Wednesday, 12 June 2013

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Margaret Leicester

Margaret Leicester was born in London and has one sister, two sons and four grandchildren. She moved to Dorset in 1966 after marrying her  husband, Ken ,and they bought a detached three-bedroom centrally heated bungalow at Sweethill, Portland, for £4,500.  After 47 years they still live on Portland. Margaret became active on the School PTA, then onto the town council in 1980. She was a member of the governing body of St George's Infant School for 28 years and an independent member of the Verne Prison Review Board  for 10 years. Margaret became Mayor of Portland Town Council in 1985 the same year she joined Weymouth & Portland Borough Council. After  a second term as Portland  Mayor Margaret retired from the town council after 28 years. She has served on most borough council committees, chairing Planning and Scrutiny.  In 2012 Margaret was made the Mayor of the Borough, a very exiting period attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace, lunch at the Mansion House with the Lord Mayor of the City of London followed by a front row seat at the Olympians Parade.  Margatet said: “I attended various Olympic events and met so many really nice people both here and at our twin town of Louviers  last summer. I have also been wined and dined the length and breadth of Dorset by other mayors, collectively known as the Chain Gang.”

WHY do you live on Portland?
We have stayed on Portland because we have grown to love the place, its history and its wildlife. I think we can now say we have been accepted as some locals forget when talking to me that I was not born here and start asking if I remember something from their school days.

WHERE do you go for your holidays?
When we go on holiday we do go looking for sunshine in the autumn and winter but stay on Portland during the summer enjoying our garden.  We have been going to Menorca and Gran Canaria for a last few years.

WHAT is your favourite time of the year?
My favourite time of year is the summer as I hate being cold.

WHAT is your favourite film?
I am not sure I have a favourite film. Since moving to Dorset we rarely go to the pictures. Ones that stand out in my mind are the war film Odette and Doris Day and Barbra Streisand musicals.

WHAT is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
When you get to my age there are a few. Two car crashes, a wall falling on my son when he was only eight years old and having a thrombosis 20 years ago where they threatened to amputate my leg. Fortunately for me the operation went well, saving my leg thank goodness.

IF YOU could live your life again what would you be?
I always used to say I would return as a man because they only ever did one thing. Multi-tasking is not in their DNA. I am not sure I would change my life. I would hate being dictated to by my husband or anyone else. My generation has seen great progress in society’s development such as inside toilets, bathrooms, electricity in all homes, TV, things taken for granted today. The list is endless. In the past we played in the streets, never felt threatened, really enjoyed the small things in life and did not miss what we’d never had. No TV showing how much there was to purchase if you had the money, so we were satisfied with our lot. Communities stuck together helping each other. When people have little they appear to take more pride in what they do actually have. Mend and make do, never throw away what can be repaired. This generation may well have to adopt this attitude.

WHICH three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
The Queen because she has witnessed even more than me, being older. I’d also invite Nelson Mandela and Paul Newman.

WHAT would you do if you won the lottery?
Depending on how much, obviously I would pay off the family’s mortgages, extend my house and support some of the charities that I have supported over the years to boost their funds. I’d also enjoy even more holidays and ensure my grandchildren received a good education and were financially secure.

WHAT do you hope the future holds?
I hope to have a relatively healthy life for a few more years yet so that I can continue to enjoy my life to the full.

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