17th April 1937 – 27th November, 2013
Maybole has lost one of its best known citizens with the death of Andrew Hill at the age of 76.
Born and brought up in Glasgow, former Councillor Andy Hill spent most of his life living in Maybole.
Andy attended Rutland Crescent School in Kinning Park, Glasgow until he was 12 then transferred to Lambhill Street School in the city.
He went on from school to work at Fairfields of Glasgow as an apprentice working with boats, then moved to a job involved in the making of sailboats.
Andy did his National Service with the Gordon Highlanders, after which he applied for a job as a waiter at Turnberry. He told them that he had worked as a waiter before, but he hadn’t, so he ended up with a job in the kitchen instead!
Andy met his future wife Helen at a dance in Maybole Town Hall - they were both 21 at the time, and both worked for Lees’ boot and shoe factory in Maybole. They were married in 1959.
Not long after son Andy was born, “father” Andy worked in England for a brief spell. Following that, he found employment at the Stamp Works in Ayr, and after a few years there, Andy took his redundancy.
He then worked at Douglas Engineering in Maybole and then Andy became caretaker at Maybole Library.
Andy served on Strathclyde Regional Council as Councillor for the Carrick Electoral Division from 1990 to 1996.
He was Vice Chair of the Regional Council’s Divisional Development Committee for the Ayr Division, and also served on the Regional Council’s General Purposes Committee and Social Work Committee.
With the reorganisation of local government, and the creation of South Ayrshire Council in 1996, Andy was elected to South Ayrshire Council as Councillor for the Maybole electoral ward.
In May, 1999, when the number of wards was increased, and the Maybole ward split, Andy was successfully elected to the new North Carrick and Maybole East ward.
In the first three years of South Ayrshire Council, Andy served as Convener of the Council’s Rural Affairs Committee and from May, 1999, until November, 2000 he was Convener of the Council’s Strategic Services Committee.
On June 22, 2000 after serving for a year as Depute Leader, Andy was elected Leader of South Ayrshire Council; a position he held for over five years until his resignation on health grounds at the end of 2005.
As well as being Leader of the Council, Andy was Convener of the Council’s Policy and Resource Committee and its Sub-Committees.
From the Council’s inception, in 1996, he served on the Community Protection and Support Services Committee, its Licensing Sub-Committee and also on the South Ayrshire Licensing Board.
He was also the Council’s representative on the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Alert, Ayr Town Centre Management Initiative, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Culzean Country Park, Ayrshire Economic Forum, Ayrshire Joint Structure Plan Committee, West of Scotland Loan Fund and Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority.
As well as serving his community in local government, Andy was heavily involved in the Trades Union movement; serving with both the A.E.U. and N.U.P.E.
For a total of 20 years he was a member of the A.E.U. serving for seven years on the District Committee and holding the posts of Convener of Shop Stewards and Works Convener.
Within N.U.P.E, he held the honorary office of both Chair and Secretary, and he also served as Depute Convener of Shop Stewards within Kyle and Carrick District Council.
Andy was also a great ambassador for the town, welcoming visitors from overseas including twinners from Beloeil, Crosne and Schotten. In fact, he signed the official twinning agreement between Maybole and the German town of Schotten in July, 2000 along with Margaret Davidson, of Maybole Town Twinning Association, Hans Otto Zimmerman, Burgermeister of Schotten, and Klaus Appel, Chairman of Schotten Town Twinning Association. That ceremony had been attended by local twinners, friends and over 100 visitors from France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the Czech Republic who had taken part in a cycle tour to mark the start of the new millennium.
One of his strangest welcomes of a visitor from abroad to Maybole, however, must have been in 1999 when Councillor Hill met a Frenchman travelling around the world spreading his vision of peace on earth. Joel Buton’s party piece was to lie on a bed of nails and he asked Councillor Hill to stand on top of him!
At his funeral service Rev Brian Hendrie added, “Away from all of these time-consuming responsibilities, Andy was a devoted family man, always the life and soul of the party, especially with his rendition of “My way”.
“He also enjoyed holidays, especially in Benidorm - and then there was his life-long passion for Rangers Football Club which brought a whole host of good memories.
“As a congregation, we express our deepest sympathies today particularly to Helen, Andy, Elaine and all of the family here; remembering Andy as a much loved husband, father, brother, brother-in-law and uncle. Remembering, too, a good friend and neighbour.
“We mourn his loss together with them but all of the family can also be comforted in the knowledge that Andy’s life was very happy, thanks, in no small measure, to all of them who were such a blessing to him.
“We meet today to mourn Andy; but also to celebrate the loving and public-spirited life he led among us and to begin to gently let go; whilst holding on to the many happy memories that remain so precious.
“Suffice to say that Andy has left his own mark on all of our lives and we’re all the richer for having known him and loved him.”