Crowds flocked to High Wycombe on Saturday to cheer and jeer politicians who had either lost or put on weight in the last year – as part of one of the town’s wackiest traditions.

The ancient mayor making ceremony began in the Guildhall on Saturday morning, before the departing mayor and his replacement took to the scales in Frogmoor.

The annual weighing-in ceremony is well known in Wycombe as residents get to see if politicians and dignitaries have been “overindulging” during their time in office.

Cllr Khalil Ahmed, who stepped down as mayor of High Wycombe, said he was delighted to have lost weight, while the man he passed the chains to, Cllr Mohammed Hanif, also received applause for keeping the weight off.

Cllr Hanif said he is proud to become the new mayor of the town and wants traditions like the mayor making event to continue.

He said: “It was a really good public turnout, nice to see so many people get involved, with councillors and local dignitaries as well, plus the weather was actually kind to us.

“I decided my theme for the next year will be one of community, so I will be working across different communities and see how we can work together and I think one of the comment strands will be my chosen charities [Rennie Grove Hospice and One Can Hope].”

Cllr Ahmed said: “I was quite confident and I told everyone to head over to the scales to tell the tale and it sure did, because I was a stone less.

“And, I can assure you that the red robe and chain does not weigh a stone, so for me I was so glad that it came out like that.

“It’s a great ceremony for the town and I think we should preserve it as it is like we did today, a lot of people were here today – it’s a fantastic tradition and we should keep it that way.”

Amongst others, MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker, was jeered by town crier Jon Taylor and the crowds for putting on weight.

The annual custom dates back to medieval times and is said to be unique to the town.

According to folklore, the ceremony began when a visiting monarch observed the mayor being drunken disorderly and declared that any future mayors will be weighed at the start and end of their tenure.

The tradition has continued and this year Cllr Hanif and Cllr Ahmed were joined by 22 charter trustees together with honorary burgesses.

The pantomime-styled ceremony sees the town crier call out “and no more” when no weight has been added, but if the scales are tipped in the other direction, cries of “and some more” ring out alongside a chorus of jeers.

In years gone by they would have also pelted the offending person with tomatoes and rotten fruit.

And some more...

Bucks Free Press:

MP Steve Baker.

MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker, appeared to welcome the jeers of the crowd on Saturday and said afterwards he had planned to put weight on.

He said: “I’ll confess I had planned ahead. I’ve been enjoying myself since the Autumn, eating and drinking whatever I wanted.

“I hoped that if I was re-elected that I would be heavy this year and my plan is to be lighter each year through the rest of the parliament.

“My plan now is to get to the gym, build up some more muscle, lose some more fat and hopefully each year I will be lighter but fitter, so a strategic approach.

“I’ve taken very careful control of my weight, so I hoped to be a bit heavier this year and a bit lighter next year, I hope.”

He added: “It was a good crowd, and I think more members of the public coming out to humiliate those of us who have put some weight on would be good and I hope more will come out next year.”