A LONG-TERM resident of Hall Green is to serve as the next Lord Mayor of Birmingham.
Councillor Michael Wilkes, aged 67, is a Liberal Democrat and as well as serving on various committees at the city council chairs the Birmingham Tolkien Group.
Councillor Wilkes’ wife Vivienne will be the Lady Mayoress.
The couple have lived in Hall Green since their marriage in Birmingham in 1970 and have three grown-up sons.
The Lord Mayor’s family origins are in the Black Country; in Brierley Hill, Amblecote and Wall Heath, while Mrs Wilkes’ family have ties with the Hall Green and Kings Heath areas that date back 250 years.
The Lord Mayor attended school and university in Birmingham and is a retired member of staff of the University of Birmingham. He holds the title of Professor Emeritus and is a member of the University Court. He was Dean of the former Faculty of Commerce and Social Science 1991-1995.
Mrs Wilkes has worked as a guide on both museum and city tours and at Springfield Environmental Centre for children with special educational needs.
The Lord Mayor’s interests include history, the work of JRR Tolkien and Tolkien’s time in Birmingham, manufacturing industry, economics and business, computing, armchair science, walking, cricket, motor racing and the occasional amateur drama part.
The Lady Mayoress’s interests include Birmingham and family history and she is very active in drama (particularly through the group she leads - Shire Productions) and in community and Tolkien circles. She has written and produced a number of plays and pantomimes and is one of the organisers of Birmingham’s Middle-earth weekend at Sarehole Mill.
Councillor Wilkes said: “I am deeply honoured to be Lord Mayor of Birmingham, also my wife Vivienne, who will be Lady Mayoress. We are both conscious of the auspicious footsteps in which we follow, and are immensely grateful to the city council for this great opportunity, which we look forward to fulfilling to the very best of our abilities.”
The Lord Mayor’s Charities for 2009 -2010 are: St Basil’s, WAITS (Women Acting in Today’s Society), Pancreatic Cancer Research and The Lord Mayor’s Engineering Scholarship - a newly set up fund to support the study of engineering in Birmingham at various levels.