Walking Whereat Trail tribute to 'Mr Cirencester'
Former Cirencester mayor Norman Whereat, who died in August, is to be remembered with a walking trail in the town
A SPARKLING personality who became known as "Mr Cirencester" because of his knowledge and dedication to the town is set to guide visitors for generations to come with a new walking trail in his memory.
When community stalwart and former Cirencester mayor Norman Whereat MBE died in August this year, aged 88, the town lost one of its champions.
Norman served twice as mayor, from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2007, and was made the first freeman of Cirencester earlier this year.
Affectionately known as "Mr Cirencester", Norman helped to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds in his position as chairman of the Cirencester Hospital League of Friends – an achievement which earned him an MBE in 2010.
He was said to have known every inch of the town and a large number of its residents. So it was fitting that at the last Cirencester Town Council meeting councillors agreed the ‘Whereat Trail’ should be created as a tribute to him.
A minute’s silence was also held at the meeting, as a mark of respect to Norman.
The idea of creating a guided walk, to encompass the Amphitheatre near the hospital and other town centre landmarks, has been supported by Norman’s wife of 65 years, Vera, and their family.
Son Paul Whereat said: "It's a wonderful gesture. People move on and generations move on, so we're really pleased that the town wants to have something to remember him by forever.
"He would have been humbled by the tribute. Dad never did anything for personal reward."
The "measured mile" will feature information boards, which will include details on Norman’s life and the difference he made.
At the town council meeting, councillors were unanimously in favour of the project, which will cost an estimated £4,000, but rejected the idea of a public fundraising drive.
Cllr Margaret Rickman said that instead the council should pay and look for match funding.
"If there was any money coming in as a tribute to him, I'm sure Norman would rather it went to the hospital," she said.
A final route plan and funding options are now being considered.