Colne Cyclone to be made Freeman of home town

Steven Burke, who is set to be made the first Freeman of Colne in 46 years, at his homecoming parade after the London 2012 Olympics where he won a gold medal

Steven Burke, who is set to be made the first Freeman of Colne in 46 years, at his homecoming parade after the London 2012 Olympics where he won a gold medal

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Colne Cyclone Steven Burke will be made a Freeman of the Town at his homecoming parade on Saturday.

The Triple Olympic medallist, who won gold in Rio, will become the first person to receive the award since Walmsley Riddiough in 1970 after Colne Town Council agreed to its reintroduction at an extraordinary meeting.

County Alderman Walmsley Riddiough was the last person to be made a Freeman of Colne in 1970 (s)

County Alderman Walmsley Riddiough was the last person to be made a Freeman of Colne in 1970 (s)

Coun. Sarah Cockburn-Price, Chairman of Colne Town Council, said: “I did a bit of delving with the inestimable help of Christine Bradley at the library.

“I thought it was a tradition we should bring back and I thought Steven Burke would be the perfect first recipient of the honour. Forty six years is an awfully long time, even in an ancient town like Colne - many of our councillors weren’t even born then.”

Councillors unanimously resolved that the Freemanship of Colne should be granted to Steven and the presentation of the illuminated scroll will be made after the parade. The elaborate, illuminated scroll is being prepared by specialist heraldic artist, Robin Utracik.

The parade will start at 11-30am, leaving from the bottom of Albert Road before making its way through Colne via Church Street, Market Street and Craddock Road. It will arrive at the Town Hall at approximately 12-30pm. After photographs, at around 1pm, Steven will be joined on stage by the Mayor of Pendle, who will make a short speech and he will be interviewed in front of the crowd before the Freemanship of Colne will be awarded. Steven, his family, the Mayor and Mayoress and town councillors will then retire to the Council Chamber for the Civic Reception.

Steven’s extended family will be joining him on the parade and will be riding on Transdev’s newly named Steven Burke bus. Steven himself will be in an open top Nissan, a sponsor of Team GB.

Colne’s Gala Queen, Phoebe Lord (12), will also be in the parade.