HISTORY was made last Thursday when Jo Slade became Bromsgrove Court Leet’s first female bailiff.
The Ancient Court Leet dates back to 1199 when King John granted a charter to the town permitting it to hold a weekly street market.
The Court and the Court Baron of the Manor of Bromsgrove voted unanimously to elect her for the forthcoming year.
It’s a far cry from Alcester where women don’t even have a vote in the Court Leet let alone be able to stand for office.
Jo was present when the ladies of Alcester attempted to have a their say in the election of that market town’s High Bailiff.
Their plea was rejected however it was agreed that the matter had to be discussed with a view to the future.
In her inaugural speech Jo paid tribute to the late Simon Cupitt of Cupitt Jeweller in Bromsgrove who had asked if he could put her name forward to join the Court during his year as Bailiff in 2010.
And she concluded by giving her thanks and gratitude to the long list of women who had supported the court in its 820-year history.
She recognised whilst she was the first female Bailiff, over the centuries hundreds of women had played an invaluable supportive role in the background of the Court, contributing to what it was today.
Thanks were also given to retiring Bailiff Bill Tucker for his excellent year and Juryman Neil Beaumont was elected Reeve to the Court.