Barnsley Council is set to bestow its highest honour on four citizens who have given exceptional service to the borough.
On 7 June at 10.30 am, a special meeting of the council will grant the Honorary Freedom of the Borough to Joann Fletcher, Ian McMillan, David Moody and Kate Rusby.
The title of Honorary Freeman is granted to persons of distinction who, in the opinion of the council, have rendered eminent service to the borough. It was last awarded in 2007 to The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mason of Barnsley.
Joann Fletcher is an Egyptologist and professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, who works closely with Barnsley Museums. She is a world authority on Egypt’s female pharaohs Cleopatra and Nefertiti, has published nine books and made numerous television appearances, in 2012 winning a BAFTA and most recently writing and presenting the series 'Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher' on BBC 2.
Ian McMillan is an English poet, journalist, playwright and broadcaster. He has always supported Barnsley in this country and abroad. He is the honorary President of the Barnsley Branch of Parkinson’s and a poet in residence to Barnsley Football Club.
David Moody was appointed by the Queen’s Office to be Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire and through his role many of the royal family have visited Barnsley. During his term of office (2004-2015) David has always supported the Freedom of the Town for the Yorkshire Regiments and promoted all services of the local Cadet Groups.
Kate Rusby is a singer songwriter and better known as The Barnsley Nightingale. Kate has performed across Europe and America and is one of the few people that have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. She had her first break at Holmfirth Folk Festival in 1992 and her debut solo album ‘Hourglass’ was released in 1997. Kate has performed numerous fundraising concerts for local organisations over the years and now performs each year at Barnsley's very own ‘Underneath the Stars’ festival.