The Sheriff of Nottingham

The role of the Sheriff in welcoming visitors to the city is often less formal than the Lord Mayor's. This 
is especially relevant to the promotion of Nottingham's historic associations and links with the legends of Robin Hood.

The current Sheriff of Nottingham is Councillor Catharine Arnold.

Background of the Sheriff

First, just let me say that as a local woman and a historian, I am incredibly excited to be taking on the role of Sheriff of Nottingham. This is a role rich in history and anecdote, and I have a responsibility to live up to all the other sheriffs who have gone before me. I just hope I can do it justice!

I arrived in Nottingham with my parents when I was just two weeks old. My mother was from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, and my father had been offered a teaching post at what is now Nottingham Trent University.

We lived in Mapperley Park and my parents' flat was always full of students, musicians and local characters from all backgrounds, reflecting my father's interest in people. I seem to have inherited this. One of the reasons I became a councillor was because I like to be out and about and meeting new people. 

My education was disrupted by childhood illness, but I attended Hollygirt School, and then took A levels at Clarendon before applying to university. I read English at Girton College, Cambridge, and then went to London where I worked as a technical writer for Freeman Fox, the engineering company who designed the Humber Bridge, among others.

I also became a sub-editor for the Reader's Digest hardback books department, and it was at this time that Hodder & Stoughton published my first novel, Lost Time. Another novel, Changeling, followed soon after. However, after four years in London, I was keen to return to Nottingham. I missed the quality of life, and the friendliness. I also wanted to be closer to my widowed mother, so I took up a traineeship at the Nottingham Evening Post, where I spent four years as a sub editor and feature writer.     

I left the Evening Post when my first daughter, Rose, was born, and I have since worked as a freelance writer.  My most recent books include Globe, Life in Shakespeare's London and Pandemic 1918, a study of the Spanish flu pandemic. I am also a regular contributor to television and radio programmes about history, and I lecture in creative writing for the Open University.

A local by-election led me to become involved in politics, and I was elected Councillor for Basford ward in 2007, being returned again in 2011 and 2015. During my time on the council, I have served as Executive Assistant for Culture and Leisure and on the board of UNESCO Nottingham City of Culture. I am also a Trustee of Nottingham Playhouse and I served on the board of the National Justice Museum between 2007 and the present. 

I am married to Mark, a software engineer, and we have two grown-up daughters. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, horse riding and yoga.  

During my year of office I will be accompanied either by my husband Mark Adams as Consort or my daughter Alice Adams as Sheriff’s Lady.


To promote Nottingham as a destination for visitors for short breaks, conferences, business and shopping

To encourage local residents to use and take part in cultural/ leisure activities opportunities in the city and county

Key Tasks

To support the tourism strategy for the city and county

To welcome tourists and visitors to the city at various events, including conferences and entertainment/hospitality venues

Hosting welcome receptions in order to promote the city, in particular for conference delegates and journalist familiarisation visits

To work with Experience Nottinghamshire at promotional events such as tourism and destination exhibitions

Opening new retail, entertainment or visitor attractions in the city and county

More Information

For more information please contact the Civic Office on 0115 876 5654 or 0115 876 5655 alternatively email civic.office@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Civic Dignitaries Engagements
Find out about engagements the Sheriff will be attending.

Hosting the Sheriff of Nottingham
Find out about hosting the Sheriff of Nottingham

Previous Sheriffs of Nottingham
Find out about previous Sheriff's of Nottingham.

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