Lord Boyce, KG, GCB,OBE DL

Lord Boyce, KG, GCB,OBE DL


The historic office of Speaker of the Cinque Ports was celebrated in Hythe on Saturday 3rd October 2015 with a day that included a mix of pomp and pageantry, quiet reflection and celebratory music and dancing.

Speaker’s Day commenced with a procession from the Town Hall to St Leonards Church headed by the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports The Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce KG, GCB,OBE DL,  and followed by the Officers of the Cinque Ports Confederation including The Admiralty Judge and Judge Surrogate,  The Registar, fourteen Cinque Ports Mayors dressed in full ceremonial regalia, together with their Macebearers and Town Clerks and other invited dignitaries including the Bishop of Dover.

After a service of thanksgiving in St Leonards Church taken by Priest -in-Charge, Andrew Sweeney which included readings by the Lord Warden, the Speaker of the Cinque Ports, singing by the Hythe Bay School Choir and the Shepway Voices Choir and the Address given by the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover there was a procession through the town lead by the band of TS Invicta Sea Cadets there was also a fine display of lindy hop dancing by Tacky Annie's dance troup outside the Town Hall.

The office of Speaker is an ancient jurisdiction and an honour that has been bestowed in political and civic life since as far back as the 12th Century and this year the office is held by The Worshipful the Mayor Michael Lyons.   The office of Speaker of the Cinque Ports has traditionally been rotated amongst the five head ports and two antient towns. Long before a Royal Navy was established in England, the Cinque Ports – a group of five port towns on the south east coast of England, which included New Romney, Sandwich, Dover, Hythe and Hastings-provided vessels and sailors to assist in protecting the coast and defending the country from frequent attacks by sea. In return, they were granted special royal privileges, which included retention of all legal fees assigned in court cases held in their towns. As a result, these towns became quite prosperous. Over time two further towns Rye and Winchelsea became affiliated with the Cinque Ports and gained official legal status as ‘Antient Towns’ and then, with the need for increased defence of the coast, further towns became affiliated to the ‘Cinque Ports Confederation’. At its peak in medieval England, there were as many as 42 towns in the Confederation but as some towns fared less wellwith varying economies and with the receding of the sea and silting up of rivers as well as a dwindling need for coastal defence, once busy towns became little more than villages and this number gradually reduced, leaving the 14 towns that today form the Cinque Ports Confederation.

The fourteen towns which the Confederation is made up of are seven Head Ports - Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover, Sandwich and "Two Ancient Towns" Rye and Winchelsea and the Seven Limbs - Tenterden, Lydd, Margate, Ramsgate, Faversham, Folkestone and Deal.


Individual printed copies are available for purchase or a disk with the full selection from the day.

Please order prints by the number of the image.

Disks with all Speaker's Day Gallery and images of Hythe in 2015 £10 + £1.50pp

Printed Photos - 6 x 4" (postcard size) £2, 13x18cm - £5, 20x25cm - £6,  or A4 - £7 + £1.50pp.

Please send me an email using the contact button below with your requirements.


Other photos were taken on the day, if there is something specific you require please ask as it may also be available.