Former MP Malcolm Moss and Royal British Legion riders in the Cambs 876 Remembered Project receive Freedom of Wisbech honour
- Credit: Archant
Their bikes glimmering on the North Brink, Wisbech tonight, the Royal British Legion riders trooped quietly into the town hall to be honoured alongside former MP Malcolm Moss.
Both were there to be forever commemorated in the history of Wisbech by being admitted as honorary freemen – an accolade reserved only for those who have “rendered eminent service” to the town.
The riders belong to the Cambs 876 Remembered Project, a group which is intent on visiting all of the graves of those from the county regiment who died in the Great War.
Their task is formidable as they set about paying g tribute to the 876 men who died both during the war and from injuries sustained in the war.
“To date we have honoured 71 of the 876 at 24 cemeteries in England, France and Belgium and collectively travelled 19,000 miles,” said Glenn Green, one of those behind the project.
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He collected the “rare and prestigious award with enormous pride and humility.
“We will endeavour to live up to it and we will display it with pride at all of our future events.”
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The mayor, Councillor David Hodgson, reminded guests the freedom of Wisbech “is an honour to recognise the significant and valuable services rendered”.
As he, too, received the award Mr Moss, who was not only the MP for NE Cambs for 23 years but a former Wisbech councillor and mayor, said he accepted it “with deep gratitude and humility”.
He recalled his year as town mayor which he described as a “tree year” during which £1,000 was raised to plant “all the trees down Churchill Way with all the schools playing a huge part in planting them to make Wisbech look a like a town that belongs to a rural environment”.
He also paid tribute to the work of volunteers locally who contributed much to the town.
“Society, community depends so heavily not on government grants, not on government assistance or support but on the unpaid time and devotion of thousands of people not just here in Wisbech but across the country”.
He listed three achievements which gave him pride, firstly helping to persuade the National Trust to allow the rugby club to develop “at a time when getting permission to even alter a brick on National Trust property was almost impossible”.
Once re building began the club was able to shake off “probably the worst changing rooms in East Anglia if not in the country because the club house was a cow shed at the time”. It was later to extend ten fold and allowed the club to reach great heights.
Mr Moss also spoke of his campaign to develop the Angles, a one time church but built originally as a Georgian theatre.
And he spoke of how in the early 1980s a small group had worked together to form the Fens Business Enterprise trust to support economic growth. It had since been taken over but remained rooted in the Fens and still helping young people to start and develop businesses.
As the evening drew to an end, it was the turn of Mr Moss to make a presentation – a watercolour painting of Wisbech which will hang in the council chamber.
Both recipients were handed a freedom scroll showing the coat of arms and seal of the town.