John Thirlwall, Honorary Freeman of the Parish

Ainstable Parish Council has marked the long service of one of its councillors by making him an Honorary Freeman of the Parish.

John Thirlwall, a farmer in Croglin, served on Ainstable Parish Council from 1991 until his retirement at the local council elections earlier this year. During his time in office, the parish council has restored traditional cast iron signposts throughout the parish, planted hundreds of native trees in verges, served as the trustee for the Ainstable Millennium Green, and installed new bus shelters in several villages.

The award was made at a surprise dinner, held at the Heather Glen Hotel in Ainstable. Mr Thirlwall thought he was attending a family occasion but was met by serving members of the parish council. He was presented with a certificate and a hand-made ram’s horn stick, in recognition of his farming profession.

Councillor Nigel Vear, Chairman of Ainstable Parish Council, said:

“John is the first Honorary Freeman of Ainstable Parish in its 124-year history. He has served this community continuously and faithfully for nearly 30 years and this award, the highest honour we can bestow, is well deserved.

“His retirement does leave a vacancy on the parish council and I would encourage any residents of the parish who are interested in helping their local community to contact me at chairman@ainstable.org.uk for a chat.”