THE gates of the Town Hall were thrown open to welcome selfless community volunteers in Chester’s rural areas.
Lord Mayor Cllr Jim Latham laid on afternoon tea for people who had been nominated in recognition of the contribution they had made.
They were put forward for the inaugural John Boughton Award, open to people in the villages covered by the city council’s Gowy North area committee and for the Cheshire Rural Women’s Awards.
The John Boughton Award, in memory of the late city councillor and former city sheriff, was won by Malcolm Smart, who was a parish councillor in Huxley for 17 years and chairman of the council for three years.
Mr Smart is also a member of the parochial church council and is involved with Hargrave and Huxley Happy Days. He is also chairman of the local youth group and nominated the Huxley and Hargrave youth project to receive his cheque for £250 donated by the area committee.
Special commendations were awarded to Joan and Keith Emerton of Guilden Sutton for many years of work with the village badminton group and summer play schemes for children and young people and to Ian McKay of Elton for his long-term support and commitment to Elton Community Centre.
The Gowy North area committee also presented a posthumous award in appreciation of Pamela Sanders from Mickle Trafford.
For many years, she was an active fundraiser for local causes and organised weekly bingo sessions, which supported a number of groups including a retirement club, mothers & toddlers group, the Brownies and the church.
She also organised the annual Christmas fair, helped to raise funds for the village’s Springfield Park and organised a book club.
The council’s Rural South area committee chose Jean Dutton from Burwardsley for her dedication to the community, particularly the parish council.