High Wycombe mayor-making

High Wycombe mayor-making
   A unique civic custom, of unknown origin, which is recorded only from Victorian times in late May. The incoming Mayor of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is weighed, in front of the Town Hall, on peculiar-looking scales which have a seat suspended from a tall metal tripod. The new Mayor's weight is announced and recorded. The outgoing Mayor is then weighed and his/her weight compared to last year's. If the Mayor has lost weight it is counted as a sign that he or she has been busy and worked hard, but if the weight has increased then he/ she is accused of attending too many civic luncheons. The Deputy Mayors, Mayoresses, and chief officers are also weighed if they wish.
   ■ Kightly, 1986: 230-31; Sykes, 1977: 82-3; Shuel, 1985: 104.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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