mr Andrew Coombe, and Mrs Sue Coombe; the Honorary Recorder of Sheffield, HHJ Julian Goose, and Mrs Sue Goose; and the immediate past High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Mr John Holt, and Mrs Lynn Holt. A really lovely, relaxed evening with people who, over the last 12 months, have become really good friends.

6th – This morning, I handed over the baton to Mr Stephen Ingram who made his Declaration as the new High Sheriff of South Yorkshire. The last year has been one of the most important and special of my life. I have been to places in my county that I have never been to before and I have met people from all walks of life - from members of the Royal Family to a little 8-year old boy who after examining my sword, asked me, very seriously, if I had ever cut off anybody’s ears! I have met many members of the judiciary, from magistrates to High Court Judges, who have all been unfailingly generous with their time, patiently explaining to me proceedings in their courts and the legal system in general.

I have been overwhelmed by the thousands of dedicated volunteers that we have in South Yorkshire and particularly by the people who have seen a need in their community and, instead of thinking ‘somebody should do something about this’, have rolled up their sleeves and done something about it themselves. 
I feel truly honoured and humbled to have been given this opportunity to get to know my county better and to meet so many inspiring people.
Thank you.

Julie MacDonald

March 2017

3rd – A busy day! This morning, I showed Christine Morgan, the manager of the Judges’ Lodgings round the Cutlers’ Hall. This afternoon, I did the same for a group who are taking part in the South Yorkshire Police project, ‘Inspiring Youth’. They were 4 lovely, intelligent girls from 4 different city schools who are all in Y9 or Y10. I also arranged for them to meet and talk to the Master Cutler, the CEO of the Cutlers’ Company, the Company’s Beadle and the Chef.

The Inspiring Youth students who visited the Cutlers’ Hall
(The photo was taken at the Inspiring Youth Awards Evening)

This evening, I returned to the Cutlers’ Hall for the Sheffield and Society of Chartered Accountants’ Annual Dinner.

6th – Another meeting at the Cathedral this morning, this time to discuss the seating plan for the Legal Service and to send out the tickets

7th – I officiated at a Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall this afternoon. We welcomed 11 new citizens from 10 different countries.

8th – I sat in court this morning this morning with Mr Justice Males who is trying a murder case where there are five defendants.

This evening, I attended a lecture given at Hallam University to mark International Women’s Day. It was entitled ‘The Ladies of Wincobank Hall’, local ladies who, in the mid-nineteenth century, had campaigned to abolish slavery.

9th – Today, I escorted a group of students who had taken part in the South Yorkshire Police project ‘Inspiring Youth’ on a visit to the Combined Court Centre. They were accompanied by the project’s founder, retired P.C. Bobby Dev. We met with HH Judge Dixon, HH Judge Kelson and HH Judge Wright who spoke with the students and then HHJ Wright took us to her court to explain who sat where, etc. During the morning session, we sat in a number of courts and the, over a buffet lunch, the students were able to chat with the judges about what they had seen and heard. A most enjoyable and positive morning – the students, who were all in Y10, really were inspirational.

With my husband and Bobby Dev, founder of Inspiring Youth.
The Lord-Lieutenant and Chief Constable can be seen through the balloon arch!

The Inspiring Youth students who visited the Combined Court Centre.
(The photo was taken at the Inspiring Youth Awards Evening)

This evening, I attended another inspirational event – the St Luke’s Hospice Volunteers’ Evening. Certificates were given to volunteers who had volunteered with the Hospice for 5, 10, 15 years, etc – one lady received her 45 year award!

10th – We spent a relaxed and very enjoyable evening with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Cllr Denise Fox, and her Consort (and husband), Cllr Terry Fox, firstly in one of Sheffield’s oldest pubs, The Brown Bear, and then in our favourite Italian restaurant, Verro Gusto.

13th – This evening, I hosted the final one of three special dinners to mark South Yorkshire Community Foundation’s 30th birthday. It was held in The Old Vicarage in Ridgway and, appropriately, there were 30 guests including our Philanthropy Catalysts, Liz and Terry Bramall. Terry will be the next High Sheriff of West Yorkshire.

14th – Our second granddaughter, Lucy Iris MacDonald, was born.

15th – A gloriously sunny spring day which provided the perfect weather for the official opening of the Dorothy Fox Education Centre in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens by the Duke of Devonshire. I could have done with my sunglasses!

This evening we hosted a dinner in our home for Mr Justice Males. Our other guests were the Chief Constable for South Yorkshire and his wife, the Chief Fire Officer and his wife, the Chair of the Doncaster Bench and the immediate past Master and Mistress Cutler.

16th – We spent a long and tiring few hours in the Cutlers’ Hall organising the seating plan for the lunch following the Legal Service

17th – This evening I attended the Girlguiding Sheffield’s production of ‘Alice’. Over the years I have attended many of the Girlguiding Sheffield’s shows and they have always been excellent. This one was no exception and I felt very proud to be a member of such a wonderful organisation.

18th – To-day we were privileged to attend another inspirational event – Doncaster Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial. These trials are held in courts across the country and are organised by magistrates in collaboration with the Citizenship Foundation (www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk). Schools enter teams of Y9 students who are given information about a case that will be tried before the magistrates. Each team has to provide 3 magistrates, a defendant, a law clerk, an usher, 2 prosecuting counsel and 2 defence solicitors. They are helped by one real magistrates and are judged by panel consisting of judges from the local legal community. Five schools took part in the event in Doncaster and the winner will go through to the regional finals.

The following photographs are of the students who took part in the Mock Trial with the Civic Mayor and Mayoress of Doncaster, the President of the Doncaster Law Society and the High Sheriff

21st – We were delighted to be invited to dine with Mr Justice Males and his guests at the Judges’ Lodgings this evening.

22nd – I sat with Mr Justice Males again this morning. I watched a witness for the prosecution being cross examined.

25th – A most enjoyable evening at Sheffield City Hall for a concert to raise funds for a local charity, Lost Chord (http://lost-chord.co.uk) which works to improve the quality of life and well-being of those living with dementia through music. The performers were the Dore Male Voice Choir, Unite the Union Brass Band and the wonderful Lesley Garrett, who is a patron of the charity.

The Mistress Cutler, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Lesley Garrett CBE, the High Sheriff & the Master Cutler.

28th – My last Citizenship Ceremony – I was delighted to welcome 11 new citizens from 9 different countries, including Ireland.

30th – My husband and I were guests of past High Sheriff Julie Kenny at the performance of the Northern Ballet Company’s production of ‘Casanova’ at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre. A wonderful ballet with superb choreography and a quite amazing set.

31st – The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Cllr Denise Fox, and her, Consort, Cllr Terry Fox hosted a special and very delicious lunch, in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour, to mark my imminent retirement! The other guests were the Lord-Lieutenant and Mrs Coombe, the Master and Mistress Cutler, the Deputy Lord Mayor and the Leader of the Council. They also kindly presented with beautiful pewter vase embossed with the city’s crest.

February 2017

1st – This evening we hosted a dinner for one of our Circuit Judges, HHJ Graham Robinson, and his wife, District Judge Siobhan Kelly. Our other guests were the Master and Mistress of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire; the High Sheriff in Nomination, Stephen Ingram, and his wife, Anne; Rebecca Staden, lead fundraiser for Sheffield Children’s Hospital; and our neighbour, Nikki Morrell.

2nd – I visited Re-Read, (www.reread.org.uk)an innovative charity based in Doncaster. They collect second hand books which then they either sell via an on-line site or to dealers. All money raised is used to buy books for children which they give away for free. They also give away any donated children’s books. Recently they helped to stock a library in a primary school in one of the more deprived areas of Doncaster, a school which previously did not have a library. I was told that, in some areas, this is not uncommon, a fact that I found shocking. At a recent World Book Day, one child had brought in an Argos catalogue because it was the ONLY book in his home.

7th – I officiated at a Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall this afternoon.

8th – This evening, my husband and I were invited to visit the Madina Mosque by my fellow Deputy Lieutenant, Waheed Akhtar. We toured the mosque, met some of the children who were attending their classes, and learned a great deal not only about the Islamic faith but also about the Muslim community in Sheffield.

