AN historic mayor making ceremony has been cancelled due to social distancing measures introduced to stem the flow of the coronavirus pandemic.

Harwich mayor and mayoress Alan and Sylvia Todd will carry on in the roles until next year.

Councillor and former MP Ivan Henderson will remain as deputy mayor but in a more supportive role until May 2021 when he will take on the role of mayor.

Mr Henderson said they agreed this was the best way forward in the current circumstances.

He said: “Mr Todd is in isolation at the moment, as he is seen as one of the vulnerable ones.

“Anything he cannot do, I’ll step in and cover for him.

“Next May, I’ll be able to go through the proper traditional and historic mayor-making process and become a mayor.

“I’m disappointed it couldn’t go ahead this year but in the current climate it is the right and only decision to suspend the ceremony.”

Mr Henderson said he was really looking forward to taking part in the traditional kitchel throwing and mayor making ceremony and having the opportunity to represent the town in the key civic role.

“It will be a proud moment in my local and political career,” he added.

Mr Henderson added the celebrations will not be forgotten once lockdown measures and social distancing measures have lifted.

“We will make sure Harwich will be known for the historic part it played in the history of the Mayflower,” he said.

“I hope all organised events and the incredible work which was put in to make it a good year will continue to 2021.

“I know people have worked so hard, planning for this year but I’m sure we will make use of those plans next year.”

The mayor making ceremony takes place in Harwich every May and sees a procession in Church Street.