Five Hartlepool heroes to be given freedom of town

A ceremony is to be held to honour the work of five Hartlepool heroes and celebrate their contribution to the town.

Saturday, 4th September 2021, 4:45 am
Clockwise from top right, Chris Musgrave, Ray Martin-Wells, Hartlepool Civic Centre, Sian Cameron, Lesley Gibson and the late Alan Chapman.

Five individuals are to be conferred as Honorary Freeman or Freewoman of the Borough of Hartlepool next week, including one posthumous honour.

Hartlepool Borough Council previously confirmed the historic title will be awarded to them for making “a sustained and significant contribution” to the area.

The title of Honorary Freeman or Freewoman of the Borough of Hartlepool is the highest honour the authority can bestow.

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The late Alan Chapman. Picture by FRANK REID

A special council meeting has been called at the Borough Hall for 6pm on Thursday, September 9, to present the awards following a delay in holding a ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Councillors prior to the pandemic had agreed to posthumously award the title of Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Hartlepool to long serving headteacher Alan Chapman, which will be conferred at the meeting.

Mr Chapman was chief executive officer of Hartlepool Aspire Trust, which runs Catcote Academy, Catcote Futures and Catcote Sixth Form, and passed away aged 67 in October 2019 after a short illness.

It was also confirmed this March four further individuals would be granted the historic honour, which will also be bestowed on them at Thursday’s ceremony.

Sian Cameron.

It will be granted to Lesley Gibson, the chief executive of Harbour, for her more than 30 years of work with the organisation, providing assistance to families and individuals affected by domestic abuse.

It will also be given to Sian Cameron, who has helped raise tens of thousands of pounds as Poppy Appeal organiser for Hartlepool, after taking over from her father Ian, who passed away in 2010.

The award will also be granted to former councillor Ray Martin-Wells, in honour of his work as chair of the audit of the governance committee supporting maintaining maternity and fertility services in Hartlepool.

Chris Musgrave, who was awarded an OBE in The Queen’s 2019 Birthday Honours for services to business and the community, will also receive the accolade.

Businessman Chris Musgrave.

A limited number of members of the public are able to attend with spaces available on a first come, first served basis.

Those wishing to attend should phone (01429) 523568 or (01429) 523019 by midday on Wednesday and name and address details will be taken for NHS Test and Trace purposes.

Ray Martin-Wells.
Lesley Gibson, chief executive of Harbour. Photograph by FRANK REID