Honorary Freedom – Ray Scott
The first Honorary Freedom of the Town award under Newbiggin by the Sea Town Council was decided in March 2021 and was officially conferred posthumously on 4th November 2021 to Ray Scott who sadly died in January 2021.
At short presentation at Newbiggin Boxing Club, Vice Chairman, Councillor Jill Woodman took delight is presenting the framed Freedom Scroll to Ray’s family and the Boxing Club via Ray’s son Paul.
The Freedom of the Town is the highest award that the Council can bestow.
By Section 249(5) of the Local Government Act 1972, a Town Council may admit ‘persons of distinction and persons who have, in the opinion of the Council, rendered eminent services to the town’, as Honorary Freeman.
The award of Honorary Freedom does not convey with it any legal rights or responsibilities, other than being a symbol of honour. The award dates back to the middle ages when Freemen had commercial privileges and a route into a position of power in a town or city, such as: privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the Town on all ceremonial occasions with colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed, and the privilege to graze sheep within a Town.
Cllr Woodman thanked residents Sheila Harrison, who nominated Ray for the award, and Lynn Burns, who under the previous Council administration had bought the proposal to Council, also thanking previous Chairman Alan Thompson. All were in attendance at the presentation as were the Town Councillors.
Speaking at the presentation, Cllr J Woodman stated “What Ray did for this community was amazing, so many people will have so many fond memories. On a personal level he played a huge part in my son, Ben’s life growing up, so it is an absolute honour for me to be presenting this award tonight. In Ben’s words, he’ll never be replaced – there is only one Ray Scott”.
As the framed scroll was to be hung in the Boxing Club, a sustainable floral display was also presented to Ray’s widow, Kath Scott.