Councillor Anne Dorrian was appointed Boston’s 487th Mayor at the Council’s Annual General meeting held in the Council Chamber at Boston Borough Council on Monday 16th May 2022. She succeeds Councillor Frank Pickett who served the year 2021/22.
It was on Polling Day in 1961, that Anne Dorrian was born into a large Catholic family in the West of Scotland, and she spent her formative years on the beautiful Ayrshire coast, where her mother and most of her siblings still live today. On the night that Anne came into the world at the Dorrian family home, her father was still at the local town hall watching the count, having just been elected as an Independent candidate in the local elections, so you could say that politics is in her blood!
Her father worked as a head teacher in a local secondary school, whilst her mum stayed at home to raise their eight children. Cllr Dorrian said: “Being daughter number three, I lived in hand-me-down clothes from my two older sisters until the age of 18! We may not have been cash rich but there was a lot of love and laughter in our family home and I had a very happy childhood. I learned from my parents and grandparents very early on that having values was far more important than having valuables.”
Anne attended university in Hull, where she qualified as a PE teacher and was then appointed at Kirton Secondary School in 1982. She added: “I have lovely recollections of that time. The people of Kirton were so warm and welcoming to me and I’ll never forget their kindness.”
Anne settled in Boston and after starting her own family, she became Area Youth Worker for the town and ran Focus 1 Youth Centre for over ten years. Many local residents will recall the year 1992, when Anne secured the filming of The Clothes Show Christmas Roadshow. Many volunteers got involved behind the scenes and one thousand people bought tickets to watch the actual filming of the show; all of which helped to raise £10,000 for the Borough’s children. Lots of folks – young and old – found themselves modelling for a national audience on the BBC’s flagship fashion TV programme and one local family ended up winning a free holiday to Boston, Massachusetts, courtesy of Richard Branson!
An invitation to take a secondment opportunity, saw Anne develop her career with Lincolnshire County Council where one of her highlights was organising the county’s celebrations in the Millennium Dome. The culmination of this was a Red Arrow’s fly-past, which was organised as a surprise for one hundred Lincolnshire children, who were located in four pods, at the very top of the London Eye! She added: “I can’t say too much about how I managed to finagle that situation, but let’s just credit Her Majesty The Queen Mother for unwittingly assisting with the outcome! I don’t think they’ll ever forget watching the Red Arrows flying down The Thames towards them, with the pilots waiving as they went overhead! It all came together brilliantly!”
Anne returned to her first love of teaching in 2011 and spent the last decade of her career at Haven High Academy before retiring in August 2021. It wasn’t long before she found new things to fill her time, however, and within a couple of months she had started a successful online business and in her spare time, she had signed up for volunteer work with Lincolnshire Police. Cllr Dorrian said: “It’s hugely important to keep your mind active in retirement and I genuinely feel as though I’ve been given a new lease of life. I’d like to pay tribute to those people who work in Policing today. My volunteering has given me an inside view of how officers try to solve the most heinous crimes, and their care and concern for the victims is second to none. I have nothing but admiration for their professionalism, their conscientious and compassionate approach, and their determination to catch offenders.”
Anne’s Consort, her husband, David Middleton who she first met during a golf competition in 1997. David, who hails from Yorkshire, is now retired, but previously he worked as Overseas Development Manager for GE and had responsibility for their offices in South Africa, India and Australia. David is a proud “Blade” and is a season-ticket holder at Sheffield United Football Club. He also played golf for Yorkshire Seniors and is currently a member at Woodhall Spa Golf Club. They married at Boston Stump and between them they have four children and three grandchildren. Anne tells us, “My new name in the family is ‘Granny Annie’ and I think it is the best job I’ve ever had!”
Anne’s initial interest in local politics was sparked in 2004, due to her frustration at the enormous traffic queues around the town. Anne called a public meeting demanding answers from elected officials and over 500 people turned up to have their say! She was first elected to Boston Borough Council in 2007 and again in 2019; and has remained an Independent councillor throughout. “I’d really like to encourage more women to get involved in local politics because currently, the average rate of women who are elected is only 32%, meaning that we are seriously under-represented at all levels of government. I often wonder if the world would be a better place if more women were in charge. Who knows?”
Cllr Dorrian said: “My wish for the forthcoming year is to get out and meet as many people as possible and I’d love folk to visit me in the Mayor’s Parlour for a cup of tea and a chat. I want residents to feel welcome and to know that I’m there to serve everyone.”
“I am honoured beyond words at becoming Mayor in my 40th year of living in the Borough; it’s an enormous privilege and I hope to do everyone proud.”
Councillor Dorrian has appointed Councillor Brian Rush as her deputy for the Mayoral year. Councillor Rush was first elected to the Council in 2007 and stood as Mayor in 2017/18 and represents the Staniland ward, his wife Mrs Jayne Rush is the Deputy Mayoress.
The Mayor’s nominated charities for her year in office are the Boston Food Bank and Guide Dog for the Blind.