ou are in [People] [Freedom of the Town Recipients]

The Freedom of the Town awards were first made by the Town Council in March 2012. Each year Hungerford Town Council invites Hungerford residents to nominate someone from within their community, who’s demonstrated exceptionally loyal service to benefit the town. People who’ve made a significant, and often long-standing contribution to support the well-being of our community.

The 2012 recipients were:

- Rod Desmeules - for his organisation and maintenance of the renowned Christmas lights, floral displays and flagpoles,
- Gwyneth Bullock - former town mayor, for her support offor social events, church activities and twinning events,
- Kathleen Walker - for her work with the Women's Institute, Croft Hall, Luncheon Clubs and CHAIN,
- Betty Grant - for her lengthy and outstanding contribution to the community, ongoing contribution to CHAIN and NWN Over 80s Christmas parcels, Royal British Legion and Tuesday Club, and
- the late Robin Tubb - veteran Town Crier and Bellman.

The 2013 recipients were:

- Jack Williams
- Bill Acworth, and
- John Hollister - follow this for more on John Hollister.

The 2014 recipients were:

- Robert James
- Hugh Pihlens
- Ron Tarry - see "Whole town mourns Ron Tarry" NWN 10th March 2022. 

The 2015 recipients were:

- John Newton
- Roger Beard

The 2016 recipients were:

- David Clayton - long serving director and producer with the Community of Hungerford Theatre Company
- Janette Kersey - who has served with the charity CHAIN for 20 years, 10 of them as chairwoman. Also given 25 years dedicated service to the Hungerford Surgery, is a former town mayor and a Hungerford Primary School governor.
- Neale Marney - an organiser of the Victorian Extravaganza, a volunteer first aid responder at civic events, the main co-ordinator for intalling and financing the town's defibrillators, a chorister at St Lawrence Church, and a Hungerford Primary School governor.

The awards were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, James Puxley, at a ceremony on the Corn Exchange on 14 Jun 2016.

Beryl Fowler -  A special award was made in December to Beryl Fowler, who had served as clerk to Hungerford Town Council for 32 years, chairwoman of HADCAF from 1994 until 2015, as well as many other acts of service to the community.

The 2017 recipient was:

- Margaret Wilson

See also: Tony Bartlett's photos of Award of Freedom of the Town to Margaret Wilson, 1st May 2017

The 2018 recipients were:

- Norman Barr
- Chris Scorey
- Catherine Wooliston

The 2019 recipients were:

Chris Buck. As well as being a church organist at St Lawrence’s, Chris also organises concerts at the church and elsewhere to help raise funds for a variety of local groups, assists at the ABC toddler group and organises the church’s annual flower festival.

Chris Buck died in May 2020 (during the coronavirus lockdown). See "Mayor's tribute to town stalwart" - NWN 14 May 2020.

Peter Harries. As well as being a former Town Councillor and serving two terms as Mayor, Peter has also been actively involved in a number of local charities and community groups over the years. These include CHAIN, the Kennet & Avon Canal and the Bowls Club. He is also a trustee for the Hungerford Library & Community Trust.

Ted Angell. Ted is a Trustee and the Handybus Co-ordinator for CHAIN. The Handybus is a community minibus whose services are primarily directed at those who are less mobile or socially isolated. As well as bring a volunteer driver, he was also instrumental in the recent successful bid for funds for a new bus.

See: "Trio are awarded Freedom of Town" - NWN 28 Mar 2019

See: "Ted, Chris and Peter given Freedom of the Town" - NWN 27 Jun 2019

The 2020 recipients were:

Derek Loft, Di Loft, Roger Ballard and Steve 'Skippy' Skipworth. See "Freedom of Hungerford for husband and wife" - NWN 26 Mar 2020 and "Freedom of Town for local heroes", NWN 22 Oct 2020.

The 2022 recipients were:

Martin Crane, Penny Locke and Jennifer Bartter.

The awards were presented by Sarah Scrope, DL, at a special ceremony in the Corn Exchange on 9th October 2022.

See also:

"Outstanding service to Hungerford recognised" - NWN 18 Aug 2022.

