From the Archives of Councillor Phil Bateman.
My first Council election victory for the Labour Party was in May 1981. I won the seat of Wednesfield North & South from the Conservatives on West Midlands Metropolitan County Council. I was very proud of that win, and enjoyed the excitement of going to Birmingham to claim my seat.
The French Presidential elections also took place in 1981, in fact just after I had won my seat in Wednesfield North & South that same month.
I wrote to Francois Mitterand after I won the seat for Labour.
I wished him well in his elections. He went onto become the First Socialist President of the Fifth Republic.
Imagine my surprise to find that one day on return from work I had a nice simple hand written note from the new French President! He went onto serve a full seven years as President and won re-election in 1988.