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Editor put in stocks after mayor's wife blunder

A weekly editor endured time in the stocks at the hands of the local mayor – after the newspaper got his wife’s name wrong.

John Nurden, of the Herne Bay Times, was contacted by Canterbury’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Pat Todd, after the paper incorrectly published his wife’s name as Sheila instead of Barbara.

The mayor said the editor should be punished for the error and asked him to attend the Herne Bay Festival, for the ‘first public flogging’ in years in the seaside town.

John said: “He was insistent I should pay a penance. And so it came to pass that I received an ‘invitation’ to the opening of the Herne Bay Festival on Saturday.”

When John arrived, with a plastic Pak-a-mac and shower cap, he was clamped in stocks and pelted with wet sponges by the mayor and his wife.

Local people also paid to throw sponges, with the funds going towards the Mayoress’ Charity, until a local band offered £10 to tip the entire bucket of water over his head.

John said the mayor had then shaken his drenched hand, telling him his penance had been served.

The editor added: “In hindsight, I think I almost prefer a solicitor’s letter!”

  • Editor John Nurden braves the stocks while Lord Mayor Pat Todd and his wife Barbara enjoy giving him a soaking.