Six Hartlepool residents to be given freedom of the borough

George Morris.
George Morris.

A NUMBER of Hartlepool residents are to be given historic honours by civic chiefs with six people being given the freedom of the borough.

Hartlepool Borough Council is to honour several residents with the titles of Honorary Freeman/Freewoman and Honorary Alderman/Woman titles at a special meeting of the full council.

Elizabeth O'Rourke who has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Elizabeth O'Rourke who has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Hartlepool’s ceremonial mayor said it is “right and proper” that the local authority acknowledges those who have done so much for the town. Councillors will meet on Thursday night to honour those people at a special council ceremony.

Posthumous Award of Honorary Alderwoman will go to Gwynneth Hanson, Cath Hill and Gladys Worthy.

Council has also previously agreed that Ray Waller, former councillor, mayor and Freeman of the Borough be awarded the honour of Honorary Alderman.

In April this year, councillors visited the Hartlepool and District Hospice to bestow the honour of Alderman on Mr Waller, who sadly died soon after.

Pictured taking a look at one of the record books that will be on show in the new display case at the hospital are(left to right)painter and decorator Terry McNally, joiner John Illingworth, joiner Bob Measor, Gwynneth Hanson, electrician Brian Hanley, Bryan Hanson and Russell Hart.

Pictured taking a look at one of the record books that will be on show in the new display case at the hospital are(left to right)painter and decorator Terry McNally, joiner John Illingworth, joiner Bob Measor, Gwynneth Hanson, electrician Brian Hanley, Bryan Hanson and Russell Hart.

Freedom of Borough accolades will be awarded to:

• David Gibson;

• Keith Hewitson;

• Dr George Morris;

• Sir Ronald Norman OBE;

• Elizabeth O’Rourke;

• The Rifles;

• Jim Rogers.

Honorary Alderman titles, for former councillors, will be awarded to Russell Hart, Brian Smith and Dennis Waller.

The Honorary Freeman/Freewoman title is the highest honour that a council can bestow and in the last 40 years it has only been awarded on 18 occasions.

The last recipients in 2010 were former Hartlepool MP Peter Mandelson, Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling, cancer fundraiser Isobel Wilson and Hartlepool Families First founder Wendy McLoughlin.

Others who have recieved the prestigious accolade include former Town Clerk Eric Waggott, former Hartlepool MP Ted Leadbitter and the Hartlepool Lifeboat Station.

Labour councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, the town’s ceremonial mayor, said: “I think it is right and proper that the council should acknowledge those who render eminent service to our town.

“It’s over three years since the council last granted the historic title.”

A report by Dave Stubbs, the council’s chief executive, said: “At the meeting of council held on April 3, it was agreed that the titles of Honorary Freeman/Honorary Freewoman and Honorary Alderman/Honorary Alderwoman be bestowed on a number of individuals recommended by the Civic Honours Committee.

“As members are aware this special meeting of the Council has been called to confer those civic honours in pursuance of Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972”

The Civic Honours Committee is chaired by Coun Akers-Belcher.

The special meeting of full council will be held on Thursday, September 4 at 7pm in the Civic Centre, Victoria Road.