This year marks a double civic anniversary for Southampton – it is 800 years since the first recorded mayor and 90 years since the first lady Mayor.

Lucia Foster Welch became Southampton's first citizen in 1927 at a time when the site of the Civic Centre was still parkland and the Guildhall was a room above the arches of the Bargate, which also housed the criminal courts.

Mrs Foster Welch was Southampton’s first woman councillor, first woman alderman, first woman sheriff and first woman mayor.

And as the city mayor also holds the title of Admiral of the Port, Lucia was technically England’s first Lady Admiral.

Born Lucia Marion Brown in Liverpool in 1864, she was married twice, first to Philip Braham in 1884, with whom she had three children, and then to Robert William Foster Welch in 1904.

Mrs Foster Welch came to Southampton in 1903, and lived at he lived at 61 Oxford Street, in a seven bedroom semi-detached residence which is now grade II listed.

She took a keen interest in local politics and social welfare and was elected Conservative councillor for Newtown in 1918 and became chairwoman of the Health Committee from 1924.

The Echo looked in the archives from issues dating back to 1927 and appointment of the new lady mayor didn’t seem to make the headlines.

This was a year before women received the vote on the same terms as men as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1928.

Nationally, she had been very active in the suffragette movement and was a member of both the Women’s Social and Political Union and the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. However, she did not condone the WSPU’s militant activities.

When the renowned suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst visited Southampton in 1911, Mrs Foster Welch invited friends and supporters of the WSPU to tea at her house in Oxford Street, so that they could meet their leader.

Mrs Foster Welch also regularly provided hospitality for the NUWSS meetings.

One of the most memorable events during her year in office was greeting the pioneer American aviatrix Amelia Earhart when she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic and landed on Southampton Water June 19 1928.

Amelia had intended the city to be her first UK destination so a big welcome party was laid on for her. However, the celebrations were put on hold as she was forced to land in Burry Port in South Wales, as her plane's fuel tanks were nearly empty.

Once the seaplane had refuelled, the crew flew on to Southampton where they were greeted by thousands of people. Cheering and crowds lined the banks of the River Itchen to see Amelia come ashore.

After being greeted by fellow aviator Amy Guest and the Mrs Foster Welch, the crew proceeded to the South Western Hotel to answer questions from the press.

A portrait in oils was done of the first lady Mayor by the Salisbury born artist Frank Brooksis now on display outside the Mayor’s parlour .

Lucia Foster Welch died in 1940.

A Southampton Solent University hall of residence in Royal Crescent Road is named in her honour.

Lucia was not the first female Mayor in the UK – that honour went to physician and suffragette Elizabeth Garrett Anderson who became Mayor of Aldeburgh, in Suffolk, in 1908.