Meet the new High Peak mayor

Whaley Bridge Library reopening, county council chairman George Wharmby officially opens the refurbished branch.
Whaley Bridge Library reopening, county council chairman George Wharmby officially opens the refurbished branch.

A familiar face to many, former pub landlord and county council chairman George Wharmby is the High Peak’s new mayor.

Cllr Wharmby was chosen to take on the civic role last month, and less than a month in his schedule is already filling up.

Mayor George Wharmby

Mayor George Wharmby

The 67-year-old said: “I love meeting people and I love helping people out, and I am truly honoured to have been given this prestigious role.”

George was born in Glossop and has never left the area - wherever he has lived has always been within a mile of where he was born.

He said: “When you live somewhere you give yourself to that place and you want it to be the best it can be, so I’m pleased to be able to represent the area once again.”

George and his wife Jean are well-known in the High Peak, particularly Glossop where they ran pubs for 14 years.

The first was the Royal Oak and the second was The George, formerly known as The Winston.

George said: “Owning a pub means long days and I always said I didn’t want to be a landlord when I was over-60.

“So when we were offered a buy-out we took it and set up a sandwich shop.”

Politics runs in the family and George is a fourth generation councillor and his great-grandad set the ball rolling in 1904.

He said: “I remember canvassing when my dad was standing for the role of councillor.

“I have always been involved socially with the town, if not politically.

“Glossop is a great place to live and I think we should all be proud of where we live as the High Peak is truly lovely.”

After leaving the hospitality trade, George became a county councillor, and Jean a borough councillor, and she became mayor in 2007.

George said: “In 2009 I became the vice-chairman of the county council and took on the role of chair in 2011 to 2013 and met everyone from senior royals to Chinese diplomats.”

Now living on Sheffield Road, George although very busy in the public eye, still finds time to enjoy a spot of gardening and taking his Labrador Daisy for walks.

The busy life of a High Peak mayor

George has only been in office for a matter of weeks, but his diary is filling up with events and official openings.

He said: “If I’ve remembered anything from my time as county council chairman, it’s always do your research.

“You can turn up at places and then hear ‘the mayor would like to say a few words’, so it pays to research why you are there and why it is important to people.”

The new mayor says he is a people person and is looking forward to meeting many people from varied backgrounds, and helping organisations.

He said: “Already I have attended a group that helps elderly people get to doctors appointments and do their shopping, read newspaper passages for the blind and attended public functions and welcomed foreign dignitaries to Buxton.”
He added: “I like that the mayoral role is one that still matters to people and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me and the High Peak.”