In 1936 there was a vote to elect a new councillor in the Newbiggin Urban District Council. The seat was currently being held by Councillor Thomas Middleton, who had been on the council for the past eight years. Thomas Middleton was a member of the Labour party.
"He has lived in Newbiggin 24 years, and during the whole of the time has been actively identified with colliery trade union work, especially in connection with the local branch of the Deputies' Association. A staunch and devoted Methodist of the old school, Mr. Middleton has been a local preacher for 36 years."
Middleton's only competitor was my Great Grandfather, Robert Mavin Storey who had returned from Australia only two years before. Robert was an Independent candidate.
"Thus it will be seen that Mr. Storey is tackling a formidable opponent, but the challenger in the contest bears an honoured name in Newbiggin, as he is the son of Mr. Adam Storey, who has rendered yeoman service to the community of the fishing village as secretary to the Newbiggin Freeholders.
The candidate, Mr. R. M. Storey, was educated at Newbiggin, and previous to leaving this country for Australia in 1913, took an active part in the life of the village. As a young man he was closely identified with all forms of healthy sport, and for several seasons shouldered the duties of secretary to Newbiggin Athletic Football Club.
During the Great War he saw active service with the Australian Forces, and since his return to his native place, has interested himself in many of the activities associated with the local branch of the British Legion, and kindred movements designated to look after the interests of ex-servicemen. When in Australia he was director of a co-operative store, and, along with his experience in the building trade, gained a very practical knowledge into the needs of present-day affairs."
Sadly my Great Grandfather lost the election, only gaining 194 votes to Thomas Middleton's 358.