Tributes for Alderman Archer

Published 4th June 2018

Bill Archer when he became mayor in 2005

Tributes have been paid to former councillor and mayor of Sandwell Alderman Bill Archer who passed away over the weekend aged 91.

Alderman Archer was the one of the longest-serving councillors for Sandwell after being an elected ward member for Wednesbury North from 1975 to 2011.

He served as mayor from 2005 to 2006 and was given the honour of becoming an alderman of Sandwell in 2011.

Known affectionately as the ‘singing mayor’, Bill raised a record £35,500 for his chosen charities Prostate Cancer Research and Guide Dogs for the Blind - no mayor before or since has matched this.

Books of condolences will be open in Wednesbury from tomorrow (Tuesday).

Bill Archer had often said how immensely proud he was of his daughter Elaine Costigan, who is a councillor for Wednesbury North and cabinet member for public health and protection.

Councillor Costigan described her father as an “amazing character” and said she was overwhelmed with the response to the news from people far and wide.

“It’s absolutely amazing the amount of messages I’ve had.” she said. “They’ve come from as far as America and Australia and from many different communities. We knew he was popular and a rare breed but as a family this has really blown us away.

“He did a lot for the older generation and was inspiration to young people as well. Years ago he ran surgeries from the old swimming baths and I remember kids who were five or six years old would run past and shout ‘hello Bill’. Those same kids have grown up now and have been getting in touch over the weekend to say how much he inspired them.

“He was my inspiration too. I’ve definitely got some of his traits which has stood me in good stead and I feel responsible to carry on the good work he did for Wednesbury and Sandwell.”

Councillor Steve Eling, leader of Sandwell Council, paid tribute to Bill. He said: "Bill was always a lively character who will be remembered fondly for his role as mayor as well as his long service to the people of Wednesbury. We would like to express our condolences to his family and friends." 

Deputy Leader Councillor Syeda Khatun offered condolences on behalf of everyone at Sandwell Council.

She said: “Bill will be missed – not only was he a close colleague over many years but I had the pleasure of calling him my friend too.

“Bill was well known across Sandwell and had a great personality. My thoughts are with his family at this incredibly sad time."

People can sign the book of condolence at Wednesbury Library in Walsall Street during library opening times. Wednesbury Library is open 9.30am – 5.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9.30am – 1.30pm on Thursday; and 10am – 4pm on Saturday.

There will also be a book at the Wednesbury Local office at Wednesbury Town Hall, Holyhead Road, which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.