Interview with Mr. Jim Hoad Former Ashford Mayor

A lookback to our interview with Mr. Jim Hoad former Ashford Mayor. We look back to the year 2000, when we went and interviewed the then Ashford Mayor, Mr. Jim Hoad.

Way back in 2000, we went and did a short interview with Mr. Jim Hoad former Ashford Mayor, who was serving as Mayor for the second time. Previously, he served as Mayor in 1994/95. Sadly, Mr. Hoad passed away in February 2019, aged 85. His legacy still lives on in the form of the company he started – the famous local business Korkers Sausages, which to this day is still based in Rolvenden.

This is Ashford interview with Mayor of Ashford Kent

Q. “Now you’ve been Mayor of Ashford for some months now, how do you feel you are doing in the job?
A. ” I hope that I am doing o.k. Both my wife and I are dedicated and
committed to the Borough of Ashford. The role requires you to be
selfless and whatever you are doing as Mayor, you have to remember
that you are acting on behalf of the town and must try to avoid putting a personal view or opinion across.”
Q. “Before becoming Mayor you had already been a local councilor for many years, when and why did you become one?”
A. “I became a councilor in 1984. Unfortunately our village had just
lost Councillor Sumner. After speaking with others, I was proposed and elected as his replacement. Having lived in the village for 63 years, I
felt I wanted to contribute and put something back.”

A role to relish…

Q. “What’s the most enjoyable part of the Mayors roll?”
A. “Meeting such a wide variety of people while carrying out my duties is definitely one of the parts I personally enjoy. One occasion that does stand out was when I attended the VE/D-Day celebrations as Mayor in 1994/95. I was very proud to be representing the Borough.

We had lunch with the Royal E.K. Regiment, ‘the buffs’, who were
stationed at Eastwell Manor. They were the ones with the
flame-thrower tanks. Afterwards we all visited the Railway Station,
which has all gone now from where it once stood back then.

It was where the soldiers stationed at Ashford left and returned to during service. It was very emotional for all of there and the occasion
brought back many memories.”

“Two things that stand out this term are firstly, the sheer number of
local volunteers I’ve met in Ashford. All of whom are totally selfless and work so many hours for FREE. They are all so committed and without
their dedication their particular groups would not be there.

Secondly, a family run business that’s a great credit to Ashford –
Connelly Leather. They produce the finest hand made leather in the
country, supplying such prestige names as Rolls Royce.”
Q. “What’s the worst part of the Mayors role?”
A. “There isn’t a worst part really. The only downside for me
personally is occasionally rising very early and returning late at night which the role sometimes demands.”

On starting his business…

Q. “You are also a very successful local businessman, (You must
have heard of Hoads ‘Korkers’ Sausages), did you ever think you
would be as successful as you are?”
A. “Most definately NO! I consider I was extremely lucky – right place
right time – with both my wife and my business. Of course you only get out what you put in but I have been very lucky, which I think
everybody needs sometimes.
Q. “How did you first get started?”
A. “I started from nothing. I borrowed £16 from the bank to buy a bike for deliveries and opened my first butchers shop back in 1958. Then in 1967 I closed the shop down and started making sausages. The business just took off from there really. We supply wholesalers and small and
medium sized businesses in the catering trade. It’s been a labour of
love building the business and producing something that people like.
I still find it amazing that even today I get 5 or 6 letters a week from
people asking where they can buy my sausages.”
Q. “Finally, what would you like to be remembered for during your time as Mayor?”
A. “I feel honoured that I’ve been able to serve as Mayor of Ashford.
So it would simply be that I carried out the role in a committed way.”
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