9th – An eating day! A most enjoyable lunch with the Dean of Sheffield Cathedral, the Right Revd Peter Bradley, followed by an equally enjoyable, and very lively, dinner at the Judges’ Lodgings as guests of Mr Justice Holgate.

10th – I was honoured to officially open Artistic Spectrum’s new gallery in Thorne this evening. Artistic Spectrum(www.artistic-spectrum.org) is a small charity that provides art and craft sessions for people with autism. A recent project entitled ‘Famous Faces’ has been exhibited in London, Hull, Doncaster and Nottingham. 

Cutting the ribbon with Artistic Spectrum’s founder, Emma Wilson.

The collage portrait of Frida Kahlo is part of the ‘Famous Faces’ project.

13th – Today I sat in court with Mr Justice Holgate who is trying a particularly nasty murder case. I witnessed the cross-examination of the accused.

This evening, we attended the press night of ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie’ an exhilerating new musical produced by Sheffield Theatres. At the end, the entire house rose to applaud the cast.

15th – I hosted a lunch in the Combined Court Centre for some of the Sheffield Magistrates. Afterwards, Mr Justice Holgate kindly invited them to sit in his court.

16th – This evening we attended an excellent Gala Dinner organised by Sheffield Museums Trust.

17th – A busy day. This morning, we met with Canon Christopher Burke to discuss the Order of Service for the forthcoming South Yorkshire Legal Service. We then went to the English Institute of Sport to greet HRH The Princess Royal who had to come to watch an event organised by the British Universities and Colleges Sport. 
Finally, this evening I was a guest of the Sheffield Law Society at their 141st Annual Dinner in the Cutlers’ Hall. A very well attended and enjoyable event.

22nd – We hosted a dinner for one of our very recently retired Circuit Judges, HH Robert Moore and his wife, Sue. Our other guests were Professor Keith Ridgway and his wife, Christine; my chaplain, Fr John Cooke; and our friends, John and Roisin Bergin and Catherine Thompson.

26th – Today, we were guests of my fellow High Sheriff, Thomas Martin, at the East Riding of Yorkshire Legal Service. We gathered at the Guildhall in Hull and then processed behind the Police Band to the Chapel of the Trinity House for the Service. Trinity House ( or the Guild of Masters, Pilots, and Seamen of Kingston upon Hull) was founded in 1369. The current chapel was built in 1842 and this was only the third time in its history that it had been used for a non-Guild service. We were also privileged to listen to an excellent sermon delivered by the High Sheriff’s Chaplain, the Revd Barry Worsdale. After the service, we processed back to the Guildhall for lunch. An excellent, well organised and most enjoyable occasion – I hope that South Yorkshire can equal it in a few weeks time!

27th – We met with the Under Sheriff, Rob Chitoriski, this morning to discuss the logistics of the Legal Service. There will be 302 official guests in the Cathedral, 249 of whom will be joining us for lunch in the Cutlers’ Hall. For the first time during my year, I think that I would value an assistant!
This evening, we went to the Judges’ Lodgings to welcome Mr Justice Males back to Sheffield.

January 2017

10th – My first official function of the New Year – a Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall. I was joined by South Yorkshire’s High Sheriff in Nomination 2017, Stephen Ingram. Together we welcomed 16 new citizens from 15 different countries.

11th – I was invited to my church’s weekly lunch club to talk about my role as High Sheriff – the guests were delighted that I wore my court dress! Afterwards, I joined them for a delicious lunch.

12th – Today I was invited to one of the University of Sheffield’s Graduation Ceremonies. Over the lunch that preceded the ceremony, I was amazed to discover that approximately 10% of the students at the University come from China.

13th – A short meeting this morning with the Cathedral team to discuss the Legal Service.

16th – This evening, we went to the Lodgings to welcome Mr Justice Holgate to Sheffield.

19th – A meeting with my Under Sheriff today to discuss the arrangements for the South Yorkshire Legal Service.

20th – This afternoon, we visited Park Academy for their Aspirations Day. During the day, representatives of local universities and colleges and local employers have stands in the Hall and children from Y10 upwards are encouraged to talk to the exhibitors about the opportunities that they can offer. Prior to visiting the exhibition, we were served a delicious buffet lunch which had been prepared by the Y10 catering students

This evening, we attended the Inspiring Youth Awards Evening. Inspiring Youth is a project organised by South Yorkshire Police and its aim is to inspire young people aged 13 + to aim higher. We heard so many inspiring stories and met so met inspirational young people – I was honoured to present some of the awards.

22nd – We were invited by the Lord-Lieutenant of the County, Mr Andrew Coombe, and Mrs Coombe for Sunday lunch. The other guests were the Honorary Recorder of Sheffield, HHJ Julian Goose, and his wife, Sue, and the High Sheriff in Nomination 2017, Mr Stephen Ingram, and his wife, Anne. A most enjoyable and relaxed occasion!

24th – This morning, I helped some of the staff of Sheffield Cathedral with the invitations for the South Yorkshire Legal Service.

25th – This evening, we gave Mr Justice Holgate a private tour of the Cutlers’ Hall and then entertained him to dinner in a local restaurant.

26th – We attended the North East England High Sheriffs’ Association meeting this morning. An excellent turnout by the current High Sheriffs and their partners and by the High Sheriffs in Nomination for 2017 and 2018 and their partners. I was asked to give short talks on Magistrates and on Court Dress for lady High Sheriffs.
This evening, we went back to West Yorkshire for dinner with the Bishop of Leeds, the Right Revd Nick Baines, and his wife, Linda. The other guests were the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire and his wife and the Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire and his wife. Although most of South Yorkshire is in the Diocese of Sheffield, the north part of Barnsley is, in fact, in the diocese of Leeds.

27th – I attended the Holocaust Memorial Service in Rotherham today – a most moving and thought provoking occasion.

29th – We were invited to the United Synagogue in Sheffield today for their annual Hospital Sunday Service. The tradition of ‘Hospital Sunday’ dates to the late 19th century when the faith communities in Sheffield all agreed that the offerings taken on one Sunday each year would be given to the local hospital fund. Following the establishment of the NHS, this tradition gradually ended and is now only continued by the Sheffield Jewish community. It is a very special event in their calendar and this year their guests included the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, the Master Cutler, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police and two of Sheffield’s MPs. After the service, we all enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea.

Click here to view the South Yorkshire News published in the Winter 2016 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

December 2016

1st – A busy day! This morning, I was invited to observe a meeting of the Restorative Justice Scrutiny Panel. This panel is comprised of representatives from South Yorkshire Police and the chairs of the county’s Magistrates’ Benches. During the session that I attended, the panel looked at a random selection of restorative justice penalties that had been handed out by the police to young people under the age of 18, the aim being to keep them out of the criminal justice system. I was surprised, and saddened, by how often the police are called to situations that, in the past, might have been handled by parents and/or schools.
This afternoon, I was honoured to officially open the new Counselling Room at Swinton Lock. This room will be used primarily by victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and their families.
Finally, this evening we attended a fundraising event for the Mayor of Doncaster’s charity appeal.

2nd – The first of, I suspect, many planning meetings for the South Yorkshire Legal Service.
This evening we attended the preview of the Etsy Made Local exhibition in Sheffield Town Hall. The event had been co-organised by Sophie Cooke, who made my High Sheriff’s hat, and I was surprised and delighted by how many local craftsmen and women were exhibiting.

Photo courtesy of Danni Maytree.

4th – This evening we attended St Luke’s Festival of Light. St Luke’s Hospice is close to the heart of many people in Sheffield and the annual switch on of the twinkly lights (each one dedicated to a loved who has died) is attended by hundreds of people.

5th – A very interesting day – we were invited to visit the Lakes and Hatfield prisons by the Governor, Ms Julia Spence. The Lakes site is an assessment centre where prisoners are assessed for their suitability for transfer to Hatfield, which is an open prison. For the majority of inmates, Hatfield is the final stage before their release. We were given a full tour of both prisons and were encouraged to talk to staff, both wardens and the people who work in the workshops, and to the prisoners - we were surprised and delighted by how keen everyone was to talk to us. Three of the prisoners even proudly showed us around their cells! All of the prisoners who we spoke too said that Hatfield was the best prison that they had ever been in and they were full of praise for the regime there. We were especially impressed by the prison’s farm shop and by the work that is being done in collaboration with ReFurnish (www.refurnish.co.uk), a local charity that restores and recycles old furniture.

