Village stalwart named first Honorary Freeman of Shilbottle after 50 years serving community

A Shilbottle man has become the village’s first honorary freeman in recognition of half a century of service to the parish council.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 6:00 am
A special cake was baked to mark Tommy Scott's 50 years' service to Shilbottle Parish Council.

Tommy Scott, now 86, has served the council in various capacities since joining in January 1970.

Last Thursday, in the presence of councillors, village organisations, family and friends he was presented with a scroll and medal designating him an Honorary Freeman of Shilbottle by Lord Ridley, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland.

“Congratulations Tommy from us all,” said Elisabeth Haddow, vice chairman of Shilbottle Parish Council.

The honour was unanimously agreed by parish councillors at their November meeting.

It recognises his outstanding and dedicated commitment to the community for the past 50 years and for the fine manner in which he had carried out his duties.

Roles have included being chairman of the parish council, chairman of the Shilbottle branch of the Mineworkers’ Union, chairman of the Working Men’s Club and chairman of the Shilbottle Miners’ Recreation Ground Charity.

He was 36 and worked in Shilbottle Colliery as a face-worker when he was first elected to the parish council. He then became union secretary.

Tommy was not born in Shilbottle. In the 1960’s he was an ‘incomer from Burradon on North Tyneside.

He soon became well known in the village and joined the committees of Shilbottle Working Men’s Club and Shilbottle Colliery Miners’ Recreation Ground.

Tommy was elected chairman of Shilbottle Parish Council over 30 years ago and has worked with many councillors and three parish clerks.

Coun Haddow said: “He has spent these years dedicated to the community of Shilbottle and he has worked for, and supported many changes in the village.

“In the past decade we have seen Tommy support the opening of the Community Hall, the building of planters around the village, new seating, extensions to cemeteries, new play areas, the creation of a Memorial Garden for the Mining Community and in 2014 his greatest pride and joy the erection of a War Memorial at Green Hut Corner.

“Tommy is now in his 87th year, but he is still very active and remains chairman of the parish council.”