Written by Ron Noon at 14:44 on Monday, September 13th 2010
Yes that is the LORD MAYOR OF LIVERPOOL, Councillor Hazel Williams who went out of her way to meet up with and talk to the birthday boy before the birthday meal was underway.
Here is another picture of the Lord Mayor helping Jim down the steps with the help of Jim’s son Kenny, in order that he could pose for photographs with some of his Tate’s friends and former drivers.
They are a very lively and “mischievous” group of people and when one of them started the proverbial scouse banter and asked how long had it been since the gold chain of office had been “out of the pawn shop” she more than held her own. You can see Jim and everyone around him laughing as the Lord Mayor pointed the hand of office towards the guilty culprit!
There are some other pictures which I will post on site but in addition to the visit by the Lord Mayor, Roger Phillips of Radio Merseyside used his programme to wish Jim a happy 100th birthday and that was the day after Randall (Alfie) Holford, Jim’s last transport foreman, phoned into Roger’s show and eulogised the strength, wit and character of his former “boss”.
I also had a really nice letter sent in from Sydney Australialia from Frank Pankhurst
“I was a tanker driver with Tate & Lyle from 1954 to 1973, my father was Jim Pankhurst, and my eldest brother was Ted Pankhurst, both now sadly passed away, I would like to wish Jim Smith all the very best for his wonderful achevement in reaching his 100th birthday. Well done Jim, I raise glass to you, and for all the fond memories”.
We can all raise a glass to this legendary transport driver and anyone who has not viewed the film should watch and listen to Jim when he was a mere 97 years of youth, on the threshold of becoming one of the stars of THE BOYS AND GIRLS FROM THE WHITESTUFF.