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Feb 25 2015

Ex-Harrow Councillor Dorothy ‘Doris’ Wells Celebrates 100th Birthday

harrow_council_logoOn 4th January 2015 Mrs Doris Wells celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by her family and friends.. She was a Harrow Councillor and she represented the Stanmore Park Ward from 1969 – 1986.  Since her retirement from Harrow Council she has resided in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Her son Michael, daughter Lesley and son-in-law Charles made this a very special day.Doris took great delight in greeting everyone and also reading all the letters and cards including the card from Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth.

Hon Alderman, Richard Romain, who knew Doris Wells when they were both Councillors has kindly sent his excellent contribution.

I was a young man, barely out of university when, in 1982, I was elected a councillor for the London Borough of Harrow. he Conservative Group was in power and the late Brian Clark was Leader.

I vividly remember that, within the Conservative Group, there were two mighty and dominating ladies – the late Nan Rees and the even more indomitable, Dorothy (known as “Doris”) Wells.

Doris knew what she wanted; how to get what she sought; how to deal with those who stood in her way and her to make sure that the paid officers of the Council knew that SHE was in charge.

And what was she “in charge of”….PLANNING.

The Planning Department has gone through many name changes since 1982 – indeed, I think it may have even been called “Development Control” in 1982…which is not a bad name for what it does as “Development Control” states it name and job, quite clearly. Doris would chair the Planning Committee/Development Control Committee with a rigid approach. Everyone would be able to speak – preferably once – and humour was not particularly welcomed.

When Doris was in the “Chair”, no-one would shout-out or interrupt…Doris would just not allow it and would remind the errant councillor that this was “not the way we do things in Harrow” and then add that killer word, “Dear”!

I remember Doris as a powerful lady. Dominant. Strong. A product of a by-gone era whose strengths and personal characteristics were more akin to Ms Marple that to the late 20th century. Doris and I were not close friends as I was a mere “whipper snapper” in those days and Doris was “The Grande Dame” of Harrow Council.

Doris showed to me, by example and dedication, what it meant to be a councillor – pride, distinguished chairmanship and a belief that what she was doing was to make the lives of the people we represented, better.

20150225_doris_wellsI am so glad to be able to pen these few thoughts of a wonderful woman, and to me, a great lady, as she now celebrates her 100th birthday.

May The Almighty continue to give to both Doris and her family the blessings of good health and happiness.

With fond memories and affection.

Richard Romain

Councillor 1982 – 2014
Hon Alderman 2014 – present

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