“This civic medal, coming from the town I love so much means the world to me”
A former Blackpool landlady who has devoted her life to the resort is the latest recipient of the Blackpool Medal.
Elaine Smith was presented with the honour by Blackpool Mayor Coun Kath Benson at a special meeting of the council held at the Town Hall. Elaine, who received the MBE in 2009 for her services to heritage, has been involved in numerous groups in Blackpool including Blackpool Civic Trust, the Friends of Stanley Park, Blackpool in Bloom and the Winter Gardens Trust.
At the ceremony she recalled how her husband had encouraged her to take up volunteering after retiring from running their guesthouse, and after his death it had proved a lifeline to focus on. Addressing councillors and guests at the presentation ceremony, she said: “This civic medal, coming from the town I love so much means the world to me.”
But she said her love for the town did not mean she saw it through rose-tinted glasses. She said: “I know all the problems we have in Blackpool, but there are amazing people doing things in the town hoping to put things right.”
Council leader Coun Lynn Williams proposed the Blackpool Medal be presented to Elaine, seconded by Coun Don Clapham.
Coun Williams recalled one of Elaine’s first battles had been with the civic trust to stop the removal of seating from Committee Room A in the Town Hall. Although that fight had been lost, it had led to stronger ties between the civic trust and the council.
Coun Williams said Elaine had always championed Blackpool, with successes including the naming of Stanley Park as the country’s best park and now officially as a ‘national treasure’. Coun Williams added: “Elaine’s work has touched the lives of thousands of local residents who use the parks and visit its historic buildings.”
It follows the awarding posthumously of the Blackpool Medal to former Blackpool councillors Peter Callow and Lily Henderson, and former boxing legend Brian London in recognition of their achievements at a ceremony in May this year. Recipients of the medal are those who have made a recognised contribution to the borough beyond usual expectations, or achieved regional or national significance and in so doing promoted Blackpool.
- 05:20, 13 SEP 2022