Freeman honour goes to Douglas

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A retired Leighton Buzzard business owner has been made a freeman of the City of London.

Douglas Avery, 68, of Pennivale Close, was presented with the certificate by the clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court, Murray Craig, at the Guildhall in London.

Mr Avery has lived and worked in Leighton Buzzard all of his life and was an owner of the family business, Avery Transport, until his retirement. He was nominated for the freedom by long-term friend Ian Bates, already a freeman, whose father Mr Avery worked with at the Lancer Boss forklift truck company in the 1970s.

Mr Avery said: “You get proposed and seconded to receive the freedom by current freemen. I didn’t know anything about it. You’re not allowed to say the freedom is an honour or an award, but obviously it felt like an honour to be proposed.”

The granting of the freedom of the City is an historic ceremony that is believed to have first been held in 1237.

It previously granted its members the right to trade in the square mile and continues to be presented to this day as a unique part of the City’s history.

Mr Avery attended Pulford School and Doreen’s School of Dancing in the town and married his wife, Janis, at All Saints Church in 1966 – two weeks after England won the World Cup.