Third term for Terry as Bungay Town Reeve

Terry Reeve, who has been installed as the new Town Reeve of Bungay, with outgoing reeve Michael Dav

Terry Reeve, who has been installed as the new Town Reeve of Bungay, with outgoing reeve Michael Davies. - Credit: Archant

He is a Reeve by name and has held the unique and ancient office twice before.

Now 71-year-old Terry Reeve has been installed as the Town Reeve of Bungay for the third time, becoming the first man for 70 years to serve three terms.

In time-honoured fashion he was bestowed with the robes and chain of office by outgoing town reeve Michael Davies at the annual town meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Reeve served as town reeve in 1997 and 2003, and said it was just as great an honour this time to take on the ancient role.

Following his installation ceremony at St Mary’s Church, Mr Reeve said: “Having been born and bred here it is a special privilege to serve this wonderful town of ours in this way – once again T Reeve, town reeve.

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“I shall endeavour to do it with the same commitment, organisation and dignity that my predecessor has shown over the past 12 months.”

The records of manorial reeves in Bungay go back to the 1200s, and the first named town reeve was William Brooke in 1536.

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New research indicates that the Duke of Norfolk took over the Manor of Priory, and added the manors of Bungay Soke and Bungay Burgh, before creating the role.

Bungay is believed to be the only town anywhere to retain the title.

The Town Reeve heads Bungay Town Trust, of which Mr Reeve was elected a foundation feoffee (trustee) in 1996.

The Town Trust - made up of 34 feoffees - is responsible for overseeing the town’s two sets of almshouses, along with the Market Place and Buttercross, The Borough Well and 54 goings on the common.

Mr Reeve said the Town Trust was modernising itself where necessary, but he was also keen to see it, and the office of reeve, retain its individuality and uniqueness which set it apart from other similar bodies.

He has yet to decide which local project or charity his year’s appeal will support, but hoped to make an announcement before Christmas.

Mr Reeve said: “With 2015 including the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, to which baron Hugh Bigod of Bungay was one of the signatories, and the 450th anniversary of the founding of the grammar school, it should be a significant year for the town.”

Mr Reeve is involved in several other Bungay organisations, and as a town councillor served as mayor in 2011-13.

He is chairman of the Bungay Society, a churchwarden and sidesman at Holy Trinity Church, a member and former president of Bungay Rotary Club, a trustee of the Fisher Theatre, Bungay Community Library and the Eliza Dreyer Almshouses, a member of the Bungay committee of the NSPCC, and president of Bungay Tennis Club and the Bungay Charity Cup committee, as well as being on the Bungay Town Football Club committee.

Mr Reeve said: “I suppose that list indicates my love for Bungay – it is a bit of an obsession.

“The role of reeve provides the opportunity to attend many functions and receptions around Suffolk and I intend to promote Bungay, its history and what the modern town has to offer at every chance I get. This is a great town, with a great community spirit, and we need to let everyone know that.”

Mr Reeve was associate editor of the Beccles and Bungay Journal when he retired, after 47 years with Archant, in 2009. As a writer, he has written a number of books on aspects of Bungay’s history, published two novels set in Bungay, and collaborated with his brother, Chris Reeve, in two volumes of a book of old pictures, Beccles to Bungay, published in the Images of England series.

Mr Reeve has four grown-up children and four grandchildren.

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