7th – This morning, we attended the official unveiling of the artwork that I commissioned to mark both my year as High Sheriff and the Year of Making. The pieces which the children of Manor Lodge Primary School helped to make have been in the school’s newly decorated hall – I am very pleased with them!

Two of the eight panels that have been installed in Manor Lodge Primary School.

This evening we hosted a dinner party for Mr Justice Globe – a most enjoyable, and lively, evening!

9th – I observed an ‘Inspiring Youth’ session with Y9 students at one Sheffield’s secondary schools. Inspiring Youth is a scheme run by South Yorkshire Police aimed at encouraging young people to raise their aspirations and to challenge themselves, eg by learning a new skill, volunteering or even by just improving their school attendance.
This evening we were guests of Mr David Moody, the former Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, and his wife, Sue, at a concert performed by Barnsley Youth Choir. The choir were fantastic!

11th – St Luke’s Carol Concert in a packed Sheffield Cathedral this afternoon – a moving and joyous occasion.

12th – This evening we had supper with the High Sheriff in nomination for South Yorkshire and his wife – lots to talk about!

13th – We attended the joint South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Carol Concert this evening – another lovely occasion.

14th – This evening we attended the press night of Sheffield Theatres’ new Christmas show ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ – a very lively production!

15th – Another busy day! This morning we sat in court with the Honorary Recorder of Sheffield, HHJ Goose, and we then hosted a Christmas buffet lunch for the Sheffield judiciary. Our guests included Sir Henry Globe, the Honorary Recorder, 8 Circuit Judges, 4 District Judges and a few visiting Recorders!
This evening we were guests of Sir Henry Globe at a very special dinner at the Judges’ Lodgings, his last dinner as Senior Presider of the North East Circuit

19th – I was invited to one of Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind’s Christmas lunches (www.srsb.org.uk) today – a most enjoyable occasion and a delicious lunch. I was asked to tell the guests a little about my role and then spent some time chatting and letting them ‘see’ my court dress by feeling it.

20th – My final event of 2016 – a Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall when we welcomed new British citizens from Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, Zambia and Turkey.

November 2016

1st – I was interviewed live on Radio Sheffield by Rony Robinson for a regular piece called ‘My Life So Far’. I quite enjoyed the experience and was amused that Rony and his team were surprised that I chose ‘Tiger Feet’ by Mud as my piece of music – they had assumed that a High Sheriff would want something classical!
This afternoon, my husband visited Sheffield University’s School of Architecture to learn more about ‘Live Projects’. This is a scheme whereby a group of 5th and 6th year architecture students work with a client, often from the third sector, to offer advice and ideas on a potential building or redevelopment project. www.liveprojects.org
Finally, this evening we had supper with the High Sheriff in Nomination and his wife to chat about my year so far and ideas and advice for his year.

2nd – Two very interesting, and different, visits today. First to ‘Learn for Life’ an independent, self-funded organisation run by a mother and daughter and a team of volunteers. They provide ESOL lessons, maths classes and classes in the British way of life (e.g. the etiquette of queuing!) for refugees, asylum seekers and foreign nationals who are studying or working in Sheffield. www.learnforlifeenterprise.co.uk
I then went to Barnsley to visit TADS (Therapies for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress). They provide group work and alternative therapies for young people, who are suffering from mental health issues. Many of these young people are on the frighteningly long waiting list for a CAMHS appointment. I was privileged to meet some of the young people and observe a group session. www.tadsbarnsley.co.uk

3rd – This evening we hosted a dinner party for Mrs Justice Andrews.

4th Back to Barnsley for the University College Barnsley Graduation Ceremony. I very much enjoyed meeting the graduates and their proud families. I also enjoyed the College’s tradition of parading through the town – the Lord Lieutenant and I, both in full regalia, led the parade behind a brass band and followed by the college staff and the students in their gowns and mortar boards. Afterwards, we were treated to a delicious lunch prepared and served by students.

7th – The final planning meeting for the High Sheriff’s Charity Concert.

9th – One of those days that don’t turn out as planned! I was supposed to be part of the official welcoming party for HRH The Duke of Kent’s visit to JRI Orthopaedics in Sheffield but, unfortunately, bad weather prevented his helicopter from flying. Consequently, he decided to come up from London by train which meant his programme was curtailed and, sadly, the vist to JRI was cut.

10th – One of the highlights of my year – my Charity Concert in aid of Sheffield Young Carers. My aims in organising the concert were to raise funds for and awareness of Sheffield Young Carers and to introduce people to the beauty of the Catholic Cathedral of St Marie which, despite being in the centre of Sheffield, is largely unknown to the majority of Sheffielders because of its location. Sheffield University Chamber Choir sang a selection of sacred and musical arias and a string ensemble of young musicians from Sheffield Music Academy performed ‘Winter’ from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. During the interval periods Paulette Edwards from Radio Sheffield interviewed two of the young carers and asked them about their daily lives. Afterwards, 70 of the guests moved to the Cutlers’ Hall for a pie and pea supper.

13th – Remembrance Sunday. I was honoured to attend the Remembrance Service in Sheffield and to lay a wreath on behalf of the Shrievalty.

14th – I attended one of Sheffield Hallam University’s Graduation ceremonies in Sheffield City Hall. The honorary graduate was David Moody, the former Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire – a most worthy recipient of the honour. The ceremony was also special for me and my husband, who is a Governor of Sheffield Hallam, because he was also ‘on stage’ as the Presiding Governor.
This evening, my husband and I were invited to dine with Mr Justice Globe and Mrs Justice Andrews in the Judges’ Lodgings. Mr Justice Globe is the Senior Presider of the North Eastern Circuit and he will be sitting in Sheffield until Christmas. A lovely, relaxed evening.

15th – I officiated at another Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall.

16th – This afternoon, I attended the AGM and 20th Birthday Celebration of Remedi, a charity that was founded in Sheffield andwhich provides restorative justice services and training across the youth and adult criminal justice system throughout South Yorkshire and eight other counties. We heard some moving and inspiring stories from people, both victims and perpetrators, who have benefitted from the service. www.remediuk.org

17th – This morning, I sat with Mr Justice Globe who is trying a murder case. I then hosted a buffet lunch – my guests included Mr justice Globe, the Honorary Recorder of Sheffield, HH Judge Kelson and representatives from the Sheffield Diocesan Advisory Committee.
This evening we attend Sheffield Hallam University’s Conferment Dinner.

18th – A wonderful evening at the Rotherham Community Achievement Awards as a guest of Voluntary Action Rotherham. The winner of the Young Volunteer of the Year Award urged everyone to ‘get ye sen volunteering!’ Wise words indeed!

20th – I was privileged to read the names of the 91 missing servicemen who are commemorated on the War Memorial in Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield, at a special ceremony to mark the end of the Battle of the Somme.

After the service, we went to a very special Support Dogs graduation ceremony when we heard many inspiring and moving stories from people who have been given a support dog over the last twelve months.

22nd – I attended another of Sheffield Hallam University’s Graduation Ceremonies. 
This evening, I visited Todwick Brownies to talk to them about my role. I also taught them a few songs that are popular with my Rainbows – I don’t suppose that many High Sheriffs have done the Penguin Song whilst wearing full court dress!

23rd – I was privileged to sit in court with Mr Justice Globe again this morning. We were then both guests at the past High Sheriffs’ mid-term lunch which had been organised by my predecessor, Mr John Holt.
This evening, we entertained Sir Henry Globe at a dinner party at our home – another lively evening!

24th – Another wonderful evening celebrating the thousands of volunteers who work so tirelessly for their communities. This time in Sheffield for Voluntary Action Sheffield’s 90th Birthday ‘Make A Difference’ Awards. I was especially delighted that The Children’s Hospital Charity were given a special award for The Herd of Sheffield project.

25th – Today, I visited South Yorkshire Eating Disorders Association (www.syeda.org.uk) to learn about the valuable and, sometimes, life-saving work that they do with young people and adults who suffer from an eating disorder.

