Former Winchester mayors Jean Hammerton and Therese Evans toast the portrait of Richard Moss. Picture copyright Alan Cleaver. 2003.
FORMER Winchester MP and freeman, Richard Moss, died in 1905 but his memory lives on thanks to a strange but delightful ceremony. Twice a year - once on his birthday, May 30th, and once in October - businessmen gather at the mayor's residence (Abbey House) to toast the former Worthy. He was a popular man in his time and did much good for the historic capital. He also left a sum of money in his Will for businessmen to meet and have a drink once a year - the only stipulation being that they toast his health! The ceremony in October is usually devoted to those who serve the mayor's office in one capacity or another.