Ann Barlow’s date with the Queen at Buckingham Palace

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Outgoing mayor Ann Barlow has had one final treat as her year in office came to an end – a date with the Queen.

Ann and her husband Peter were invited to a Buckingham Palace garden party along with other mayors from all over the country.

She said: “It was lovely.

“We caught the train to London, had a day sightseeing and went to a show, Noises Off, which was fantastic.

“Then, the next day, we had a bit more sightseeing then went to the Palace for the garden party.

“And yes, we did actually have cucumber sandwiches!

“We also had salmon and cheese sandwiches. The sandwiches were in fingers, so there wasn’t a crust on them!

“It was a lovely occasion. Although I never got to speak with the Queen, I was only yards from her and I have to say she looked fantastic.

“She was wearing a peach suit and a peach hat and looked stunning. I have been deputy mayor for a year and mayor for a year, and I’m ready for a rest. How the Queen keeps going year after year is amazing.

“Buckingham Palace was a fantastic place. The gardens were stunning – the pond, or it might have been a lake – teemed with wildlife, and there were all kind of roses in the rose garden.”

Ann and her husband also went to dinner with MP Tim Loughton to say thank you for his support during the mayoral year.

And Ann said the trip didn’t cost the Worthing taxpayer a bean.

“In the past, mayors have claimed up to £500 for the Queen’s garden party, but we paid our own way – we thought that was fair,” she said.

“I have made a big effort this year to reduce the mayoral costs, and I’m delighted with what we have achieved on a much smaller budget. I was asked to make savings of £20,000, and I’m delighted I managed to do that.

“I loved my year as mayor – although I am enjoying some time off now I have stepped down as a councillor!”