Seaford Town Council wishes to recognise the efforts of members of the community who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the well-being of Seaford.
The first Honorary Freedom of the Town awards under Seaford Town Council were decided in May 2012 and were officially conferred on 30th September 2012 to Laurie Holland and the late Don Mabey MBE.
Laurie Holland has a long-standing history of service to the town of Seaford. Initially through his work in the Treasurer’s Department culminating as Treasurer to Seaford Urban District Council and Assistant Treasurer to Lewes District Council before his retirement. He later served as a councillor on both Lewes District Council and Seaford Town Council. Laurie is also very well known for his voluntary work in the town. He is President of both Seaford Lifeguards and Seaford Museum & Heritage Society. He has for many years undertaken key roles with Seaford Baptist Church, Sussex Table Tennis Association and is a keen member of Seaford Stamp Club amongst other things. Laurie is often described as “Mr Seaford”.
Don Mabey moved to Seaford in 1985 from Surrey. Don was a keen fundraiser for RAFA Charities, having raised tens of thousands of pounds over the years and was President of the Seahaven RAFA, a position he has held for many years. Anyone with any association to military events knew Don. He was a founder member and Honorary President of the Royal Society of St George Seahaven Branch, another charitable organisation in which Don and others raised money to support local good causes. In his spare time Don enjoyed his golfing and was a regular player and President of Seaford Head Golf Club. Don was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours list in 2013. Sadly in December 2013, at the age of 94 years old Don passed away.
The First Freedom of the Town Ceremony for Seaford Town Council took place at St Leonard’s Church, Seaford at the invitation of the Past Mayor of Seaford, Councillor Linda Wallraven. Following the service a short parade took place in Broad Street and High Street. Members of the public lined the streets to witness the celebration of this historic event.
Picture: (L to R) Laurie Holland, Past Mayor of Seaford Councillor Linda Wallraven and Don Mabey MBE.
Seaford Town Council was pleased to announce at a Town Council meeting in February 2019 that Mr Keith Blackburn had been awarded Freedom of the Town.
By invitation of the 2019-20 Mayor of Seaford, Cllr Nazish Adil, a Service was held on Saturday 23rd November at St Leonard’s Church to honour and present to Mr Blackburn, a Freedom of the Town Medal and Scroll.
The Ceremony was a celebration of his dedication and service to the town. The Service was led by the Mayor’s Chaplain, Rev’d Arwen Folkes and Rev’d Paul Owen.Invited guests who attended, included the Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex, Mrs Juliet Smith JP; The High Sheriff of East Sussex, Mrs Violet Hancock and her husband Mr Tim Hancock; the Sergeant at Mace, Mr Peter White; Honorary Freeman of the Town ,Mr Laurie Holland ; Young Mayor James Jenkins; Deputy Young Mayor Chanel Pritchard; The Town Clerk, James Corrigan, past Mayor’s, councillors, colleagues and friends and family.
The Town Council awards the honour of Freedom of the Town to a person in recognition of the efforts of members of the community who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the well-being of Seaford. The Town Council only does this in special circumstances, that meet the criteria within its adopted policy, by awarding to an individual the title of Honorary Freeman/Freewoman of Seaford. This honour is awarded only on rare and exceptional occasion.
Keith joins this esteemed group of people who include; current Freeman of the Town, Mr. Laurie Holland, the late Don Mabey MBE, who were both awarded in 2012; the 210 (Sussex) Field Squadron RE (TA) awarded in 1959; The Duke of Richmond and the Rt Hon William Pitt (The Younger) in 1789.
Keith has dedicated hundreds of hours of voluntary time to helping make Seaford a greener and more pleasant town to live in. He is Chairman of the Tree Wardens, which has included ‘hands on’ tree planting of more than 1400 trees, interreacting with businesses and community groups, individuals and Seaford Town Council, fundraising and organising and participating in public meetings.
He was a key catalyst in developing, commissioning and handing over control of the much loved Shoal Bench near Splash Point. Keith has also been the Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering group, which aims to protect greenfield sites and decide where new housing can be built – this has ensured that brownfield sites have been identified. It will also ensure that Seaford receives 10% more Community Interest Levy (CIL) funding which is worth tens of thousands of pounds to the Town.
He is also Chair of the Natural History Society, and a Board Member of Impact Seaford.
Keith is quoted as saying – “It is a great honour to be a Freeman of Seaford, especially as it is a recognition of the value of volunteers working closely on projects with the Town Council. A lot can be achieved by partnership working” firstname.lastname@example.org would welcome being contacted by volunteers with secretarial, IT, project management, financial or practical skills to help with project to made Seaford an even better place to live, work and relax.
Photo above courtesy of, and thanks to Chris Conil: Mr Keith Blackburn being presented with the Freedom of the Town Scroll by the 2019-20 Mayor of Seaford, Cllr Nazish Adil