26th – This evening we attended a charity ball in aid of Sheffield’s St Luke’s Hospice. The theme was an ‘Enchanted Winter Wonderland’. It was a spectacular occasion and a great deal of money was raised for the hospice.

28th – A very informative visit to Safe@Last (www.safeatlast.org.uk), a charity, based in Rotherham, that provides services and support for children and young people who are at risk of harm before, during or after running away from home.

29th – Another Citizenship Ceremony this afternoon. I welcomed 14 new British citizens from countries as far apart as India and the USA!

30th – I was invited to a reception to mark the 30th Anniversary of INAS, a worldwide organisation that supports para-athletes with intellectual disability.

October 2016

4th – Today I attended the installation of Richard Edwards as the new Master of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. This is a ceremony that I have attended many, many times before but this year it was extra special because I was there in my role as High Sheriff.

5th – A very important day in South Yorkshire’s legal calendar – the reading of the Letters Patent. Two police horses guarded the entrance to Sheffield’s Combined Court Centre and two of the South Yorkshire Police trumpeters blew a fanfare when Mrs Justice Andrews arrived. My other guests included HM Lord-Lieutenant, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, the Honorary Recorder, the Chief Constable, the Master Cutler and the Chair of the Sheffield Bench. After the ceremony, guests were invited to sit in on one of two cases being heard in the courts before re-gathering for a buffet lunch.

(photos courtesy of Chris Seaman)

8th – This evening, I attended JCI Sheffield’s 89th Annual Dinner. It was a privilege to meet so many enthusiastic young people – the great and good of Sheffield in 20 years time!

9th – My husband and I were privileged to be invited by the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Mrs Elizabeth Fothergill CBE, to her Legal Service in Derby Cathedral – a well-attended and uplifting service. Amongst the other guests were the High Sheriffs of Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, and the West Midlands. Prior to the service we were treated to a delicious lunch in the Silk Mill.

10th – I sat in court today with HHJ Sarah Wright who spent the day giving her summing up in the trial of 8 men who are accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls in the Rotherham area. A sobering experience.

11th – South Yorkshire was honoured with a visit from HRH The Duke of Gloucester today. I attended when he came to Sheffield Hallam University’s Collegiate Crescent campus. After a buffet lunch, we sat in on a Moot Court where law students practise appearing court – they were very impressive.
This evening, we hosted a dinner, in our home, for Mrs Justice Geraldine Andrews DBE. 

12th – Today we attended the celebration to mark the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation to AESSEAL plc by HM Lord-Lieutenant. We were especially pleased to be present at this event because my husband was the Finance Director and then a non-executive director of AESSEAL plc.

13th – This morning I had another planning meeting for my Charity Concert.
A very special evening – South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation’s High Sheriff’s Reception in the Vulcan Bomber Hangar at Doncaster Airport. In previous years, this event had been a lunch that was always held in the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield so this was a real venture into the unknown – and it was a huge success! For the first time, we were able to invite some of the charities who have received grants from SYCF to have stands and the 150+ guests were able to chat with their representatives and learn about their work. 

14th – This morning we attended the ‘Farewell Herd’ event at Meadowhall – the last public appearance of the 58 elephant sculptures that have graced the city over the summer months.

16th – A very important event today – the North East England Legal Service in York Minster. I processed from York Assembly Rooms to the Minster in the company of my fellow NEE High Sheriffs, countless barristers and judges, the Queen’s Remembrancer, a number of High Court Judges and 2 Justices of Appeal. I was especially proud to be preceeded by my son, Rob, who acted as my Sword Bearer. After the service we processed back to the Assembly Rooms for lunch.

(photo courtesy of Chris Seaman)

Arriving at the York Assembly Rooms preceded by my Sword Bearer. (photo courtesy of Chris Seaman)

17th – Today I joined a group of volunteers from Step Out Sheffield on a walk from a local park to the Town Hall to mark the launch of Sheffield Health Walks.

18th – I officiated at another Citizenship Ceremony this afternoon.

19th – This morning I sat in court with Mrs Justice Andrews and, afterwards, hosted a buffet lunch for representatives from St Luke’s Hospice. We were joined by Mrs Justice Andrews, the Honorary Recorder of Sheffield and his wife, and two Circuit Judges.
This evening we were invited, by Mrs Justice Andrews. To the Judges’ Lodgings for supper - a friendly and very relaxed occasion.

20th – A brief appearance at the reception to mark the opening of the re-furbished Weston Park Museum and then to the Crucible Theatre for the Herd Auction. What a night! The sale of the 58 elephants raised an amazing £410,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital! Truly incredible!

21st – This afternoon, we attended a reception to mark the merger of Safe@Last with Depaul UK. Safe@Last is a local charity that helps young people who have run away from home and those who are in danger of running away – Depaul does the same but on a national scale. 

24th – My husband and I were treated to dinner in the House of Lords this evening by Lord and Lady Kerslake. Lord Kerslake, who was formerly Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, sits on a number of boards with my husband.

26th – I visited a charity called Remedi this morning. They promote and deliver restorative justice services in Sheffield. A most informative visit.
This afternoon, I went to Swinton Lock a community based arts, education and activity centre near Rotherham to learn something about the work done there but, more importantly to meet their manager, Jayne Senior. Jayne was one of the people who helped to expose the child sexual abuse scandal in Rotherham and she now works closely with many of the survivors and their families. She was very generous with her time and I learned a great deal from talking with her.

27th – Sheffield Young Carers AGM and Showcase this afternoon. It was a pleasure to meet more members of SYC staff and, more importantly, some of the young carers and their families. I was also interviewed by Sheffield Live TV! (http://web.sheffieldlive.org/sheffield-young-carers-announce-charity-fundraising-concert/)
This evening we attended the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire’s Reception.

September 2016

2nd – Today we went to the Longshaw Sheepdog Trials. The trials, which were established in 1898, attract competitors from all over the country. Amazingly, although the Longshaw Estate, which is owned by the National Trust, is just over the border in Derbyshire, it is less than 7 miles from Sheffield city centre. We, and the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, were guests of this year’s President, Lady Ruby Sykes who was the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire in 2013/14. We were all greatly amused that 3 of the sheep ‘gate crashed’ the lunch, especially as we were eating lamb!


In the evening we visited Art in the Gardens in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens. There were exhibits from over 70 artists plus a marquee containing paintings submitted by local amateur artists. We were guests of Cavendish Cancer Care (www.cavcare.org.uk) who used the occasion to launch a capital appeal for the refurbishment of their new premises. 

3rd – Today, I was honoured to take part in the Victoria Cross Commemorative Paving Stone Ceremony to mark the unveiling of memorial, at the Sheffield War Memorial, in memory of Major William Barnsley Allen VC DSO MC & Bar, R.A.M.C. Major Allen was born in Sheffield and trained as a doctor at Sheffield University. On September 3rd 1916, he showed conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when he ran across open ground, whilst under heavy shellfire, to treat injured soldiers. Despite being hit 4 times by pieces of shell, he continued to treat the wounded until all had been safely removed from the battlefield. For this exceptional act of bravery, he was awarded the Victoria Cross

Major William Allen VC DSO MC & Bar

5th – I was privileged to sit with HM Coroner Mr Christopher Dorries today. I had intended to only stay until lunchtime but the proceedings were so interesting that I was delighted to be able to accept Mr Dorries’ invitation to sit with him for the whole day. The inquest, into the death of an elderly gentleman, was distressing but I was impressed by the care and compassion shown to the family – and interested to learn that, at an inquest, members of the family and representatives of other ‘interested’ parties are invited to question witnesses.
6th I met with my Under-Sheriff and one of the court managers to discuss arrangements for the Letters Patent ceremony which will take place on October 5th. This afternoon, I officiated at another Citizenship Ceremony.

7th – This evening, I attended South Yorkshire Scouts’ AGM. As a lifelong member of Girlguiding, I was fascinated by the differences between the managerial organisation of the two movements – in Girlguiding, for example, appointments are for a maximum of 5 years whereas in Scouting, tenure appears to be for as long as the post holder is willing to serve!

