A couple who made a big contribution to the community in a Northumberland village ha-ve been formally recognised.
At a recent parish council meeting, members made local residents Billy and Pat Elliott Honorary Freemen of the Parish of Mitford.
This was in recognition of their long-standing and significant contributions to both the council and parish over many years.
They moved to Yorkshire last week.
Billy served as a founding member of the parish council since its inception in 1955 and was chairman for more than 20 years. His continued service of over 50 years was recognised by the award of an MBE.
He had other leading roles in the community, including chairman of trusts for Mitford Parish Church, governor of Mitford Primary School and its successor school and executive committee member of the Northumberland branch of the NFU.
As well as supporting her husband in these undertakings, Pat was also heavily involved in community life.
She served on the Mitford Village Hall committee and also as treasurer of both the local Women’s Institute and Mitford Historical Society for many years.
On behalf of the whole parish council, chairman Mike Sharp said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity of expressing our sincere appreciation of the outstanding and conscientious manner in which Mr and Mrs Elliott have served the parish.
“They have moved away from the area for a well-earned retirement and this award is made in recognition of the immense contribution that they have made to our community over many, many years.
“I believe this is the first such award that this council has made since its formation and it is very well deserved.
“Billy was always the person to whom anyone in the parish would go to if they had a problem and they could be guaranteed that he would do all in his power to solve the problem expeditiously.”