Stuart Sharkey’s CommonRiding credentials mark him out as a deserving recipient of the role of Acting Senior Magistrate.
That’s according to long-time friend and busines associate, Andrew Telfer, who proposed the toast to the Acting Father.
Andrew also looked back on Stuart’s formative years, and regaled the company with amusing anecdotes about his exploits on the long-gone Lynwood housing estate where he and his friends would get up to “all sorts of mischief”.
Focusing on Stuart’s passion for the town’s annual celebrations, Andrew continued: “He has been a huge Common-Riding man all his life and first followed the Cornet when he was 12.
“He helped out at Alec Cavers’ stables, taking a pony down to Backdamgate for its rider, and when the rider didn’t show, Stuart took it to Priesthaugh. And he has been part of the cavalcade every year since then.”
The speaker said that Stuart first followed on his own horse, Bindy, behind Cornet Lee Matthews in 1995, and his mount for this year’s celebtrations was Bozo.
“Stuart has also marshalled on several occasions,” added Andrew. “And has only missed the big weekend the past three years due to work commitments.
“So I’m sure that you will agree that being a follower for 40 years he has more than earned his chance at Acting Father. And I’m sure that he will do a fantastic job and everything asked of him and more.”