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Pride awards honoured 'caring and amazing people'

IT WAS the second year the Pride of Bridlington Awards scheme had been run and the ceremony, at the Expanse Hotel, featured a VIP guest appearance by much-loved actor Bill Maynard.

Bill, who played Claude Greengrass in Heartbeat among many other big roles, gave a speech and posed for photos with many of the 120 guests.

The event also marked the 150th anniversary of the Bridlington Free Press and its editor Nick Procter gave a speech about the paper and its heritage.

Greg Knight MP, the Rotary Club of Bridlington and the Free Press organised the awards and all paid tribute to the finalists.

Free Press editor Nick Procter said: "These awards go to show there are so many caring and amazing people in and around Bridlington.

"It is great to know such kind deeds are being done and it has been a pleasure to showcase the caring nature of Bridlington folk and their many talents and qualities.

"Finally, a special metion must go to Free Press photographer and Rotary president-elect Paul Atkinson who was tireless in his organisation of these awards.

"He really is the driving force behind them and deserves huge credit for his efforts."

Nick thanked the awards sponsors – Eastfield Garden Centre, J Waterall Ltd, East Riding College and the Rotary Club of Bridlington – and everyone who donated prizes for a raffle and auction on the night.

The auction included tickets for a live X Factor show and Coun Richard Harrap acted as auctioneer while Bridlington mayor, Coun Cyril Marsburg, drew the raffle.

The total amount raised has still be worked out, but the proceeds will go to local Rotary charities and the Free Press 150 Fund for local good causes.

Paul Atkinson said: "It was another fantastic night and we would like to thank everyone involved.

"We were extremely impressed with the standard of entries and congratulate not only all the finalists but also everyone who was nominated."

Bridlington's MP Greg Knight, who acted as compere at the awards, said: "The Pride of Bridlington Awards this year were a cause for double celebration.

"Firstly a commemoration of the fact that 150 years ago in the town, the Bridlington Free Press was launched.

"The newspaper was, and remains, an invaluable source of local information that helps our community maintain a sense of pride and identity.

"As Her Majesty the Queen said recently 'people need a sense of community, a sense of belonging and local newspapers help to meet that need'.

"Looking back on 150 glorious years of the Bridlington Free Press, we can say 'thank you and well done'.

"I am sure everyone will wish the paper continuing success over the next 150 years.

"And secondly this year's awards were an occasion to honour those members of our community who, in 2009, helped to make Bridlington a better place to live.

"I pay tribute to not only the winners but to all the nominees, for their unselfishness and sense of community spirit."

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