Watched by a happy crowd of friends, family and local VIPs, it was great to see that community spirit is not only strong in Ashington Village, but selfless service is recognised and appreciated.
Margaret Alford, received a British Empire Medal for her tireless commitment to village life and the community, having devoted hundreds of hours of her free time to local matters including the Parish Council, the Community Centre itself and organising the Ashington Festival over the last 25 years.
Margaret AlfordI am so grateful to everyone here for their kind words
The award ceremony, held at the Ashington Community Centre and sponsored by the Trust, was attended by the Lord Lieutenant Susan Pyper and her deputy Margaret Bamford who read out the citation and presented the medal.
Margaret gave a short speech in which she thanked her husband, David, for all his support, and her friends and family for all of the help they have given her as well. Margaret said: “I am so grateful to everyone here for their kind words, it is a real honour to receive the British Empire Medal and I am thrilled that the ceremony was here, in the community centre, where I can celebrate with all of you who have given me so much support over the years.”
David, Margaret’s husband, commented: “I am so pleased for her, she was delighted just to have been nominated.”
Andy, a fellow member of the Ashington Festival Committee, added: “I truly cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honour and it is lovely seeing everyone here to help her celebrate.”
Margaret and David will be attending Buckingham Palace for the garden party later this year by invitation of the Queen.
This year’s Ashington Festival will be held on August 15 with a Carnival Procession, live music and entertainment throughout the day and evening, closing with a firework display.