COLNE Town Council hosted a Civic Reception on Friday, 15th February in honour of town historian, Geoff Crambie, and to formally bestow upon him the title of Freeman of Colne. Mr Crambie now joins Olympic Gold medalist, Steven Burke, as the second living Freeman of the town.
After celebratory drinks and a buffet with Mr Crambie’s family and friends and in the presence of Pendle’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Ken Hartley, Freeman Steven Burke and Colne’s town Councillors, the speeches began.
Council Chairman, Cllr Paul Foxley gave a fascinating speech exploring the entomology of the word “Bestow”, explaining that it was entirely fitting to use it for Mr Crambie as it derives from Middle English, “be” meaning “devote to” and also Old English “stow” meaning “place”.
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ken Hartley gave a speech lauding Mr Crambie’s achievements while displaying a remarkable depth of knowledge of Colne’s history himself.
A letter was read out from Pendle’s MP, Andrew Stephenson. Mr Stephenson sent apologies for his absence and added: “Without doubt Geoff, you are a living and breathing Colne institution and I hope this prestigious award will go some way to demonstrating what high esteem the residents of Colne hold you in.”
Mr Crambie then delivered a masterly speech in his trademark rambling style, packing in numerous amusing anecdotes from Colne’s past. He concluded emotionally that the receipt of this honour means that for the rest of his life he will be “Ten feet tall with pride at being a Freeman of Colne”.
Cllr P Foxley then presented the elaborate, illuminated scroll and casket which was created by specialist heraldic artist, Robin Utracik. A facsimile now hangs in Colne Town Hall.