Record breaking swimmer appointed new Mayor of Charnwood

Published: Tue 14th May, 2024

  • Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr Julie Bradshaw MBE with Mayoress Julie Ellerbeck

An open water swimming world record holder has been sworn in as Mayor of Charnwood for 2024-25 at the Council’s Annual Meeting.

Cllr Dr Julie Bradshaw MBE, who has been a borough councillor since 2011, has said it is a proud moment to be appointed the first citizen of the borough at Loughborough Town Hall on Monday, May 13.

Cllr Bradshaw will be representing Charnwood at hundreds of events over the next year and will be supported by Mayoress Julie Ellerbeck.

The Mayor of Charnwood said: “This is an extremely proud moment to be appointed as the Mayor of this wonderful borough and I am looking forward to representing Charnwood over the next 12 months.

“What makes it extra special, is being appointed as Mayor in Charnwood’s 50th year and it will be a huge honour to meet lots of different people who do so much in our community.”

The Mayor’s chosen charities for her Mayoral year are Living Without Abuse and Dogs Trust Loughborough.

Cllr Bradshaw was born in Blackpool, Lancashire and moved to Loughborough to study PE, Sports Science and History at Loughborough University in 1983. She then completed her PGCE, and then a Masters of Science degree.     

A Charnwood resident ever since, Cllr Bradshaw then went on to teach in a number of schools across the region. She lectured at Loughborough University for over 16 years before becoming a Psychotherapist and Life Coach in 2000.

Cllr Bradshaw has a sporting interest and has undertaken a number of long distance and marathon swims. 

At the age of 15, the Mayor swam the English Channel solo and in 2002, set a new and current world record with her solo butterfly swim over the channel whilst raising thousands of pounds for charity. She also completed the fastest documented female butterfly solo swim around the 28.5 mile Manhattan Island course in the USA in 2011. 

In 2006, Cllr Bradshaw was awarded an MBE after being named in the New Year’s Honours list for ‘Services to Swimming and Charity’ and also received an Honorary Doctorate from Loughborough University in the same year.

The appointment of Cllr Bradshaw sees the end of the Mayoral year for Cllr Margaret Smidowicz.

Cllr Smidowicz, said: “It has been a great honour to represent Charnwood over the past year and be the 50th Mayor of this wonderful borough.

“I have made some fantastic memories, meeting hundreds of residents across the borough, marked the centenary of Loughborough’s war memorial, the Carillon Tower, opened the iconic Loughborough Fair and attended services including Remembrance Sunday.

“It has been a pleasure being able to meet and thank our volunteers who do so much in the borough.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has raised money for my chosen charities, Men & Women in Sheds and Head & Neck Cancer Awareness, The Swallows and Cancer Self Help Group, Loughborough.

“I wish Cllr Bradshaw all the very best in her Mayoral year which I am sure she will enjoy thoroughly.”

Cllr David Northage has been elected as Deputy Mayor and will be supported by the Deputy Mayoress Jenny Northage

To find out more about the Mayor of Charnwood, visit the Mayor's dedicated webpage.