Kirk Michael woman becomes Durham’s oldest freeman



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A 92-year-old Kirk Michael resident has become Britain’s oldest ever new freeman.

Connie Hotchkiss, who was born in Durham, was admitted to the City of Durham Freeman following a historic ceremony at Durham Town Hall.

For most of her life Mrs Hotchkiss has been prevented from following her father into membership of the ancient order, as it was an exclusively male organisation.

In 2012 the 700-year-old organisation relented to allow Durham-trained female apprentices and female relatives of existing freemen to join.

Mrs Hotchkiss received the honour from chairman of the wardens of the guilds of the City of Durham Freemen, John Heslop, and Deputy Mayor of Durham, Jan Blakey.

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