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Andy McGregor was first elected as a Lancing councillor in 2001. Andy is very proud that he comes from a Sussex family going back many generations. His grandad, George Mitchell, was born in The Street in Lancing. George met Andy’s nan, Jessie, known in the village as ‘Ma Mitchell’, when he was planting trees in the grounds of Lancing College and Jessie was working as a cook. They ran the popular Mitchell’s florist which appears next to the signal box in many old postcards of the village.
Andy’s father, Alex, moved from Kilmarnock to Lancing at the end of the Second World War and was a school sweetheart of his mum, Primmy, at Irene Avenue School in Lancing. Andy was born at Southlands Hospital, Shoreham-by-Sea and lived in Leconfield Road, Lancing before moving to Germany with his family as his dad was serving in the RAF. Andy, with his wife Sue, returned to Lancing in 1991. They have lived in the area ever since with their daughters attending local schools.
Andy’s first job was as a paper boy on 12 and six a week: that is 62.5p! He hasn’t stopped working since. Even when studying he worked at KFC, as a barman, a gardener, a cleaner and a carnation picker at Lindfield Nurseries in Sompting. Despite the Air Training Corps grooming him for a commission in the RAF, Andy decided he would prefer a career in Medical Research. His first job was a scientist working in vaccination research. He is a joint author of scientific papers in peer-reviewed medical journals like ‘Immunology’ and ‘Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’.
Andy moved on to work in pharmaceuticals and was part of the team given the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement for developing buprenorphine: globally the most common treatment for heroin addiction.
Andy has worked in many and varied disease areas and has also set up health education programmes for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and the general public – in areas as diverse as hay fever, post-operative pain relief, eye disease, threadworm, colonoscopy, back pain, joint injection, smoking cessation and many more. As an immunologist first and a politician second, Andy has observed that many people treat new ideas in the same manner as the body treats an alien protein. They are both rejected!
In a complete change of direction, Andy is now loving life as a dance teacher, having turned his life-long hobby into a vocation. As a former national dance champion, he is often invited to dance as a supporting artist in movies, recently booked to dance in ‘Mother Father Son’ starring Richard Gere, a TV remake of ‘Dirty Dancing’ a dance competition episode of ‘Midsomer Murders’ and more.
Andy is also a keen sportsman. In his younger days, Andy was a champion fencer and has represented both Sussex and the South East at national events. He also trained in martial arts for 15 years and trained to black belt level in Tae Kwon-Do. Andy has been a racing sailor most of his life, and now in his early sixties he is still winning trophies in many race series and regattas.
Andy already supports a number of charities, most recently running events to raise money for Help for Heroes and Macmillan Cancer Support. He also volunteers regularly as skipper for Sailability, a charity which takes disabled people sailing from Shoreham.
Andy met his wife, Sue in 1977 and they married in 1981. They have three daughters, Victoria, Sara and Anna. They are currently blessed with two grandsons, Tommy and George.