FORMER Redditch and Bromsgrove MP Hal Miller has died aged 86.
Mr Miller, MP from 1974 to 1983 when the two towns were one constituency, served under four Prime Ministers – Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
Sir Hilary Duppa ‘Hal’ Miller, was born on March 6 1929, and after receiving a scholarship to attend Eton, he went on to win a place at Merton College, Oxford University to read ‘Greats’ (Classics).
However, his immersion in rugby and cricket, rather than study, led his tutors to suggest a change of course by the end of his first year. Hal went on to attain an upper second in French and Russian – as well as election to the prestigious Vincents Club (the Oxford club for outstanding sportsmen).
As well as his constituency role, Sir Hal was a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence from 1979 to 1981, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1981, and vice chairman of the Conservative Party from 1984 to 1987.
Members of Bromsgrove Conservative Association affectionately recall his warm character and ability to make them laugh.
Following his career representing Worcestershire, Sir Hal retired to Malvern, where he was proud to become the Deputy Lieutenant of Worcestershire in 2000.
Outside of politics, he was a keen sportsman – he was a first team player for Blackheath Rugby Club and its president from 1999 to 2003.
On moving to Bromsgrove he became a member of Bromsgrove Rugby Football Club where he played, refereed and later became club’s vice president.
Mr Miller who passed away last Saturday, March 21, married Fiona McDermid in 1956, with whom he had four children then later married Jacqueline Roe in 1976, with whom he had two children.