Lord Mayor of Birmingham - Councillor Raymond Hassall
I was born during the war 1943 to be exact in Hallam Hospital – West Bromwich. My early years were living on Hamstead Road, Great Barr. In 1957 I moved to Canada with my parents. I came back to England in February 1960 sailing from New York to Portsmouth it was an eventful trip because the weather was so rough the ship was 24 hours late in docking.
I started to train as an engineer but could not settle down. I finally went off and joined the Army which was the start of my future – joining the Royal Corp of Signals which I was in from July 1960 to July 1966.
On leaving the Signals I went back into industry going on a 6 month course learning to do gas welding – life being what it is when I completed the course I returned back to West Bromwich and found a major firm had just laid off hundreds of highly skilled welders. I obtained a job in industry building trucks which made use of my welding skills.
I stayed there for nearly a year before leaving to join GPO communications which later became BT. Over the years I did several jobs within the company ending up managing the Business Centre in Broad Street. My time with BT was a continuous learning curve with the changes that were happening in communications.
During late 70’s I got involved in politics. In 1990 I won the Perry Barr seat for the Liberal Democrats and have been there for 25 years. My time in BT was soon running out because at the time they were reducing the work force and I left in 1991 to become a full time councillor. Over the 25 years I have always been involved with the Leisure – Sport and Culture of the City. I chaired the Leisure Scrutiny committee and then became the Cabinet Member for Leisure. I always believed in keeping fit and in 2008 I was happy to introduce the half marathon back to the City after a 22 year break. The first year we had 9 thousand runners – it caught on, and last year we had approx. 25 thousand. I ran the first 2 which was exhausting to say the least.
Keeping fit now will shortly include doing running once again and I also do ballet lessons most Tuesdays at the dance exchange with Andrea taking us through our paces each time.
I am looking forward to being the Lord Mayor meeting many people across the City and outside the City telling people about what a wonderful city we have. I will be encouraging people to become active by walking and keeping fit.
Like so many of your reading this, I have lost close relatives to Cancer. My son Jonathan died in October 2013 and my sister Margaret died in December 2014. I have therefore chosen Cancer Research UK as one of my charities for the year. I will also be raising money for Fishers, MS and Birmingham Trees for Life.
Term of Office
Each Lord Mayor completes a one year term of office and then another year as Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham. The new Lord Mayor is installed at the Annual General Meeting of the Council (also known as Mayormaking).
(0121) 303 2040