Yesterday morning we attended a panel at Durham Town Hall where we heard from several leaders in the Durham community and from Durham University. They answered lots of our questions about economic development. It was interesting to learn even more about the whole county and how it has developed since all of the mines closed at the end of the 20th century.
After the panel, we got to see the mayor dressed in her special robes. She is also the current County Chairman, and she is the youngest person ever to hold both of these positions at only 27 years old. We also learned about her ceremonial guard. There are usually 14 members, but 5 of them were there to explain all of the different roles, which included candle-holders, knockers, and then the rest who carried weapons.
After the presentation, the mayor and the guard were nice enough to let us take some photos.
We also were able to look into the other rooms of Town Hall, and I especially enjoyed this stained glass window from the Great Hall.
The last few days have been the hottest of the year in Durham. Today, it was actually hotter in Durham, England than it was in Durham, North Carolina! Since the weather is usually cool here, with the exception of the last few days, most buildings do not have Air Conditioning, or AirCon as the British call it. Since it has been so hot, we have eaten our fair share of ice cream to stay cool. After our Town Hall panel, some of us decided to try a Milkshake Bar/ Sundae Shop that looked a lot like an American diner. It has been really fun to eat our way through the city, and we are trying to get all of the restaurants we want to try in before we have to leave.
We also got to go to the Castle Dinner last night. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures, but I should have because everything was beautiful! We all got dressed up and led into one of the back rooms. There we were served a delicious four course meal that included tomato salad, sweet potato and butternut squash soup, pan-seared chicken breast and passionfruit tart for dessert.