A STALWART supporter of all things Teignmouth has been awarded the highest honour possible by the town council.

Mrs Sylvia Russell was awarded the Freedom of the Town at Bitton House during a recent ceremony, which makes Mrs Russell the first honorary ‘Freeman’ of Teignmouth.

The award was in recognition of more than 40 years of ‘eminent, valuable, devoted and continuous service’ to Teignmouth Town Council.

Mrs Russell has served Teignmouth as Mayor, town, district and county councillor, as well as boasting membership to several outside bodies associated with the town council.

To resounding applause from family, friends and colleagues both past and present, Mrs Russell was presented with a framed scroll at a buffet reception evening last week.

‘It was my privilege and great pleasure to make this presentation on behalf of the Town Council to someone who has dedicated so much of their life to the service of  our town’ said Cllr Joan Atkins, mayor of Teignmouth.

To add a touch of levity to end the formal proceedings, the Mayor also presented Mrs Russell with a picture of a memorial bench on the Den, which the town council replaced when Teignbridge took their ones away from just outside her house and did not replace them.

Sylvia was really disappointed that there was no longer anywhere for people to sit. 

‘Our bench was put there as a replacement a while ago’ said the Mayor.

‘But has just secretly been fitted with a dedication plate, in honour of Sylvia’s 43 years of continuous service which made everyone laugh when she was told and presented with the picture.’

The guests mingled then for another couple hours of hours, enjoying the buffet and celebrating Sylvia’s momentous achievement. 

► The full Mayor’s speech, with details of the many of the roles that Mrs Russell has fulfilled over the years will be on the town council website in the not too distant future.