Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, joined Dr Michael Clark, his predecessor as the local Member of Parliament, at a special 40th anniversary dinner recently.
Dr Clark served as the MP for Rochford (and then Rayleigh) from 1983 to 2001, before being succeeded by Mark at the 2001 General Election. Dr Clark, now aged 88, was the guest speaker at a special dinner, held at Rayleigh Conservative Club, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the local Conservative Supper Club, which was formed by Dr Clark and his late wife Valerie, shortly after he became an MP.
During his speech to mark the occasion, Dr Clark provided a series of highly amusing anecdotes about his time in Parliament, including producing a ball, comprised of elastic bands, used to collate the many thousands of letters he received as an MP - in an era before email was even invented.
Commenting on the happy commemoration, Mark said:
“Dr Michael Clark was always a popular local MP, so it was a pleasure to host him back in Rayleigh, for the 40th anniversary of the monthly Supper Club, which he and his wife Valerie founded back in the early 1980s. Despite his now being in his late 80’s he was on cracking form, and we had a lovely evening as a result.” Possible Picture Caption: Mark Francois MP pictured with his predecessor, Dr Michael Clark, at the recent 40th anniversary dinner of the Supper Club, held at the Rayleigh Conservative Club."