8th – This morning, I visited JENGA Training (http://www.jengatrainingcic.co.uk/), an organisation that offers accredited beauty training courses for young, school-aged mothers in the Grimethorpe area of Barnsley. The organisation was established two years ago by Gaynor Cross who had become a mother herself aged only 15. As well as the training courses, JENGA also helps the young mothers to improve their English and Maths skills and also communication skills.
This afternoon, I met with the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary and the Archbishops’ Council’s Appointments Secretary to discuss the preferred characteristics and ambitions of a new Bishop of Sheffield – for a Roman Catholic, this was a surreal experience!
Finally, this evening, my husband and I were privileged to be invited to a private dinner celebrating South Yorkshire Community Foundation’s 30th Anniversary (http://www.sycf.org.uk/ ) at Sandbeck, the home of the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough

10th – A fun day in York at a special Gilguiding North East England event to thank some of our many, many dedicated volunteers. I was ‘the speaker’ and entertained them with stories of my role as High Sheriff of South Yorkshire.

With some of my fellow volunteers from Girlguiding Sheffield
(photo courtesy of Joseph Gordon)

12th – An early start this morning because I had been invited to serve breakfast at the Archer Project (http://www.archerproject.org.uk) a homeless charity based at Sheffield Cathedral. A really enjoyable two hours with lots of banter with the customers.
This evening, I accompanied the Lord Lieutenant to the official opening of Training Ship Sheffield, the new headquarters of Sheffield Sea Cadets (http://www.sea-cadets.org/sheffield/home.aspx). We watched very impressive displays by the cadets and were able to chat with some of them afterwards. What an inspiring group of young people!

Serving breakfast with my fellow volunteer, Ruth Grey.

13th – This morning, I had a meeting with Stephen Watson, the Interim Chief Constable of South Yorkshire. South Yorkshire Police are going through a very turbulent time in the aftermath of the Rotherham Child Abuse scandal, the Hillsborough inquest and the subsequent suspension of the Chief Constable by the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the campaign for an inquiry into the so-called battle of Orgreave. Mr Watson has been given a difficult job.

15th – I was very lucky to be invited to sit in Doncaster Youth Court today. The visit, which had been arranged for me by the Chair of the Doncaster Bench, Mrs Carole O’Neill, was a special privilege because, as I understand, it is very unusual for members of the public to be allowed to sit in the Youth Court. I saw six cases and, with one exception, all the young people were in court because of the actions of adults in their lives. A depressing and quite upsetting experience. 
One bright spot in the visit, however, was meeting the chairman of the bench, Mr David Chappell, who had just been crowned Ploughing Champion of the World!

Mr David Chappell, Ploughing Champion of the World.

16th – I was invited to speak to the pupils of Hatfield Academy, a primary school in Sheffield, this morning. What a lovely, enthusiastic, polite group of children with dedicated staff and a positive ‘we can do’ attitude.

My husband and I later joined magistrates past and present at the Farewell Lunch at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court. The court will close at the end of this month, a decision that has been met with bewilderment, sadness and anger not only amongst the magistrates but also amongst the people of Rotherham.

18th – A special Evensong in Sheffield Cathedral today to commemorate the Battle of Britain and the Battle of Arnhem. Afterwards, I stood with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and the Lord Lieutenant as he took the salute from the Air Cadets.

20th – Another busy day. This morning, we welcomed HRH The Duke of York to Factory 2050 for Pitch@Palace where young entrepreneurs from across the north of England pitched their business ideas. The 3 winners will attend a ‘boot camp’ with other regional winners in the hope of being chosen to pitch at the Palace. Prior to the Duke’s arrival, I was able to sample some of the delicious food and drink being produced by young entrepreneurs in Sheffield.

A quick dash back to the Combined Court Centre to host a lunch for the Honorary Recorder and his wife, two of HM’s Judges and six members of the Children’s Hospital Charity Team who brought the fantastic Herd of Sheffield trail to the city (http://www.herdofsheffield.com/).

22nd – This evening we hosted a dinner for the Honorary Recorder of Sheffield, the Master and Mistress Cutler, the (at the time of writing) suspended Chief Constable of South Yorkshire and his wife, and the immediate past High Sheriff and his wife. An even more stressful event than usual because my caterers were unable to help and so I had to cook and serve myself! Fortunately, all of our guests were also good, and tolerant, friends, and the evening went well.

23rd – A very interesting, and inspiring, meeting with Jasmine Swallow, one of two Rotherham council employees who supervise Rotherham Young Inspectors (http://rotherhamyounginspectors.co.uk). The principal role of the Young Inspectors is to place young people (aged between 13-24) ‘at the heart of inspecting services delivered to children, young people and their families to ensure the services are up to standard and to inform the service with improvements’. I think that this model should be considered by other councils!

25th – Evensong in Sheffield Cathedral again (I am getting to be a regular at this service!) followed by the AGM of the Friends of Sheffield Cathedral. As High Sheriff, I am one of the Honorary Vice-President of the group.

26th – A salutary lesson today – if appointments have been made well in advance, always double check the week before that it is still ‘in the diary’! A 72-mile round trip to Hatfield Young Offenders’ Institute only to find that the Governor’s secretary had forgotten to put it in the new Governor’s diary – and she had also forgotten to tell us that in order to get through the security gates, we would need photo ID!

27th – Today I attended a small private lunch given by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield for the Master and Mistress Cutler who will be handing over to a new Master and Mistress next week. The lunch was held in the Mayor’s Parlour and was a lovely occasion.

28th – I was invited to visit St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield today. Although I have visited before, I had not been since a major refurbishment has been completed. It really is a wonderful place and the staff and trustees are all so kind and caring. I was also privileged to meet 3 of the patients and their families – and to learn that the patients had asked to meet me! Later, I was invited to help the President, Lady Neill, give out some long-service awards.

30th – This evening, my husband and I were invited to a private dinner hosted by the Master and Mistress Cutler in the Cutlers’ Hall. A wonderful, lively evening in a fantastic venue with lots of friends.

August 2016

1st – Yorkshire Day when we all give thanks that we live in God’s Own County! Today I appeared in a video supporting Richard Parker, an ex-serviceman, who was taking part in the 22 Push Ups Challenge to raise awareness of mental health problems amongst ex-service personnel.

3rd – Today we visited Pitsmoor Adventure Playground – an amazing place in the middle of probably one of the most ethnically diverse and economically deprived areas of Sheffield. The playworkers and volunteers were not only dedicated but truly inspirational and it was obvious that the children love coming to the Playground.


This evening, we attended a performance of ‘No Man’s Land’ at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre – and, afterwards, were introduced to the two stars, Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Patrick Stewart!

4th – The first day of our Summer Holiday!

15th – Back on duty with batteries fully re-charged! This afternoon, I had a very productive meeting with the people who are helping with the organisation of the Charity Concert that I am planning to raise awareness of and funds for Sheffield Young Carers.

16th – Another Citizenship Ceremony this afternoon. I helped to welcome 11 new British citizens from 8 different countries.

17th – This morning, we attended a Red Cross Awareness event at Elsecar Heritage Park. We learned a great deal about the history of the Red Cross and about the work that they do in South Yorkshire, much of which we were completely unaware of – for example, they work with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and will attend situations where families have had to leave their homes because of a fire. They attend in a camper van which is stocked with clothing, toiletries, food, games and toys and even pet food.

23rd – A most interesting meeting this morning with Barbara Petchey, the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for South Yorkshire and Humberside, who talked to us about the work of the CPS and introduced us to members of her staff.

30th – This morning we joined the Lord Mayor of Sheffield on a visit to Support Dogs (www.supportdogs.org.uk), a national charity that is based in Sheffield. They train dogs to support people with disabilities, people who have uncontrolled seizures, and children with autism. We met 2 dogs who were in training and were also privileged to meet 2 foster carers who were at the Centre to hand on their foster dog to his new owner, a lady from Scotland.

In the afternoon, I officiated at another Citizenship Ceremony when we welcomed 20 new British Citizens.

July 2016

1st – A very emotional day. It started at the Sheffield Memorial Park where, firstly, the refurbished memorial to the Barnsley Pals was unveiled and then we held a service at the memorial to the men from the Sheffield Pals who were killed on 1st July 1916 – during the 2 minute silence, all that could be heard was a single bird singing. 


