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City honour for former news group chairman

Sir Timothy Colman, former chairman of the Eastern Counties Newspaper Group, has been made an honorary freeman of Norwich.

The honour was officially bestowed during a ceremony at Norwich City Hall, in recognition of his contribution to the lives of the people of Norwich and the promotion of the city and county, both nationally and worldwide.

Sir Timothy was chairman of ECNG, now Archant, until 1996. The group publishes the East Anglian Daily Times, Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and Ipswich Evening Star, along with more than 80 weekly titles.

Until his retirement earlier this year he had also been the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, and together with his wife Lady Mary Colman had represented the city and county at functions and royal visits since 1978.

Presenting Sir Timothy with a scroll of honour, the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Joyce Divers, said the award was a fitting way to pay tribute to his role in the city.

And after receiving the award, watched by family, friends and colleagues, Sir Timothy said he was “humbled” by such recognition.

He said: “I hope that an ordinary man would be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by such words — because I am a very ordinary man.

“There are many hundreds who have worked tirelessly and often without reward for this city, for this council and for a host or organisations maintaining the prosperity, ethos and charm of the city of Norwich.

“In accepting this award my honour is to identify with them.”

The ceremony was followed by a champagne buffet, with food specially chosen using Norfolk produce, including sausages from Bawdeswell, grainy Colman’s mustard dip and Cromer crab.

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