Frances steals spotlight on mayor's official visit
WHEN Frances Brady was unable to attend the 100th anniversary installation ceremony of Hull's Lord Mayor earlier this year through illness, the man donning the chains of office pledged to visit her instead.
Three months on, Councillor Danny Brown duly fulfilled his promise by ensuring one of his civic predecessors received the VIP treatment at the nursing home where she now lives.
Mrs Brady, who toasted her 96th birthday last week, celebrated again with friends and family at St Catherine's Home in Southcoates Lane, east Hull.
Back in 1984 she visited the nursing home when she was Lord Mayor of Hull.
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Yesterday, Mr Brown revealed his own connection with the home, having last paid a visit as a social services inspection officer.
He said: "It was a good home then and I am pleased to say things haven't changed. It's still a very good home."
But, unusually for official visits by Hull's First Citizen, the spotlight was firmly elsewhere.
Mrs Brady took centre stage in much the same way she did when she was a Labour councillor at the Guildhall.
She said: "When I knew I could not go to Danny's installation as Lord Mayor, I was so disappointed.
"I rang him to tell him I was not well enough to go and he said, 'If you can't come to see me then I will come to you'.
"At the time I thought it wouldn't be possible because I known from my own experience as Lord Mayor that his programme of engagements is very full and that he probably wouldn't be able to come here.
"As it turned out, I was wrong."
Mrs Brady said her own year as Lord Mayor was one of the highlights of a long political career.
"I remember coming to St Catherine's on a visit when I was Lord Mayor. What struck me most was how caring and supportive the staff were.
"Now I'm living here and that care and support is still the same as it was back then. It's a wonderful place to live and feel that care and love."
Mrs Brady was only the fifth woman to serve as Hull's Lord Mayor and was a long-serving chairman of the council's housing committee for many years.
Her late husband Charles was a Labour councillor on Humberside County Council and was the first chairman of Humberside Police Authority.
Her nephew is the current city council leader Steve Brady and her niece Mary Glew is also a councillor on the authority.
Ms Glew, who also attended the celebration party, said: "Frances always loved the civic pomp and ceremony of the role and this is a very special day for her."
Mr Brown said it was a "pleasure" to roll back the years and talk over old times with Mrs Brady.
"Francis is a very special person and someone who made a real difference to the people of Hull during her time on the council," he said.
"The Brady family has served the community for two generations over the past 40 years."