Emergency services who responded to the devastating fire and explosions at a wood flour mill in Bosley, Cheshire in July received the ‘Pride of Cheshire’ award at a glittering ‘Local Heroes’ night hosted by Silk FM and Cheshire East Council.
All three services, North West Ambulance Service, Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue took to the stage at The Tytherington Golf Club and Spa to receive their awards as the Mayor of Cheshire East, Cllr Hilda Gaddum announced the award winners, immediately prompting a standing ovation.
The audience of over 130 people were reminded of the horrifying events on July 17, when two explosions destroyed much of the mill causing a huge fire, which raged for several days.
Four people died in the incident and ambulance crews airlifted one person to hospital in Birmingham and ferried two others to hospitals in Whiston and Stoke.
Two other awards went to people and businesses affected by the fire.
Sylvia Jenkinson received the ‘Neighbour of the Year’ award for starting the Bosley fund, which now exceeds well over £100,000, and the two village pubs, the Harrington Arms and the Queens Arms were recognised for opening their doors to the community, emergency services and media for several weeks following the fire at all times of the day.
Chief Inspector Robert Dickinson, who accepted the award on behalf of Cheshire Police said afterwards:
“These were extremely challenging circumstances for all the emergency services involved and I have nothing but praise for my team and everyone involved in the fire fighting and search and rescue operation.
“The teamwork extends beyond the emergency service workers to the people of Bosley who were present on the day and in those days that followed – their support and cooperation; whether providing a place to conduct briefings, offering food and drink, or just offering a kind word to the officers was invaluable.
“It’s often said we are at our best in a crisis and having a well-rehearsed emergency response plan, which was effective and efficient, gave a structure to one of the most dynamic incidents I have been involved in since joining the police.
“This was a dreadful tragedy in which four people lost their lives and we must remember those individuals and their families.”
Mayor, Councillor Hilda Gaddum, said: “It was a very emotional event, with some very moving stories.
“We are all grateful to the emergency services for their hard work, dedication and courage during the Bosley fire and explosions and for their continued commitment in the weeks that followed.
“And throughout this dreadful episode, they never failed to kind, courteous and sensitive to the community and all those affected.”
The event was the 18th annual Local Hero awards and a raffle held during the evening, raised over £400 for the Bosley appeal fund.
Award winners were as follows:
Young Achiever, Sophie Brookbanks (Wilmslow); Champion Child, Luke Chapman (Stockport); Act of Courage, Elizabeth Corfield (Congleton); Sports Person of the Year, Lucy Herbert (Macclesfield); Neighbour of the Year, Sylvia Jenkinson (Bosley); Parent/Guardian of the Year, Ann Price (Winsford); Teacher of the Year, Lauren Stout; Social Enterprise, Danny Towns (Macclesfield); Carer of the Year, Sandra Wardle (Macclesfield); Volunteer of the Year, Louise Williamson (Macclesfield); Business of the Year, Harrington Arms and Queens Arms (Bosley); Pride of Cheshire Award, Emergency Services of Cheshire.
To view photographs from the event visit the Cheshire East Council Flicker Page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheshireeastcouncil/
The event was co-hosted by Silk 103.9’s Drive presenter Dane Swindells and Cheshire East Council’s Trevor Green (pictured).