Councillor Hazel Edwards, aged 72, is the leader of the opposition Conservatives on Barrow Borough Council.

Married to husband Keith for 47 years, she has two children Daniel and Mark, and was a long-standing teacher at Victoria Girls School, Thorncliffe and, Furness College.

Favourite teacher: Miss Pickard, my French teacher at Barrow Girls’ Grammar School. She always looked like she was in the French resistance with a big black bun and rimmed glasses. She had a lot of idiosyncrasies and it led me to developing an interest in French. She used to get picked on and I felt a bit sorry for her.

Life motto: Be honest, even when it doesn’t make you popular. I’m an eternal optimist and I genuinely try to see the good in everything.

Earliest memory: Watching the Queen’s Coronation at The Mall, London, in 1953. I was about five and went with my grandmother Elizabeth Cowan and my maiden aunt Peggy Cowan. We went down on the train the day before to get a place and spent overnight in The Mall. I only remember having a fold-up stool and a blanket. I was right at the front and remember people singing and bonfires.

Favourite music: Cliff Richard, The Eagles and Meatloaf. Just easy listening that I can have on while I’m doing the ironing. I was always a Cliff fan, not an Elvis fan, and you were either one or the other. Before they really took off, I saw The Hollies and The Rolling Stones at the ABC Theatre in Chester.

Favourite film: Working Girl with Melanie Griffiths. It’s easy watching, good music with no violence or abuse in it, which I don’t like. I like to be entertained. Yes it might have a message about working women but that’s not why I like it.

Political hero: Margaret Thatcher. I admire her fortitude and sticking to her guns, she spoke out and said what she thought and faced a lot of misogynistic men in her cabinet. I met her on two occasions. One was at Holker Hall at the beginning of the 1980s and there was a room full of 20 people and she had something genuine to say to all of them. I think the public can be very vicious about her now but if you analyse what she said, a lot of it is coming true now, such as what’s happened with the European Union.

Political villain: Ian Blackford of the SNP. I can’t stand him! He hasn’t got the best interests of the union at heart. He always seems to have prepared speeches and doesn’t seem to have the intelligence to argue without notes.

A modern trait you dislike: Shortening the English language in text speak. I don’t understand half of it. I also don’t like chewing gum all over the streets.

A modern trait you admire: People taking care of their appearance.

What you most love about Barrow: The friendliness of the people and community spirit.

What you most dislike about Barrow: Litter and the bad publicity it gets.

A typical Christmas Day: Christmas Day is quite quiet for us now the kids are grown-up. We tend to do our visiting on Boxing Day. I will make a lot of phone calls on Christmas Day – to my sister in Scotland, a friend in California and a friend in Moscow who I met many years ago when we used to go on school trips to Russia.

Favourite Christmas song: Mistletoe and Wine by Cliff Richard

Worst Christmas song: All of them

Favourite Christmas film: God no, they drive me potty. Don’t put that in, I’m going to sound like Scrooge!