We were also privileged to meet 2 former soldiers who had yomped to the Somme from the north of England carrying 19,240 wooden crosses – one for every man who was killed on the 1st July 1916. These crosses were ‘planted’ close to Sheffield Memorial Park.


After the ceremonies we were treated to a Civic Reception by the Mayor and townspeople of Bapaume. This was followed by a parade from the town hall to the war memorial


2nd – A long journey back to Sheffield.

3rd – We attended a special Evensong in Sheffield Cathedral to commemorate those who were killed 100 years ago.

4th – I joined in an session with some of the pupils of Manor Lodge Primary School who are helping to make the installation that I have commissioned as part of the Year of Making.

6th – A busy day! This morning I sat on the bench with Mr Justice Nicol. I then entertained Mr Justice Nicol, two circuit judges and representatives from the Community Rehabilitation Company, South Yorkshire Community Foundation, Voluntary Action Rotherham and Voluntary Action Sheffield to lunch.
This afternoon, I presented a certificate to a very feisty lady, Mary Jane Baxby, who had been given a Court Award. She had chased and helped to detain a man who had stolen her necklaces whilst riding her mobility scooter!

Finally, this evening we attended the official preview of the Herd of Sheffield. This is a project that I have been involved with for over two years in my capacity as a trustee of The Children’s Hospital Charity. 

8th – I was privileged to attend Springwell Academy’s Festival of Learning and to give out certificates to some of the students. This inspirational school is for children with special needs and also children who have left mainstream education.

11th – A most enjoyable evening dining at the Judges’ Lodgings as guests of Mr Justice Nicol.

12th – This morning we visited Sheffield Magistrates’ Court. We were shown around the building by Mr Des Smith, Chair of the Bench, and Mr Martin Pickles, Assistant Clerk to the Justices. We met some of the magistrates and some members of staff and sat in DJ Redhouse’s court for over an hour. A most interesting and informative visit.

13th – Today we visited the Great Yorkshire Show with the High Sheriffs of West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire and their wives. We were entertained to lunch by Mr & Mrs Simon Theakston and then taken to prime seats to watch the famous Cattle Parade. I was delighted to find the Girlguiding North East England’s stand!In the evening, we were guests of the Yorkshire Regiment at their 10th Anniversary Cocktail Party and watched the regiment’s Corps of Drums and the band of the Royal Armoured Corps Beat the Retreat.


15th – I had a very informative meeting this morning with Stephen Merrett who is in charge of South Yorkshire Police’s Special Constables.

This evening, we attended a ‘A Night at the Oscars’ a murder mystery party set in 1959. It was a fundraising event for this year’s Master Cutler’s Challenge and a great time was had by all!

17th – We went to Sheffield Cathedral this afternoon for a Service of Thanksgiving for the Ministry of Bishop Steven and Mrs Ann Croft – a very lively service with some rousing singing! Bishop Steven is leaving us after 7 years as Bishop of Sheffield to become Bishop of Oxford.

19th – The hottest day of the year so far – the temperature in Sheffield reached 32o! We hosted a dinner party, in our home, for Mr Justice Nicol and 7 other guests, including the former Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Mr David Moody. Because of the lovely weather, we were able to have pre- and post-dinner drinks in the garden – a rare event!

20th – I attended one of Sheffield University’s Graduation Ceremonies this morning. I felt very privileged and, as graduate of the University, a little emotional at being asked to process directly in front of the Chancellor, The Rt Hon Lady Justice Rafferty, especially as many of the students who graduated had, like me, studied in the History Department.

21st – A very memorable evening – we went out in one of the South Yorkshire Police patrol cars! We accompanied two lovely police officers, David and Wayne, while they patrolled the streets of Sheffield and, although it was a very quiet night, we were called to two incidents – on both occasions we travelled with blue lights and sirens! I have never before, and probably never will again, travelled along Ecclesall Road (a road that I know very well) at 78mph! The final incident was, in my opinion, a very tragic one – a lady with mental health problems had been causing a disturbance at one of the city’s hostels. She had been discharged from a mental health ward the day before, bailed by the courts that morning but had nowhere to live and no-one was willing to take her in. After exhaustive enquiries to try and find her a bed for the night, the police were left with the only option of arresting her on a charge of breach of the peace.

22nd – A Sheffield University day. We attended a Graduation Ceremony at noon and then were entertained to a delicious lunch. Afterwards, we attended another Graduation during which Lord Blunkett was awarded an Honorary Degree – the University even provided his dog with a ceremonial hood!

This evening, we were again guests of the University at the Graduation Dinner – a splendid occasion held in Firth Court, where, many years ago, I sat some of my exams!

25th – Today we joined the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, Chris Brown, and his wife, Gwen, on a visit to Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s base at Nostell. This amazing charity (www.yorkshireairambulance.org.uk) has to raise £12,000 a day to keep the 2 helicopters in the air! Whilst we were there, the helicopter was called out twice. Afterwards, we were treated to a lovely lunch by the Chairman of the charity, Peter Sunderland, and his wife, Margaret.

26th – This afternoon, I officiated at another Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall. There were only 9 new British citizens today – but they were from 9 different countries.

27th – I had a meeting today to discuss publicity and marketing for the Charity Concert that I am organising for Sheffield Young Carers (www.sheffieldyoungcarers.org.uk).

28th – This evening, we attended a Service of Institution and Installation of the Revd Timothy Gill, the new Vicar of St Mary’s Ecclesfield. I had never been to such a service before and found it very interesting. St Mary’s is one of the oldest churches in this area and it is believed that Christians have worshipped on the site for over 1,500 years.

29th – This evening we were guests of the Master and Mistress Cutler at the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire’s Forfeit Feast. This magnificent Feast has been held annually (apart from during the two World Wars) every year since 1815. It was originally funded by the forfeits or fines paid by cutlers who had broken one of the Company’s rules and regulations, hence its name. For over 100 years, the Lord Mayor of London has been the principal guest so this year we were joined by the 688th Lord Mayor of London, Jeffrey Evans, 4th Baron Evans and his two Sheriffs

June 2016

1st – I visited Voluntary Action Rotherham (www.varotherham.org.uk) this afternoon at the invitation of their chief executive, Janet Wheatley. She told me about the work of VAR and about the many voluntary organisations in the town. It was a pleasure to hear so many positive stories about Rotherham – it is a pity that they are not the ones reported in the national press.

2nd – Back to Rotherham this morning to visit the Magistrates’ Court and to meet the Chair of the Bench, Mr Greg Long, and some of his fellow magistrates. A most interesting visit although, sadly, the Court will close later in the year – a victim of centralisation.

4th – A very different day – I was a guest of the Parish of St Peter in Chains, Doncaster, at a special Mass to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Doncaster. Before the Reformation, one of the main Marian Shrines in England was in Doncaster and it was, consequently, a famous pilgrimage centre. A beautiful shrine to Our Lady has been re-constructed in the church of St Peter in Chains. The Mass was concelebrated by a number of priests including the Bishop of Hallam and my chaplain. I was preceded into Church by Mr Rod Flint who carried my sword.

6th – This morning I attended a meeting with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, the Mayors of Rotherham and Barnsley, and Angela Smith MP to discuss our forthcoming trip to France with the trip’s organiser, Colonel Geoffrey Norton. 
In the evening, I attended the launch party for the opening of a pop-up shop, The Hat Stand, in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens. The shop will stock hats made by Sophie Cooke, who made my hat and two other local milliners. 

From L-R: Melvyn Housley, who made my outfit; me; Sophie Cooke who made my hat; & Reynaldo Robinson.

7th – This morning, my husband and I visited Doncaster Magistrates’ Court as guests of the Chair of the Bench, Mrs Carole O’Neill. We also met a number of her fellow magistrates, some of the members of staff and also some of the District Judges who sit there. This is a very busy court and we both learned a great deal about the work that goes on there.

8th – A most interesting and informative visit today to the South Yorkshire Police centre at Atlas Court, Sheffield. This is a very, very busy place where the call-handlers are based. We were amazed to learn of the length of training that call-handlers have to undertake and shocked at the number of non-emergency 999 calls that are made.
This evening, we went to the Judges’ Lodgings to welcome Mr Justice Nicol on his first visit to Sheffield.

