Quiet Austerlands hero honoured with Above and Beyond Award

AN AUSTERLANDS man who has quietly championed local traditions over the years has been recognised with a prestigious community award.

David Needham with Joan Sykes, chair of Scouthead and Austerlands Community Group

David Needham, a former chair of Saddleworth Parish Council, was presented with the Above and Beyond accolade by Joan Sykes, chair of Scouthead and Austerlands Community Group.

David has been a resident of Austerlands for more than 40 years and has been involved with various committees over  the years.

The award citation read: “He is a great believer in local traditions throughout Saddleworth and believes in the importance of keeping them alive.”

In 1979 David was elected to the Saddleworth Parish Council, representing Higher Springhead and he became chairman six years later.

“In 1985 he launched the Saddleworth Olympics which has now become an annual event and a tradition itself,” added the citation.

“The annual Band Contest is a tradition David has been very keen to promote and keep alive. He is a very pro-active member of the committee and prepares the magazine.

“In 2014 he became the Mayor of Austerlands and proudly led the first band, accompanied by his young granddaughter, from The Three Crowns along Huddersfield to Dawsons Field.

“He oversees the maintenance of Dawsons Field, liaising with United Utilities concerning the work they carry out on the site.”

The citation added: “As if this was not enough, he has many strings to his bow – local historian and keen photographer, with many pieces of his work featuring in local magazines.”

The Above and Beyond Award was presented at the Scouthead Band Contest award ceremony held at Old Original, Scouthead.

David said: “I am very humbled to have been chosen to receive it.”

The Above and Beyond Awards are presented to Saddleworth residents and chosen by their local community groups.

A spokesman for the award scheme said: “Mr Needham fits all the scheme’s attributes and is very worthy winner.”

Other winners of the Above and Beyond Awards 2017 will each be covered in the Saddleworth Independent.

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