Former mayor made freewoman of Higham Ferrers

Gwen Murdin, 93, has been made an honorary freewoman of Higham Ferrers.
Gwen Murdin, 93, has been made an honorary freewoman of Higham Ferrers.

A former mayor of Higham Ferrers is being given the town council’s highest honour.

Ninety-three-year-old Gwen Murdin is being made an honorary freewoman of the town and said she was staggered when she found out.

Councillors decided to give Gwen the award at a special meeting of the town council.

It is the first time it has been awarded since the council changed from a borough to a town council in 1974.

Gwen said: “I was staggered when I got the letter.

“I have spent my life in the town doing things, it is a nice little town.”

She said one of her most treasured memories was making it possible, with the help of this newspaper and the then MP Sir Peter Fry, for a disabled woman to fly to Australia to meet her son who she had lost contact with.

Gwen said: “It is a rather wonderful story.”

According to the official statement, the title of honorary freewoman is being made to Gwen in recognition of “the outstanding services rendered by her to the town as a town councillor from 1968 to 2011, during which time she served as mayor three times; as a district councillor and for her service to other groups such as the Guides, The Royal British Legion, senior citizens to name but a few”.

The statement goes on to say: “The council is delighted to have this opportunity of expressing its sincere appreciation of the outstanding and conscientious manner in which Gwen Murdin has served the town.

“By conferring this honour upon Gwen Murdin, the council wanted to acknowledge the indebtedness of the town to her for the untiring and notable manner in which she has always discharged her duties and responsibilities of the various offices she has occupied.”

She will be given the award at a ceremony at the Bede House on Friday, March 21.