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The Mayor of Stroud Kevin Cranston on his life outside of the office

All Areas > Entertainment > Local Answers, Local Personalities

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Friday, 2nd November 2018, 09:00

Kevin Cranston was this year re-elected as the Mayor of Stroud Kevin Cranston was this year re-elected as the Mayor of Stroud

Kevin Cranston has been involved in local politics for over two decades, and this year was re-elected as Mayor of Stroud.

We spoke to Kevin to find out about his life in Gloucestershire, and what he gets up to on his days off.

What do you enjoy most about your role in Gloucestershire?

“I think meeting new and interesting people who are doing all sorts of important work. There’s a huge amount of work going on supporting the elderly, homeless people, people with dementia, and much more, and it’s great working with volunteers who come together for the common good.”

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

“Gardening is a pastime I enjoy. I’m planning to retire soon, and my wife and I are hoping to overhaul the garden and get it under control. It’s quite overgrown at the moment and hopefully after some hacking and mowing we’ll be able to grow our own vegetables. I also enjoy reading and walking. Gloucestershire is a great place to walk. I often stop on the commons above Stroud on the way home from work for the fabulous views.”

What’s your favourite place to visit in Gloucestershire?

“Anywhere outdoors in the countryside. Haresfield Beacon is a wonderful place. I like going there at different times of the year and seeing the changing colours and scenery. On a clear day you can see across to the Forest of Dean, over to the Brecon Beacons and Pen Y Fan, and even down to Exmoor. I also enjoy water colour painting and the countryside is a great place to do that.”

What’s your favourite place to eat in Gloucestershire?

“Dinner at Six in Stroud. It’s really well run, has an excellent menu, generous portions, attentive service and is very comfortable. My wife is coeliac, and we can always trust them to cater to her dietary needs. Also, they play their music at a good volume so it doesn’t drown out the conversation!”

Do you support any local sports teams?

“I follow Gloucester Rugby although I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. I always watch the highlights of their matches when I’m travelling. I follow the England national rugby team closely, and it takes a lot to prise me away from the armchair when a game is on!”

What do you miss about Gloucestershire when you’re away?

“It’s got to be the scenery, particularly in Spring when the larks are rising. When I’ve been away and I come into Stroud through the valleys and places like Nailsworth, it’s as if it’s a magnet drawing me in.”

Are you a film or a book person?

“Undoubtedly books. I read a lot of history books, and also biographies. I read less fiction although I do have a lot of it. In my study I’ve got two walls completely covered in bookshelves, which tells you how much I enjoy books.” 

What’s your favourite book?

“This is definitely the hardest question! If I was on Desert Island Discs and could only choose one, it would be Robert Skidelsky’s biography of John Maynard Keynes. It covers a lot of 20th century history, his personal life, art and lots more.”

What’s your favourite film?

“Invictus, which is the story of Nelson Mandela and the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. I love it as a rugby fan, but also as someone who believes in the politics of collaboration and co-operation, it ticks a lot of boxes for me. I tell my wife it’s a “weepy” film, but she doesn’t seem to agree!”

Do you have any pets?

“My wife has a cat who I sort of like, but he doesn’t much like me!”

Do you ever attend any shows in Gloucestershire?

“We go to the Subscription Rooms in Stroud and are looking forward to it opening under new management next year. Some friends of ours often put on choral performances. We also like to go to comedy nights at the Gloucester Guildhall.”

What achievement are you most proud of?

“I suppose raising two children into their early thirties who I would defy anyone not to like! Other than that, I’d say I probably haven’t reached my proudest achievement just yet.“

What made you get into local politics?

“Well about 20 years ago I was co-opted onto the Town Council. The Green Party asked me to step in, and I’ve always had an interest in politics and thought it was a good way to meet new people, especially after moving to the area. There’s a lot of people on the town council who do a lot of hard work and I enjoy helping where I can to make a difference.”

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