TWO of Kirkbymoorside's community stalwarts have been honoured by being named the town's Cirtizens of the Year.
Sarah Woodward is renown for her work with scores of members of the legendry Kirkbymoorside Brass Band, and Ted Clark is revered as long serving groundsman at the highly-acclaimed sportsfield.
Sarah, who is a teaching assistant at Kirkbymoorside Community Primary School,is deputy master of the senior band and bandmaster of the junior band - two of the five bands of Kirkbymoorside Brass Band which dates back to the Battle of Waterloo!
A soprano cornet player, she has been a member of the senior band for 26 years, joining it from the Swinton Band where she started her playing career.
Kirkbymoorside's senior band has in the past played in competitions alongside such high-flying bands as the Brighouse and Rastrick and Grimethorpe Colliery. For Sarah the band is very much a family affair, with her husband Philip and three children, Alex, Jade and Hannah all playing.
With Jeanette Kendall and Ben Smailes, Sarah gives lessons to new members, some as young as six. In total the bands have some 100 players, says Sarah, the oldest being in their 70's. "It's a great atmosphere. There is so much enthusiasm and we get so much support from the Kirkbymoorside community and businesses."
Success at regional national level has been achieved many times for the bands, and the senior band is currently preparing for the National Finals of the Brass Band Championship at Cheltenham in September and has also been selected to be involved in a special work with Grassington Junior Band for the big Tour de France Grand depart in July.
And when she's not training her bands at their headquarters at Manor Vale, Sarah is teaching youngsters at the school to play recorders and trains the school choir.
"I'm really flattered to have been given the award - because it's also a great accolade for our bands and the many people who play in them," said Sarah.
Ted was persuaded to postpone his planned retirement as groundsman because he was so invaluable to the cricket and football clubs who play on the impressive sportsfield.
In his early days as a sportsman, Ted played cricket for Wombleton, and worked on local farms at Wombleton Grange and Lowna Farm, Gillamoor. As well as being groundsman, Ted is also a scorer for Kirkbymoorside and Harome teams. "Sports really thrives in Kirkbymoorside," said Ted. "We have two cricket and two football teams, as well as a splendid bowls club and ground". Also in the ground alongside the A170 road, is a popular squash and badminton court.
Presenting the awards to Sarah and Ted, Kirkbymoorside's Town Mayor, Coun Chris Dowie, said: The town council has presented an award to people who have made a significant contribution to the community. This year I am deliughted to present two awards!"
She praised sarah for her long service in training and teaching young musicians. "She has a real talent for teaching, and takes every opportunity to promote music in the town. She values the young people she teaches, seeing them not just as future band members, but also as people whose lives are enriched by being able to play an instrument."
Of Ted, Coun Dowie said: "He is responsible for the upkeep of the facilities at the sportsfield and keeps it in great condition. The cricket and football clubs speak very highly of him. He was due to retire last year but everyone was delighted when he decided to continue. He is to be found the sportsfield at least three times a day keeping everything in trim. His work is very much appreciated by so many people."