The last year has been a challenge for Lisburn’s Mayor Nicholas Trimble, but one he has enjoyed

The Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh, Councillor Nicholas Trimble was appointed as the city’s First Citizen last June and has had many challenges during his year in office. Here he answers the Ulster Star’s questions about the highlights of his term and his love of the city of Lisburn.
Mayor Councillor Nicholas TrimbleMayor Councillor Nicholas Trimble
Mayor Councillor Nicholas Trimble

What made you decide to run for election?

I have lived in Lisburn my whole life and I have always tried to give back, in some measure, to the city that I love and call home. Admittedly politics wasn’t something I originally intended to do, but continued frustration at our shared political landscape was my impetus. Standing for council seemed the best way to effect change in a local way.

How did you feel when you were made Mayor?

We have been blessed with a very high calibre and standard of previous Mayors over the years and I would be lying if I said that this didn’t weigh heavily on my mind when I took the role.

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It is, of course, a huge privilege to take on the role, but I think I was excited and daunted in equal measure.

What has been the highlight of your term in office?

I have enjoyed so many things during my term, even if many of them have been ‘virtual’ because of covid. My favourite has got to be the Mayors Community Awards. Normally this is a gala-style dinner to recognise our local community heroes, however the pandemic threatened to cancel the event entirely.

I was determined that we did something to recognise everyone’s efforts, particularly over the past year, and so we put together a live-streamed virtual event complete with virtual audience of our community nominees.

I was so happy that the event came together without a hitch and that those who have been working in the community got the recognition they deserved.

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Pete Snodden was our host for the evening, and with him and I on stage together, in front of the cameras, there were more than a few ‘Ant and Dec’ themed jokes!

What has been the greatest challenge during your term in office?

Without a doubt the greatest challenge has been due to the Covid pandemic. I have always believed that the Mayor’s office is supposed to be a “Department of Friendliness”, reaching out to and supporting our local communities in any way possible. However, the entirety of my term has been served under social restrictions so the vast majority of everything I have been able to do has been done virtually and remotely. I’m glad that we have the likes of Zoom, but it isn’t the same as being able to call out and see people face-to-face.

Once lockdown ends and restrictions ease, what are you looking forward to doing the most?

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To be perfectly honest I haven’t anything large or fancy planned, I think I will be happy being able to call round and see friends in person and not have to stand outside or wave through the window.

Where is your favourite place to eat out (post-restrictions) in Lisburn?

There’s a lot of really great places to eat in Lisburn but I would never say no to a chicken caesar salad from the Glasshouse in Lisburn Square - hands down the best caesar salad I’ve ever had!

But if I’m not wanting to be too healthy then a fry from the Highway Inn is very hard to beat!

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In normal times (pre-pandemic) can you describe your perfect day in Lisburn?

My perfect day in Lisburn would probably start off with a good long dog walk in the morning down the towpath. Then head into town and meet up with some friends in Bow Street and grab a bit to eat for lunch.

After that some shopping either in town, or head out to Sprucefield (the trick here is to let my wife Sarah choose)! In the evening I would probably prefer to relax at home and hopefully some good weather, maybe a BBQ in the garden.

What is your earliest memory of Lisburn?

Learning to swim in the old swimming pool. Mum took me down on a Tuesday evening, the car park still had a smell of fish from the market earlier in the day!

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Afterwards, if I was good, I’d get a cone of ice cream from Maud’s which was on Market Place at the time.

How would you sum up Lisburn in three words?

Lisburn for me is a place with great community, scenery and history.