A FORMER Hungerford Primary School teacher has been awarded the Freedom of the Town of Hungerford.
Margaret Wilson had served on the town council for more than two decades when she retired from public life earlier this year, aged 80.
In that time she had also organised the annual Hungerford In Bloom competition, compiled the town diary and been a trustee for the Hungerford and Camburn Educational Trust.
Outgoing town mayor, Martin Crane, described the event as “a very special occasion for a very special lady”.
She was presented with her award by the High Sheriff of Berkshire, Sarah Scrope in front of friends, the Constable of the Town and Manor, Ellie Dickins, and former council colleagues at a special ceremony in the town hall on Tuesday.
Mrs Scrope said: “Congratulations to you, Margaret, on receiving this prestigious award in recognition of your huge contribution to the town.
“All of us here today know that Hungerford is a very special place.
“I have a poster in the entrance hall of my office which proclaims ‘I Love Hungerford’ – and I do, deeply.
“How fortunate I feel to be part of this community.
“I’ve lived near Hungerford all my life, and like all of us, have done some public service.”
She added: “Being involved in public life in Berkshire is a reward in itself.
“It has helped me become more and more aware of a number of fine people working in this county – and in particular in Hungerford – who use their time and energy to help others.
“I feel more and more appreciative of the great generosity of spirit that many individuals, like Margaret, bestow on the town of Hungerford which makes it the cohesive community that it is, and a uniquely wonderful place to live.
“Like any other town, Hungerford has its challenges.
“And there is not one of us here who has not been affected in some way or another by the residual effects of the greatest sadness of all which our town had to suffer.
“And yet, thanks to the tireless work and dedication of all of you here, you who are incredible members of our community, we can hold our heads high, and forge ahead with cheerful purpose, while our town continues to thrive and flourish with an atmosphere of intent and improvement.”
She told Mrs Wilson and her former town council colleagues: “Your contributions to the community keep our town running smoothly.
“You make Hungerford a better place by your selfless support and commitment.
“Each and every one of you here exemplifies the spirit of volunteering, quietly giving your time and dedication to helping others.
“I feel honoured to be here in the Town Hall today in the presence of a number of you who have given lifelong service to Hungerford, and have been recognised by being awarded the Freedom of the Town in past years.
“I applaud you all.
“Your service is inspiring.
“Thank you, on behalf of the community and all of us fortunate enough to live in and around Hungerford, for everything that you do.”