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Today we talk to Norman Macrae, the mayor of Carterton, who also sits as a magistrate on the new combined Oxfordshire Bench.
10:00am Thursday 12th April 2012 in Columns
WHAT I’M CALLED: Well, to my face it’s Norman or Norm, Mr Mayor, your Worship, or oi! Behind my back, I dread to think – well, I don’t really mind what I am called.
MY AGE IN YEARS: 64 years on the clock but still have a bit of a ‘never grown-up’ streak.
WHAT I DO: I am retired but ‘work’ as the mayor of Carterton, a post I have proudly held since May 2010. In addition, I sit as a magistrate on the new combined Oxfordshire Bench, having just spent the past two years as chairman of the now defunct Northern Oxfordshire Bench.
WHERE I LIVE: In Carterton
WHO I LOVE: Well, obviously my wife of some 35 years Carole is my love – but she has competition in the lovely Shania Twain and the VC10 aircraft! All three very fine ladies!
HAPPIEST YEARS: 1986 and 1994 are particularly happy. 1986 because that year our severely disabled son gained his Gold Arrow Award at Cubs and, to make this even better his patrol elected him as the patrol ‘seconder’. 1994 for me when HM the Queen pinned the MBE to my very proud chest.
DARKEST MOMENT: When our son died at the age of 18. It knocked me back for a long, long time.
PROUDEST BOAST: When I was elected mayor by my fellow councillors I promised I would do my very best to promote Carterton, move the town on and put it on the map. I think I have been reasonably successful in these aims.
WORST WEAKNESS: Anything that contains calories, in either solid or liquid form! I also do a fair job trying to reduce the size of the chocolate mountain.
LESSONS LEARNED: How long do I have here? Probably the main one is to never give up on a goal. Hard endeavour will invariably win in the end.
DULLEST JOB: A summer job in 1963 saw me at a large market garden in Ayrshire where my job was to paint the woodwork on roofs of the huge greenhouses with silver paint. It was a particularly hot summer that year and a really awful, never-ending task – just like the Forth rail bridge.
GREATEST SHAME: Having a wardrobe full of shirts, trousers and jackets that have shrunk over the years, I can’t think why else they don’t fit!
LIFELONG HERO: Hank B Marvin – lead guitarist of The Shadows.
OLDEST FRIEND: Bill Speight, who live in Scotland, and Rick Hardy, who lives in Carterton. We first met in 1968 when we undertook our flying training in Yorkshire.
WIDEST SMILE: Visiting the schools in Carterton and enjoying the concerts performed by the young musicians in our county. To be able to interact with the young folk really is a treat. I was recently at a concert in Birmingham put on by Oxfordshire County Music Service where the County Youth Orchestra, the Schools Symphony Orchestra, the Massed Ensemble and others performed. I and many others had huge smiles on our faces, having been treated to a fantastic display of talent and skill.
FAVOURITE DREAMS: I would love to be able to paint a picture that someone could recognise, and the other is to be able to sing a song in tune. It must be truly wonderful to be able to do either.
BIGGEST REGRET: Not being able to produce a really loud whistle with the assistance of my fingers – just like a shepherd!
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