Pride of Houghton 2018 - Award Winners


The annual Pride of Houghton Awards took place last Saturday and once again celebrated some truly remarkable residents of the town. The award nominees, local businesses and the Town Mayor were just some of the guests that crowded into the Houghton Regis Memorial Hall to celebrate achievements and good deeds.

The Pride of Houghton Awards have been held annually since 2003. Nominations are invited from residents from March until August, and the scheme is advertised by the Town Council and on social media pages.

The Town Mayor, Cllr Ken Wattingham, opened the event to an audience of over one hundred special guests, including the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire.

The event included a table buffet, a number quiz, hosted by DJ Big Man Craig, and a video presentation of previous winners.

Photo: Joanna Cross Photography
Beryl Morton was bestowed with Freedom of the Town. Certificate is shown off by Cllr Chris Slough and Cllr Ken Wattingham
Mrs Beryl Morton the prestigious award of Honorary Freeman at the Pride of Houghton Awards Ceremony on 13th October.
Although Mrs Morton was unable to attend in person the Mayor Cllr Ken Wattingham made the following speech:
“As a community, I believe that we work best when we support each other and collectively work for the benefit of all. This award is made in this spirit to a truly wonderful and remarkable lady. She is a very well-known character in Houghton Regis, always smiling, supporting and encouraging, and tirelessly working for us all.
The Honorary Freeman award is not conferred lightly. Any recipient has to have made a long term and lasting contribution to the town. This lady’s contribution has indeed been both long and conspicuous.
In the 1970’s she was best known as a local breeder of miniature poodles and was frequently seen cycling around town sporting war-time fashion nylons, gloves and a feather in her hat.
However, she truly came to have a high profile in the Town as a leading light in the Horticultural Society. As a successful organiser, her annual shows in the Memorial Hall were famous, as was her garage where produce was sold and exchanged.
In addition, her association with All Saints Church has and remains very important to her, indeed upon retirement, she became the parish administrator for the church. During which time she enjoyed the parish pilgrimages to the Middle East. Part of her role within the church was to organise the flower arranging at All Saints, bringing life and colour to what was then a building in a sorry state. The flower shows brought a wide range of people to both the church and the town, and their praise for such a high-quality display was always noted.
Of particular note was her tireless work to fundraise for the church. As already mentioned the church was falling into disrepair, the church building leaked and flooded and fireworks had caused damage to the school and main building. This remarkable lady and a team of other willing volunteers worked tirelessly to raise funds to rebuild the Tower. Thankfully they raised enough and there it stands today, at the very heart of our Town.
Throughout her association with the church, her soprano voice has lent quality and dignity to one of the best choirs around. She has rarely missed a rehearsal or service.
Over and above she had a real affection for the Town and this has shone through in all she has partaken in. She has never heard a negative about the Town without burying it in positives. She believes in Houghton and all that it stands for.
We do not confer the Freedom of the Town lightly. It is not simply Mrs Beryl Morton’s past voluntary efforts that we acknowledge, albeit that they are worthy, but also her spirit which has and will remain unconquerable and her positivity about the Town in which she lives.
On behalf of the Town Council and all our residents, I take great delight in presenting to you, Mrs Morton, Honorary Freeman of Houghton Regis.

Mrs Morton was presented with a framed certificate and a beautiful arrangement of flowers.

Nine Pride of Houghton Awards and Highly Commended certificates were presented, as well as trophies from the Carnival.

The following awards were given out on the evening:


• Individual Award Winner – Dean Russell
Sponsored by Perfect Profiles and presented Damian Edwards of Perfect Profiles.




• Individual Award ‘Highly Commended’ – Sandra Gibb
Sponsored by Perfect Profiles and presented by Damian Edwards of Perfect Profiles.
• Local Group Award Winner – Kids In Action
Sponsored by Beauty by Ladies presented by Amanda Millard of Beauty by Ladies.
• Local Group ‘Highly Commended’ – 1st/3rd Houghton Regis Scout Group Sponsored by Beauty by Ladies presented by Amanda Millard of Beauty by Ladies.
• Carer Award Winner – Julie Hoye Sponsored by D&I Family Butchers and presented by Dean Rudelhoff of D&I Family Butchers.
• Young Person Award Winner – Savannah Gladden
Sponsored by Vauxhall Motors. Presented by Cherie Denton of Vauxhall Motors


• Young Person Award ‘Highly Commended’ – Leyton Palmer Sponsored by Vauxhall Motors. Presented by Cherie Denton of Vauxhall Motors
• Local Hero Award Winner – Sarah Carey
Sponsored by Zebra Properties and presented by Kieran Burman of Zebra Properties.
• Local Hero Award ‘Highly Commended’ – Paul Cremin
Sponsored by Zebra Properties and presented by Kieran Burman of Zebra Properties.
• Local Business Award Winner – Jewels
Sponsored by of Spicer & Co Accountants presented by Claire Snushall of Spicer & Co Accountants

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• Local Business Award ‘Highly Commended’ – Frugal Frog Flowers Sponsored by of Spicer & Co Accountants presented by Claire Snushall of Spicer & Co Accountants.
• Special Award – Houghton Regis Hub Cafe
Sponsored by Hair.comb and presented by Zoe Johnson of Hair.comb.

Photo: Joanna Cross Photography
Kathy Duran: Lifetime Achievement Award

• Lifetime Achievement Award – Kathy Doran Sponsored by Houghton Regis Town Council presented by the Town Mayor, Councillor Ken Wattingham.
• Lifetime Achievement Award – Paul Bowen-James, BEM, Sponsored by Houghton Regis Town Council presented by the Town Mayor, Councillor Ken Wattingham.

• Mayor’s Choice Award – Go Houghton,  Sponsored and presented by the Town Mayor, Councillor Ken Wattingham.


• The Olive Burgess Shield, for the most support on or before Carnival Day, was presented to Zebra Properties for supporting the sponsorship of the Carnival and Town Council events. The award was presented to Kieran Burman from Zebra Properties.

• The St Vincent’s Trophy, for the most help and support from an individual at the Carnival, on or before the day, was presented to Dean Russell for his help and support with playing Regis the Lion at the Carnival and other Town Council events.

The awards were presented by Chairman of the Events Working Group, Councillor Tracey McMahon.

Houghton Regis Town Council would like to take the opportunity to thank the following sponsors of the event for all of their support and help in making this year’s Pride of Houghton a real success: D&I Butchers, Beauty by Ladies, Creative Decorations, Frugal Frog, Hair. Comb, Perfect Profiles, Vauxhall Motors and Zebra Properties.




Full List of Winners

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