Freedom of the borough for Surrey Comet's June Sampson

Surrey Comet: Freedom of the borough for Surrey Comet's June Sampson Freedom of the borough for Surrey Comet's June Sampson

June Sampson, the Surrey Comet's long-serving features editor, is set to be made an Honorary Freeman of Kingston - the highest honour the borough can bestow.

Only four people have received the honour since 1965 - all men. 

Councillors will be asked on Thursday to grant the 80-year-old freedom of the borough for her work recording, documenting and reporting Kingston's history.

The award is given to "a person of distinction who, in the opinion of the council, has rendered eminent services to the Royal Borough".

She would also receive an illuminated scroll as part of the honour.

June, whose married name is Tims, has worked for the Surrey Comet  for 40 years.

She began at the Bristol Evening World, where she met her husband Hilton Tims, who also went onto work at the Comet and Charles Wilson, who went on to edit the Times.

June has championed the town and written about almost every aspect of life during her time at the Comet and is also the author of numerous books including The Story of Kingston.

She now writes a column for the paper with articles at surreycomet.co.uk/junesampson

Plans were in place before her accident outside Kingston Hospital on November 26, which have left her recoveing in hospital.

Grace McElwee, Kingston Council’s library and heritage service strategic manager, said: “Without June Sampson’s articles, books, knowledge and insight our understanding of Kingston’s past would certainly be poorer.

"June has always strived to preserve and promote the best of Kingston and is considered to be a worthy recipient of this honour."

Surrey Comet editor David Rankin said: "This is a fantastic honour for an incredibly special woman, who has been a part of the fabric in Kingston for such a long time.

"June is battling to overcome the injuries that befell her. She and Hilton and the rest of the family have been incredibly touched by the support and well wishes they have had.

"The fact this was all in motion before June’s accident is testament to the work she has done within the borough she loves so much.

"While I’m hugely biased, of course, I cannot think of a more deserving person."

The status was last conferred in 2009 on the 256 (City of London) Field Hospital Volunteers army regiment.

Other recipients of the freedom of the borough include The Right Hon. John (Lord) Boyd Carpenter in 1970, Sir Nigel Fisher, in 1983, Dr Robert Smith CBE and David Jacobs CBE, DL both in 1996.

What do you think? Email letters@surreycomet.co.uk

Comments (3)

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12:55pm Mon 24 Feb 14

kelliep1970 says...

Such a deserving recipient :-) xx many many congratulations June xx
Such a deserving recipient :-) xx many many congratulations June xx kelliep1970
  • Score: 2

8:48pm Mon 24 Feb 14

chramies says...

Such a well deserved honour .Glad to hear the lady is recovering well from her terrible accident.
Such a well deserved honour .Glad to hear the lady is recovering well from her terrible accident. chramies
  • Score: 2

9:08pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Mr Chipps says...

Superb appointment - a gracious Lady who has used her superb journalistic skills to record and promote Kingston's heritage in the face of the barbarian indifference and active philistine policies of RBK that has swept away so much of the Royal Borough's history. Well deserved and long overdue.
Superb appointment - a gracious Lady who has used her superb journalistic skills to record and promote Kingston's heritage in the face of the barbarian indifference and active philistine policies of RBK that has swept away so much of the Royal Borough's history. Well deserved and long overdue. Mr Chipps
  • Score: 1

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