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Tributes paid following death of popular former councillor

Council and democracy

Thursday, 18 January 2024
Cllr Bill Hawthorne

Tributes have been paid to a former Middlesbrough Councillor who has died following a short illness.

Bill Hawthorne was first elected to represent Middlesbrough Council Ayresome ward in a by-election in 2010.

He was re-elected in the full Council elections the following year, serving until 2015.

Cllr Hawthorne worked at ICI before embarking on a motor cycle racing career – including competing in the notorious Isle of Man TT races - and before retiring he ran a steel fabrication business.

Fellow independent Councillor Brian Hubbard spoke of his sadness at his former colleague’s death.

He said: “Bill was very much old school, in so much as he told it as it was.

“As a politician there wasn’t any ambiguity in his questioning or replies, and outside politics he was great company to be with and a friend to many.

“He will be sorely missed and the MICA Group send their deepest condolences to Pauline.”

Former Councillor Chris Hobson said: “Bill was both a colleague and good friend and our thoughts are with his wife Pauline.

“He was an excellent councillor for Ayresome ward where nothing was too much trouble to help his residents. 

“Bill was a keen gardener, cyclist and motor bike rider, riding in the Isle of Man TT races against the top motor cycle racers of that era.

“He also raced in both Scotland and Ireland, winning many trophies.  

“He was one of the most interesting people to listen to and had many stories to tell with a great sense of humour.

“He will be sadly missed - RIP Bill.”

Councillor Joan McTigue added: “Cllr Hawthorne was one of that rare breed of councillors who was not afraid to speak his mind.

“He was not in the job for what he could get, but for what he could give.

“I will personally miss his sense of humour, something badly needed given some of what we're obliged to sit through at times.”