|Nobody’s Child — Former Mayor John Joins All-Star Book Launch
Former Mayor of Wigan Cllr John Hilton rubbed shoulders with top journalists and TV stars when he was asked to help ace reporter Kate Adie launch her new book.
The Aspull, New Springs and Whelley councillor recently travelled to The Foundlings Museum in London for the official launch of the world-famous war correspondent's book Nobody's Child.
The book charts the extraordinary stories of men and women who were abandoned as children and subsequently adopted.
It includes a section on Cllr Hilton's remarkable tale of being found abandoned by a railway worker at Oldham Mumps Station in 1940 at just two days old.
Cllr Hilton was eventually brought to Wigan where he was adopted by railway guard George Hilton and wife Elizabeth, eventually rising to become the borough's first citizen in 2004.
After hearing of Cllr Hilton's tale, Kate, herself an adopted child, thought he would make an ideal case study for her book and interviewed him in the Mayor's Parlour.
In the book, Kate writes about the experience:
John Hilton is the kind of man who embodies civic pride and joy as the thirty-second mayor of a town which received its first royal charter in 1246. In the large parlour of Wigan's Edwardian town hall, he wears immaculate morning dress and is passionate about his borough…
Perhaps the only hiccup in the progress from railway baby to parlour is that John was found 25 miles away in Oldham, on the wonderfully named Oldham Mumps Station…To find out more you'll have to buy the book.
Cllr Hilton joined celebrities such as Martin Bell, Moira Stewart and Felicity Goodey at the launch event.
He met up with and chatted with Kate who presented him with a signed copy of Nobody's Child.
"It was a great occasion," said Cllr Hilton. "I spoke with Kate about her book and she said how nice it was to come to Wigan.
"I am very proud to have been included in the book. It is something I believe many people will. It has some amazing and inspiring stories inside."
"Since my mayoral year and being involved with the book I have become a keen supporter of the Adoption Society and for people who are considering adoption, reading this book is well worthwhile."
Cllr Hilton is now taking his message a little farther afield.
On Thursday September 29 he will travel to the Romanian town of Sinaia with the Wigan-based Epiphany Trust for the opening of a new 'halfway house' for orphaned children.
"I've been over to Romania in the past with Bill Hampson who has organised it all and is building the halfway house," said Cllr Hilton. "It's another great honour to be invited to the opening and again there are many incredible stories of courage of bravery from the children. If we can help them to get a good start in life then we will have really achieved something."