9th – Today we joined the High Sheriffs of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, the East Riding and of Lincolnshire on a visit to the Police Treatment Centre in Harrogate. The aim of this charity, which has been in existence for 100 years and deserves to be better known, is to help police officers, both serving and retired, who have been injured. The treatments that they offer include physiotherapy and counselling. They have 2 facilities, one in Harrogate and one in Auchterader(www.thepolicetreatmentcentres.org

High Sheriffs and their partners with, centre, Colonel Patrick Cairns, CEO of The Police Treatment Centres.

This evening we attended a reception at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield for their Artistic Director, Daniel Evans, who is moving to Chichester.

10th – I officiated at a special Citizenship Ceremony today. Because it was the beginning of the weekend of official celebrations to mark HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday, the ceremony was held in the main reception room in Sheffield Town Hall which had been decorated with bunting. The Town Hall staff also provided special birthday cakes and all of the new British citizens were invited to sign a birthday card for Her Majesty. We were also delighted to be joined at the end of the Ceremony by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox.

11th – This lunchtime, we attended The Kings and Queens Banquet in Sheffield Cathedral. This special event was organised to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th birthday and to celebrate the worth of older people’s contribution to society. The guests included 90 people aged 70 and over who still are actively involved in groups that support their local community.

12th – Back to Sheffield Cathedral for a very moving Choral Evensong in celebration of HM’s birthday. The Dean gave a very thought provoking sermon about service to others.

13th – Today I visited the offices of Sheffield Young Carers to learn more about the work of the charity which I am hoping to support through a fundraising concert later in the year.
This evening, we joined Mr Justice Nicol and HH Judge Robinson on a visit to The University of Sheffield Law School organised by Professor Claire McGourlay. We were introduced to students who run FreeLaw, a free legal advice clinic (www.sheffield.ac.uk/law/freelaw). We also met some students who investigate possible Miscarriage of Justice cases. Afterwards the students joined us for a very nice dinner in the University’s Inox restaurant.

14th – A busy day! This morning I went to watch one of the Crucial Crew sessions at Lifewise. Lifewise is an amazing, ‘interactive learning centre for South Yorkshire communities developed by South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’. It features purpose built sets and is used to educate visitors, particularly children and young people, about ‘safety and citizenship with the ultimate aim of reducing crime and improving quality of life’. The Crucial Crew sessions are aimed at Y6 pupils.
This afternoon we visited ‘Build It’ at Kelham Island Museum. This event, which has been running for a number of years, is mainly for Y5 & 6 pupils. The aim of the day is for the children to build a new town using a range of craft material and technology equipment and some tools that they may not have used before – glue guns appeared to be very popular!

Finally, this evening we hosted a dinner in our home for Mr Justice Nicol and 7 other guests. A lively evening!

16th – An exciting day at Royal Ascot!

17th – This evening, we attended the Press Night for ‘The Government Inspector’ at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. This production is part of Ramps On The Moon ‘a ground-breaking project that is committed to putting D/deaf and disabled artists and audiences at the centre of their work, accelerating positive change, and stimulating awareness of disability issues within arts and culture’.

18th – A very different morning attending a rehearsal for ‘Connections’ which will be performed in the Crucible Studio in a few weeks’ time.
This afternoon I attended the Lord Mayor of Sheffield’s Civic Service and Parade. The service featured 2 children’s choirs – one from the Cathedral and one from a local primary school. A very enjoyable event.

20th – My 60th birthday! This evening I was guest at the Cutlers’ Company’s annual Dinner for the Judiciary which, this year, was attended by 2 High Court Judges, the Honorary Recorder of Sheffield, and a number of Circuit and District judges. At the end of the dinner, the Master Cutler completely surprised me by producing a birthday cake and leading a hearty rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’!

21st – We attended a BBQ this evening to learn more about Cavendish Cancer Care’s plans for their new home www.cavcare.org.uk

22nd – A very interesting meeting this morning with the volunteers who run Inspiring Youth www.southyorks.police.uk/inspiringyouth. The project is run by a team of serving and retired police officers and volunteers who have an interest in the personal development of young people. The Inspiring Youth award is open to anybody aged between 13 and 17 years and its aim is to help young people build skills and improve on their education. It also aims to give them confidence and opportunities to improve their self-esteem and life skills. I hope that I will be able to help by encouraging local companies to arrange visits for the young people so that they can learn more about the world of work.
This evening we attended a special dinner in the Theatres Admission Unit in Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Prior to the dinner we were taken to one of the theatres to see the 3TMRI scanner, a fantastic, life-saving piece of equipment that was bought with funds raised by The Children’s Hospital Charity, of which I am a trustee. We were also taken to the Radiology department where we were told of the charity’s plans to raise funds for a Multipurpose Fluoroscopy System.

23rd – I hosted my Summer Reception this evening in Kelham Island Industrial Museum. A wonderful event attended by around 250 guests.

The River Don Engine at Kelham Island.

25th – This morning I attended an Armed Forces Day event in Rotherham when the Yorkshire Regiment exercised their right, under the Freedom of the Borough, to march through the town. This was followed by a good South Yorkshire lunch of pie and peas 
This evening, we attended a wonderful concert performed by Voces8 in the 15th century church of St Nicholas in Bradfield 

26th – A most enjoyable morning at a Re-affiliation Ceremony between the Cadets of the Endcliffe Hall Division and the Royal British Legion, Penistone branch.

27th – Set off early this morning on a semi-official tour of the Somme Battlefields with about 80 others including the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and her Consort and the Mayor of Rotherham.

28th – Today we visited, among other places, the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing and the grave of my great-grandfather, George Parr, who was killed on 1st July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.

29th – Amongst the places visited today were the Memorial Museum at Passchendaele and Tyne Cot cemetery. The Mayor of Barnsley joined our party as did Angela Smith, one of our local MPs.

30th – Another day visiting places associated with the Battle of the Somme including the Lochnagar Crater.

May 2016

3rd – A lovely visit this morning to Laughton Junior and Infant school to see the elephant that they have painted as part of The Children’s Hospital Charity’s ‘Herd of Sheffield - Little Herd’. I also spoke to the children about my role as High Sheriff.


This afternoon I officiated at a Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall and welcomed 20 new British citizens including a lovely little girl from Eritria. 

4th – This evening, my husband and I were invited to dine at the Judges’ Lodgings by Mr Justice Males. The other guests were HH Judge Julian Goose QC, HH Judge Graham Robinson, District Judge Siobhan Kelly, Professor Clare McGourlay, Miss Caroline Wiggin, Mr James Baird and Dr Angela Baird. A lovely relaxed evening with good company and a delcious dinner.

5th – This evening I was invited to a reception to celebrate Sheffield Family Holiday Fund’s 40th Anniversary. This excellent charity funds holidays for disadvantaged families in Sheffield.

6th – A very different morning overseeing the election count for South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Dr Alan Billings, the sitting PCC, was re-elected.

11th – My busiest day so far! We were honoured to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to South Yorkshire today. I was privileged to be introduced to her when she officially opened Riding for the Disabled’s new indoor arena at Rossington Hall near Doncaster.

My husband and I were then invited by the Master and Mistress Cutler to join them for a Valedictory Lunch, in the Cutlers’ Hall, for the retiring Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Talib Hussain, and his wife, Yasmin – we were also joined by their 3 month old baby son!

And finally, this evening, I hosted a dinner party, in my home, for Mr Justice Males and Lady Males and 6 other guests.

13th – Rob Chitoriski, the Under Sheriff, and I met with the events co-ordinator and caterers at Kelham Island Industrial Museum to discuss my Summer Reception which will be held in the museum on June 23rd.
Later, my husband and I attended a reception to learn more about the charity, Support Dogs. We met some of the trainers, some people who have dogs and, of course, some of the dogs! We also watched a short demonstration. I was very interested to learn that Support Dogs also provide dogs to young children with autism.

