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Mayor celebrates his 100th birthday
BECOMING Lord Mayor of his home city of Oxford was one of Fred Ingram’s proudest moments.
Yesterday, he had another memory to treasure, when he received a card from the Queen on his 100th birthday.
He is the first former Lord Mayor of the city to become a centenarian.
The father-of-five was joined for the celebrations by members of his family and staff at Winterbrook Nursing Home, in Wallingford, where he now lives.
Mr Ingram, who served as Lord Mayor of Oxford in 1973-74, lived in Saunders Road, Cowley, until last year, when his health deteriorated following a fall.
His wife Liz died aged 70, four years ago.
Mr Ingram, whose 27 years serving Oxford led to him being made an MBE and being awarded the Freedom of the city, said: “I’m really glad to be getting a card from the Queen – I have been looking forward to this for weeks.
“It’s lovely to celebrate my big day with my family and the staff here.”
Mr Ingram’s son, also called Fred, 34, a graphic designer from Marston, said: “Dad is a twice-married father-of-five, who is a grandfather and a great-grandfather.
“He fell and broke his hip in November 2010 but right up until then he lived a very independent life.
“He loves talking about the past and at times his memory is perfect.
“He was born in Cowley Road, opposite Manzil Way, and loves Oxford.
“He never had any inclination to go anywhere else.
Mr Ingram added: “He was very proud of being Lord Mayor and loves talking about his time as a councillor.”
The nursing home’s activities coordinator Nina Haines said: “Fred is a great character, who tells such wonderful stories. He keeps joking he’s 131.
“All the staff signed a card for him. He has become part of the family here. You can’t help but spoil him, because it’s so interesting to hear his stories.”
Mr Ingram’s first council role came as a member of the former Bullingdon Rural Council in 1947.
He became a Labour councillor in Oxford in 1956 and was a city councillor for 27 years before he stepped down in 1983.
Mr Ingram left the Labour Party in 1961, continuing to hold his seat as an independent and then as a Conservative.
He was the leader of the Conservative group for eight years and from 1976 to 1980 served as the leader of the council.
Current council leader Bob Price said: “I want to wish Fred all the best on his birthday.
“He’s very well known in Oxford and had a distinguished political career – he has been a great servant to the city.”