A Birmingham Lady Mayor after 40 Years

The next Mayor of Birmingham will be a woman Conservative councillor, the first time in forty years, the previous one being Freda Cocks in 1977/1. Councillor Anne Underwood, who has represented Sutton Four Oaks for the Tories since 1982 will take over the ceremonial role in May 2017.

(Editor’s Note: In 1971 Marjorie Brown was elected as Birmingham Lord Mayor and I was Secretary to the Lord Mayor’s Procession Committee, organised by the Junior Chamber of Commerce – Henry Cooper (the boxer) was guest of honour.

In the 1960/70s The Lord Mayor’s Procession was a massive affair and took twelve months to organise and all streets leading up to the Town Hall were filled with dozens of floats and bands, including horses from the Birmingham School of Equitation and the Mounted Police. – we held a competition for ‘Miss Birmingham Lord Mayor’s Procession’ at the Opposite Lock Club.

The Jewellery Quarter supported the event by advertising in the Programme: The Birmingham Mint (Icknield Street) ‘Coin Metal Products by the Million’ and Ashton & Moore Ltd (Legge Lane) – both companies now gone. Jones & Palmer provided facilities for the Organiser’s Office.

The theme of the Procession that year (1971) was ‘Forward into Europe’ to celebrate our entry into the European Community and each float was designed with that in mind. The foreword was written by Ted Heath (Prime Minister) who wrote: “We are now at the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Britain’s history” – but now face Brexit 46 years later!
Marie Haddleton

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