A Labour party stalwart has been hailed for more than five decades for her dedication to the party.
Myrtle Macpherson, one of the North East’s longest-serving members of the party, has been given special recognition at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Brighton.
Myrtle ‘baked numerous pies which are world renowned - people from many countries have sampled Myrtle’s pies.Labour Party spokesman
The 87-year-old has been a card holder of Easington Constituency Labour Party for more than 50 years, with her campaigning on its behalf championed by its new leader Jeremy Corbyn, and deputy Tom Watson.
Myrtle said: “I was very proud to get this award.
“I’ve been in the Labour Party 50 years and I didn’t join to get this. The national award was fantastic and I was so excited to come to Conference.
“It was nice for the national merit award to come to Easington. When I went on stage I said to Jeremy and Tom if you come up North don’t forget to give me a ring and I’ll make them a pie.”
Her daughter Heather Wood, said: “I know she’s my mam, but she’s worked really hard for 50 years and its good for people to recognise it.
“I’m proud of her. She’s 87 and been in politics more than 50 years and it wasn’t always easy, especially not for women in those days. “
A party spokesman said: “She has devoted her life to the betterment of her local community.
“During the miners’ strike in the 1980s Myrtle was a cook, providing meals five days per week as part of Women Against Pit Closures.
“In fact, Easington CLP note that Myrtle ‘baked numerous pies which are world renowned – people from many countries have sampled Myrtle’s pies.”
During her campaign to save the mines, she sat in a caravan outside Seaham’s Vane Tempest pit for a year, and was part of the delegation who took a petition to Downing Street against the pit closures.
Myrtle was also part of a delegation to Cuba to take clothes for miners and their families, and she attends the Durham Miners’ Gala every year.
The pensioner continues to help others by visiting the housebound and those in hospital, and has raised money for the Charlie Bear scanner appeal for a local hospital.
She is a member of the Donnini House residents’ association.
She received a special merit award on stage from the new leader and deputy leader and the party’s general secretary Iain McNicol.