Freemen and Freewomen of Upton upon Severn

 

In 2022, the Town Council created a policy to recognise the efforts of individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the wellbeing of Upton upon Severn, by awarding them the title of Honorary Freeman or Honorary Freewoman.

The award is made for special individuals who meet the criteria and it is an honour to be bestowed on rare and exceptional occasions. Candidates awarded this honour must have made a unique, exceptional and long-lasting contribution to the life of the town over a period of not less than 20 years.

At the Annual Town Meeting on the 26th April 2022, the council announced awards to three excellent local individuals, each of whom had more than satisfied the criteria set.

The Town Council makes an Honorary Freewoman award to Mrs Jackie Surtees for “Outstanding contribution to the presentation and profile of the town".

Jackie had been a Town Councillor, was involved with the work of the former Upton Tourism and Trade Association, and ran the very comprehensive Upton.uk.net website which was a go-to place for all things Upton for many years. She was also involved in the creation of memorial pages for each Upton soldier lost in WW1 and is a volunteer driver with Upton Community Care”.

Jackie is most widely known for her work with Upton in Bloom who started their work in 2003 keeping Upton decorated all year round with fantastic flower displays. Entries into local and national competitions have been consistently successful, and through her Upton in Bloom has become increasingly environmentally aware, promoting native species, plants for bees, litter picking and generally organising volunteers. She can also usually be found out early on summer mornings watering the displays. Her commitment to the wellbeing of Upton for the benefit of our community and visitors is enduring and outstanding.

 

The Town Council makes an Honorary Freeman award to Mr Simon Wilkinson for “An enduring and ongoing commitment to helping and promoting Upton, its history, environment and community”.

Simon been volunteering in many capacities since returning to Upton upon Severn in the early 1990’s. A former Town Councillor and Mayor, Upton in Bloom, Tudor House Museum trustee and chair, committed local historian and member of the Upton Town Partnership.

He has involved himself and volunteered for many and varied aspects of Upton life and has made a difference to every organisation he has been involved with. As Chair of the Tudor House Museum Trust he continues to tell the story and history of Upton and as a diligent researcher has written and shared Upton history with a wider audience.

 

The Town Council makes an Honorary Freewoman award to Mrs Betty Williams for “Outstanding service within Upton upon Severn, going above and beyond for the town and its people”.

Betty has volunteered in various roles for over 30 years. Someone who served as a District, Parish and Town Councillor, has ensured the community was informed of all things local by producing and publishing the Upton News for many years and was a committed member of the Upton upon Severn Royal British Legion branch

She has excelled in every voluntary role she has undertaken – gaining the full respect of the Upton community. She was the first female chairman of the then Upton upon Severn Parish Council, also the first female chairman of Malvern Hills District Council and the first Chairman of the Upton Royal British Legion branch. She is a pillar of the community who has gone above and beyond what is expected in any voluntary role she has undertaken. Her dedication to many voluntary roles over many years makes her a role model for us all.

 

These are lifetime Honorary Titles and each recipient will be presented with a medal and certificate at the Civic Service in September 2022. Following queries from more than one of our recipients it was confirmed that sadly the honorary title did not come with any entitlement to drive sheep, llamas or chickens over the Upton bridge! 

 

 

 



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