Two residents could soon be named Honorary Freemen to recognise their outstanding contributions to York

15 Dec 2020 @ 12.24 pm
| News

Two distinguished York residents who have done so much for the city could be given the status of Honorary Freeman of the City of York.

A special council meeting on Thursday (16 December) will decide whether to give the honour to Delma Tomlin and Alison Sinclair.

If the status is awarded the two nominees will follow in the footsteps of only two women awarded the honour: Dame Judi Dench in 2002 and Joyce Pickard in 2006.

About the nominees

Delma Tomlin

Delma Tomlin has been nominated for the status following her commitment to arts and culture in the city over the past 40 years.

Director of the National Centre for Early Music, she has helped secure significant funding for the organisation.

Her other achievements include being appointed an MBE for Services to the Arts in Yorkshire, being made Cultural Ambassador, and she will become the first ever female Governor of the Company of Merchant Adventurers in 2022.

Delma said: “As someone who has lived in York for 40 years I couldn’t be more pleased. I couldn’t image more of an honour. The city has given me such opportunities, and the people have always been extraordinary welcoming.

“I have had so much fun with all the projects I’ve been involved in and in this rather miserable year it’s wonderful to be offered something so joyful.”

Alison Sinclair

Alison Sinclair’s nomination follows her significant contribution to preserving York’s internationally recognised heritage.

Her achievements include being an instrumental part in creating York’s open planning forum, sharing her knowledge as a Visiting Fellow at the University of York on the Archaeology of Buildings, playing a key role in the creation of the Friends of Rowntree Park, and serving as an active member and chair of the Council’s Conservation Areas Advisory Panel.

Alison said: “I was flabbergasted to hear about it, it was the last thing I expected. I am honoured by the nomination and I cannot imagine a greater compliment.”

Leader of City of York Council, councillor Keith Aspden, said: “Given their eminent services to our city, I am delighted to support the award of Honorary Freedom of the City of York to both Delma Tomlin and Alison Sinclair.

“York has a rich history of freemen, with records dating back to 1272, making it an honour of great historical importance rarely awarded.

“It has been fascinating to read the nominations for Delma and Alison and learn more about the outstanding work they have done for both the city and its residents, in particular in the fields of heritage, culture and music.”

If the nominations are approved at the council meeting on Thursday 17 December, a following Civic occasion would take place later next year for the honour to be formally recognised and celebrated.