A golden key, a gigantic ferris wheel, and a four hundred year old tradition sounds more like a Hans Christian Anderson tale than the meeting of two former Mayors who both share the same name

However when Merton’s former Mayor Councillor Joyce Paton was photographed opening the annual Mitcham Status Fair with a ceremonial giant golden key outside a enormous ferris wheel in 1999, little did she realise this would lead her to meeting her namesake.

The photograph which appeared in the leading paper for traditional fairgrounds, The World’s Trade Fair was spotted by one Cornish Councillor from Callington with interest – Callington’s former Mayor was also known as Councillor Joyce Paton.

This extraordinary coincidence led the Councillors Paton to meet in London and for Merton’s former Mayor to travel to Cornwall where a special reception was held for her at Callington Town Hall.

The Councillors exchanged gifts as gestures of their new-found camaraderie; Councillor Paton from Merton receiving an aerial view of Callington by the Portreeve, Kath Pascoe and in return Councillor Paton from Callington was presented with a book on the history of Merton and a letter from the Mayor of Merton.
Note to Editors: Photographs available on request