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Terry Clements becomes Mayor of St Edmundsbury as Trident submarine HMS Vengeance given freedom of borough

PUBLISHED: 21:53 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 21:53 18 May 2017

The civic procession through town from the Moyse's Hall Museum to the Apex. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The civic procession through town from the Moyse's Hall Museum to the Apex. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

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The crew of a Trident submarine have been granted the right to march through the borough of St Edmundsbury.

New Mayor of St Edmundsbury Terry Clements makes his acceptance speech. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTNew Mayor of St Edmundsbury Terry Clements makes his acceptance speech. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

HMS Vengeance, one of four submarines which form the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent, has become the first Royal Navy (RN) squadron to given the Freedom of St Edmundsbury Borough, the highest honour that can be bestowed by the council.

The submariners, who are based out of HM Naval Base Clyde, Scotland, were awarded the honour at a special council meeting alongside the St Edmund Sea Cadet Corps.

Councillors raise their hands to approve the elections at the annual meeting and mayor making ceremony in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTCouncillors raise their hands to approve the elections at the annual meeting and mayor making ceremony in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The ceremony, which began after a procession from Moyse’s Hall Museum to The Apex, took place before the annual Mayor Making Ceremony.

After receiving the honour from outgoing mayor Julia Wakelam, HMS Vengeance Commander Neil Lamont said: “On behalf of HMS Vengeance it is a great honour to be here today to receive the freedom of the borough of St Edmundsbury.

The choir and musicians from the King Edward VI School provide a musical background at the mayor making ceremony at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThe choir and musicians from the King Edward VI School provide a musical background at the mayor making ceremony at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

“The affiliation between the borough and the boat go back nearly 17 years, when HMS Vengeance was launched as the fourth Trident missile submarine.

“Over those years many submariners have had the opportunity to visit the borough and all have had the pleasure to experience the warm hospitality Bury St Edmunds has to offer.”

The now former mayor Julia Wakelam presents the Honorary Freedom of the Borough to Cdr Neil Lamont RN of HMS Vengeance. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThe now former mayor Julia Wakelam presents the Honorary Freedom of the Borough to Cdr Neil Lamont RN of HMS Vengeance. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Commanding officer Lieutenant Davies, of the Bury Sea Cadets, said: “It is an honour for me to stand here and receive the freedom of the borough.”

He told how the freedom of the borough for the cadets was brought about by former councillor Tim Marks, who died last year.

Cdr Neil Lamont RN of HMS Vengeance. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTCdr Neil Lamont RN of HMS Vengeance. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

“I am sure you can imagine my surprise and excitement when Tim said he wanted to put forward the cadets for the freedom of the borough,” he added. “Tim was a man of his word and unit was nominated. Not long after the nomination Tim passed away.”

The nomination was picked up by Mr Marks’ widow, councillor Margaret Marks.

Distinguished guests in the audience at the annual meeting and mayor making ceremony held at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTDistinguished guests in the audience at the annual meeting and mayor making ceremony held at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The borough council does not confer the freedom of the borough on a regular basis, with 14 previous recipients since 1974.

Following the special meeting, full council met to appoint the new Mayor of St Edmundsbury Terry Clements. Long serving councillor Mr Clements was nominated by Paul Hopfensperger, his son-in-law.

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