- "Loyal Service recognised at Freedom of Town Awards" - NWN 20 Oct 2022.

The 2023 recipients were:

On Wednesday 27 September 2023 Charlie Barr, Richard Hofgartner and Tony Drewer-Trump were awarded Freedom of the Town for their outstanding contributions to our community by Simon Muir, High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire and Mayor of Hungerford Helen Simpson.

Charlie Barr - has been awarded for many reasons but recognised for her enthusiastic work with Hungerford Youth and Community Centre for over 12 years, promoting and taking it from strength to strength. She chairs the board of trustees and is a huge part of HYCC’s Youth Club. Charlie’s role in the community of Hungerford is second to none, she volunteers at all kinds of events and opportunities. To name but a few she has been previously involved with Hungerford Rugby Club, she has run the Ladybugs parent and toddler group and for several years has run Brownies and Guides groups in Hungerford. There is no doubt that Charlie deserves this award for her exceptional dedication and input to the town. Congratulations Charlie.

Stewart Hofgartner - a huge supporter of the town for 45 years, really is so deserving of this award! To start on the impressive list of attributes, Stewart is the founding member of Hungerford Chamber of Commerce and has contributed to countless charitable events over the years. He has given many inspiring talks to organizations, donated raffle prizes and has been the most outstanding auctioneer at charitable events. Stewart (along with Keith Haddrell) was the driving force that created The Victorian Extravaganza, Stewart continued to run the event for 15 years and the Extravaganza continues to succeed and is now in its 30th year! Other commendable contributions include his position as constable for Town and Manor between 1993 and 1995 and 25 years as a trustee. His support goes above and beyond for HTC with his generous contributions to brightening up the town with the Christmas Lights and Flower Baskets. It all began with trading in the Hungerford Arcade and then in his own shop ‘Below Stairs’ which celebrates 50 years of trading in 2024! Hungerford is known for its antiques trade and the town has benefitted from presence of ‘Below Stairs’ which attracts many visitors from far and wide. Finally lets not forget to mention Stewart is an ambassador for Hungerford as one of the most popular dealers on Dickinson’s Real Deal on ITV1. Stewart you are a real asset to the town and Hungerford is lucky to have you.

Tony Drewer-Trump - has given up generous amounts of his free time over a significant number of years setting up and running events that are a huge benefit to the community. Some of his noticeable achievements include his involvement in Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT), his key role in Hungerford 2036 Neighbourhood Plan and being a trustee of the Croft Hall. For several years Tony has chaired HAHA (Hungerford Allotment Holders Association) and has been hugely involved with the establishment and maintenance of the Marsh Lane allotments. He has also been the driving force behind Arts of Hungerford a CIC run by volunteers which puts on regular arts events for the community including an annual free arts festival for children. This year’s event was a big success and the talk of the town for a while. The art festival’s key goal is introducing children to the Arts and Tony has worked closely with the primary school to arrange music events. Tony is undeniably an asset to the town and is appreciated for all the time an effort he has contributed over the years. Congratulations Tony.”

See also: "Three honoured with Freedom of Town", NWN 17th October 2023.

See also:

- "Unique service to town recognised with three civic awards" - NWN 10 Apr 2014

- "Pair granted town honour" - NWN 14 May 2015

"Freedom of the town for 'outstanding record of service to the community'", NWN 22 Dec 2016.

- "Town's final honour for much-loved Beryl", NWN 12 Jan 2017.

- "Margaret hailed pride of the town". NWN 4 May 2017.

- "Freedom of the Town awarded to terrific trio", NWN 29 Mar 2018.

- "Trio receive Freedom of the Town of Hungerford", NWN 30 May 2018.

- Freedom of the Town Awards, 2012 - photos by Tony Bartlett

- Freedom of the Town Awards, 2013 - photos by Tony Bartlett

- Freedom of the Town Awards, 2015 - photos by Tony Bartlett

- Freedom of the Town Awards, 2016 - photos by Tony Bartlett

- Freedom of the Town Awards, 2018 - photos by Tony Bartlett

- Freedom of the Town Awards, 2019 - photos by Tony Bartlett