14292370_1257541810945827_8709200985994764764_nCOLNERS lined the route of Steven Burke’s Homecoming Parade on Saturday, with a thousand people gathering outside the Town Hall to watch the Double Olympic Champion receive the Freemanship of the Town.

Colne also received much media attention thanks to the celebration, with the event featuring on several radio stations and the BBC television news.

Cllr. Sarah Cockburn-Price, Chairman of Colne Town Council, awarded Steven Burke the illuminated scroll that marked his achievements and used the same phraseology as that used for previous holders of the award.  The last time the Town Council awarded a Freemanship was in 1970 to County Alderman Walmsley Riddiough.

She said: “It was a glorious day.  Colne showed its appreciation of our local hero.  Steven can be in no doubt about how proud we are of him!  I’d like to thank the top team at the Town Hall, our Clerk and CEO, Colin Hill and our events co-ordinator, Naomi Crewe, who drove to Preston to collect the scroll on Friday and was up erecting gazebos at 6 a.m.  They were helped by our allotments officer, Mark Ruddy and our Finance Officer from Tax Assist, Katie Dalton.”

14222091_1257540700945938_5208026941691034724_nThe Parade, which featured Steven wearing his Rio gold medal, the new Transdev Steven Burke Bus and Colne’s Gala Queen, Phoebe Lord, drew the crowds.  After progressing up Albert Road, round Craddock Road and back down Market Street to the Town Hall, it arrived back at the Town Hall to be anteeted by Cllr. Cockburn-Price, Pendle Mayor, Cllr Rosemary Carroll and Pendle MP, Andrew Stephenson.

2BR presenter, Helen Wakefield, then hosted the ceremony on a stage outside the front of the Town Hall, which began with the councillors’ citation being read out.  The Mayor then made a speech praising Steven’s achievements.  Steven’s immediate family and girlfriend joined him on the stage and spoke about how nerve wracking watching the race in Rio had been for them.  Steven also gave his perspective, describing the celebrations after the victory.

Colne Town Council’s Clerk, Colin Hill, commented: “I’d like to thank Nissan Chorley for not only carrying Steven in their black X-Trail whose stunning gold lettering celebrated Steven’s success, but also for helping our Gala Queen enjoy her day so much.  Then, of course, there is Transdev, with their fabulous tribute to Steven – “The Steven Burke Bus – The Colne Cyclone”. I’d also like to offer a big thanks to our other local supporters on the day, 2BR, cottages.com, Fort Vale Engineering, The Crown Hotel, Unique Clean, Pendle Movie Makers, Poppy Red, Tax Assist and last, but not least, Cycle Sport Pendle for their Honour Guard in the Parade.  So many cyclists of all ages made it a spectacular celebration of cycling in Colne.”

Local photographer, Karen Clark, took official portraits on the grand staircase of the Town Hall while Steven and his family enjoyed a Civic Reception with town councillors during the afternoon.


The next Colne Town Council event is on 29th October and will have a Hallowe’en theme.  On 12th November, there will be an exhibition on the two Colne Commemorates Events before the town gathers for Remembrance at the War Memorial the following day.  The Christmas Event and Food Festival is to be staged on 26th November.

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