The award – which in the past might have allowed holders to graze sheep or cattle on common land, trade inside the city wall or even walk their troops in full colour through the town or parish with drums beating and colours flying – marks the contributions of Frank Kay, Brian Flintoff, Harwood Stockdale, Edward Swales and Bill Barton OBE to village life.

Scrolls 1

             Above - l - r Edward, Frank, Brian and Bill on the night of the presentation.

All have served as either Trustees of Sessay Village Hall and Playing Fields Association, or as Members of the Village Hall Management Committee, since the Village Hall and Cricket Club was built in the early 1970s.  Most have recently retired from this role - and all have contributed to the community in various other ways.  

Edward Swales, Chairman of the Parish Council for over 30 years, is still actively involved in running the small local charity, Sessay United Charities, as well as Sessay Tuesday Club - a regular meeting group for residents.  Bill Barton OBE represented the area on North Yorkshire County Council and has previously been recognised by the Queen for his work and dedication.  

Frank Kay, a Sessay resident for 96 years, and Harwood Stockdale, a retired dairy farmer, have both been involved with Sessay Cricket Club.  Brian Flintoff, 89, has kept the greens at the Cricket Club for many years, only recently retiring, and has helped to make Sessay one of the most attractive and prestigious Cricket Clubs in the area.

Scrolls 2                                                          Above - Harwood was presented with his scroll at home.  

Chairman of Sessay and Hutton Sessay Parish Council, John MacPherson, awarded the honours at a meeting of the Village Hall and Playing Fields Association on Monday 14 September.

“It is a great pleasure to award the Freedom of the Parish to such long-serving, and committed individuals who have given so much time,” he said. ‘We truly appreciate the contributions each has made, and thank them sincerely.