17th – This morning, we joined the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire for a private visit to Linbrooke Total Network Solutions, a local company that was established in 2002 by an inspiring entrepreneur, Mr Lee Hallam. The company specialises in telecoms, power and signalling, predominantly in rail, utilities and sub-sea environments. It employs a significant number of ex-servicemen and also trains apprentices, many of whom were disengaged from main stream education.

This afternoon, I officiated at another Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall. I was accompanied by my chaplain, Father John Cooke.

18th – I was honoured and privileged to represent the city of Sheffield at a Repatriation Ceremony this morning. Like many museums, Sheffield Museuems holds a number of human bones that were ‘collected’ by nineteenth century travellers. Amongst these was a skull that was identified as belonging to a person of Mauri origin. After much research, representatives of The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa agreed to come and collect the skull and return it to New Zealand. These representatives - Te Herekiekie Herewini, Repatriation Manager at Te Papa and Ms Hema Temara, Te Papa’s Māori Cultural Practice Adviser – conducted a most moving religious ceremony which included the playing of a Pütatara or conch trumpet, chants, greetings and songs including the Waiata tangi, a traditional lament which acknowledges the passing of a Māori ancestor, before the skull was formally handed over.

The High Sheriff with Ms Hema Temara

19th – This evening, I was a guest at the 380th Cutlers’ Feast. The Feast has been one of the highlights in Sheffield’s social calendar since the Cutlers’ Company was established in 1624 and it is always a magnificent affair – white tie for the men, elegant evening gowns for the ladies; uniformed guard of honour; trumpeters; and, of course, fine food and wine. I was privileged to sit on the top table between Sir Hugh Sykes and Mr Tim Scorer, who gave a speech on behalf of the guests. The principal guest and speaker was Mr Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

20th – An early start this morning to join the Master Cutler and his guests for the traditional post Culers’ Feast visit to one or more local companies. This year we were shown around the Master’s company, Evenort, and also Tinsley Bridge whose Managing Director, Mark Webber, is a Freeman of the Company.

On my return to the Cutlers’ Hall, I joined the City Livery Men in the North for their Brigantes Breakfast. Another magnificent affair with over 300 guests. I was again seated on the top table between Dame Fiona Woolf and HH Judge Paul Worsley QC who both gave very witty speeches. After lunch, we were entertained by the British Imperial Military Band.

21st – Another early start, this time to attend the Civic Service and Parade for the new Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Lyndsay Pitchley. We marched around the town to Rotherham Minster for the Civic Service accompanied by representatives of many uniformed organisations.

23rd – Another school visit this morning – Abbey Lane Primary School in Sheffield. One little boy, who I was later to told was on the autistic spectrum, was particularly interested in my sword and scabbard. 
I was then privileged to be allowed a ‘sneaky peak’ at some of the elephants that will be in the Herd of Sheffield this summer – it is going to be one of the biggest and best public events to take place in Sheffield for a long time.

24th – A very exciting day – we were guests of HM The Queen at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party! An absolutely wonderful experience – and we saw HM The Queen and their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

25th – This morning, I sat in Court with HH Judge Kelson – a very interesting and, in some ways, quite depressing experience. I then hosted a lunch in the Court House which was attended by Mr Justice Males, HH Judge Kelson, HH Judge Lawler and 10 of my Girlguiding colleagues – a very jolly and lively event!

This evening, I was invited to join a ladies only table at the first Institute of Directors dinner to be held in Sheffield. Dame Barbara Judge gave a very good speech.

26th – Today I was one of the official guests at the installation of the new Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Prof Chris Husbands, in Sheffield Cathedral. A very different and interesting occasion.
This evening we attended Sheffield Theatres’ Gala Dinner in the Crucible Theatre – a very enjoyable occasion.

27th – An early start (a bit difficult after last night’s dinner!) because we had been invited to visit Barnsley Magistrates’ Court by the Chair of the Bench, Mr D Shell. We were introduced to District Judge Foster, some of the other magistrates and to some of the court staff before sitting in DJ Foster’s Court and then in the Magistrates’ Court.

31st – A most interesting visit today to South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company. This organisation works with low to medium risk offenders across our county. It was transferred from the public to the private sector in August 2014 as part of the governement’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme and, in February 2015, Sodexo Justice Services, in partnership with NACRO, became the major shareholder. The staff have undergone a number of major upheavals over the last 2 years and feel that, only now, are they beginning to move forward. They were delighted that I had asked to visit them.

Later, I went to the official opening of an extension to Kelham Island Industrial Musem which houses an exhibition showing the role that Sheffield steel companies had in building the ships that fought at the Battle of Jutland, 100 years ago today.

April 2016

6th April – I made my Declaration at the Sheffield Combined Court Centre. The ceremony was presided over by The Hon Mr Justice Males and the Honorary Recorder for Sheffield HH Judge Goose QC.

7th April – My first official function – I attended the Take2 End of Programme Celebration at Sheffield Town Hall. The programme was started by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, Action Ltd and MIND with the aim of providing holistic, multi-agency support for former service personnel. I was honoured to present awards to 2 of the mentors, Steve and Richard, and to a Hannah, a specialist mental health nurse.

9th April – My husband and I attended a dinner in the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield to celebrate the opening of The Sykes Gallery which will house display of the city’s fantastic metalwork collection. The gallery has been named in honour of Sir Hugh and Lady Ruby Sykes who have both done much for the City of Sheffield

11th April – Today I went to Manor Lodge Primary School in Sheffield to sit on the interview panel for artists who have applied for the Yorkshire Artspace High Sheriff’s ‘Year of Making’ residency which my husband and I are sponsoring. Before the interviews, I spoke to the children during their assembly about the role of a High Sheriff – they were very interested in the sword!


14th April – I went back to Manor Lodge Primary School today to interview the third and final candidate for the ‘Year of Making’ residency. It was a very hard decision but, after much discussion, we agreed to appoint Gillian Brent. I am looking forward to going to the school when she comes in to work with the children

15th April – Tonight we were guests of The Children’s Hospital Charity (of which I am a trustee) at the Cue Ball, the ball marks the beginning of the Betfred World Snooker Championships in Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. I was privileged to sit next to George Marriott, one of the most inspiring 17 year olds I have ever met. George has a brain tumour and has been a patient at Sheffield Children’s Hospital since he was 9 years old. Since his diagnosis, he has raised over £25k for the hospital.

George with Dan Walker

19th April – This afternoon, I officiated at my first Citizenship Ceremony in Sheffield Town Hall. It was a wonderful occasion when we welcomed 23 new British citizens from 11 different countries. One little girl took a particular liking to my hat!

20th April – A most interesting visit to Get Up To Speed at the Magna Centre in Rotherham today. This annual event, which is now in its 6th year, is organised by local charity Workwise and aims to encourage children to consider careers in engineering. There were 2000 visitors, including pupils from 45 schools, and 70 exhibitors. The ‘star’ attraction was the Bloodhound Supersonic car.

21st April – Tonight I was one of the VIP guests at the ‘Made in Sheffield’ dinner. A number of awards were presented including one to the apprentice of the year and to the winner of the 2016 Made in Sheffield Award – Chimo Holdings.

22nd April – A most interesting tour this evening of the newly refurbished Park Hill Flats in Sheffield. When they were built in the early1960s, these flats were considered to be ‘homes of the future’ but by the 1980s they had become dilapidated and the area was not one in which most people wanted to live. One block has been refurbished by the company Urban Splash and the flats are now a mixture of owner occupied and rented and are very impressive.

25th April – I attended a meeting at Scotch Corner with my fellow North East England High Sheriffs to discuss the North East England Legal Service which will be held in York Minster.

27th April – A lovely, if rather chilly, evening at Sheffield University Officer Training Corps’ Cocktail Party. I was accompanied throughout the evening by a charming and very polite young officer cadet named Josh!

28th April – I was privileged to sit in court with Mr Justice Males this morning – a most interesting experience. I then hosted a buffet lunch in the Court House for Mr Justice Males and a number of guests from Sheffield Theatres.

Click here to view the South Yorkshire News published in the Winter 2015 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the South Yorkshire News published in the Summer 2015 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the South Yorkshire News published in the Winter 2014 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the South Yorkshire News published in the Summer 2014 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the South Yorkshire News published in the Winter 2013 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the South Yorkshire News published in the Summer 2013 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 


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