Winifred’s medal honour

Winifred McLoughlin, 90 years old, has had a community notice board on Sagar Street, Castleford, dedicated to her, for her services to the community.'p6127a134'Picture by Andrew Bellis.
Winifred McLoughlin, 90 years old, has had a community notice board on Sagar Street, Castleford, dedicated to her, for her services to the community.'p6127a134'Picture by Andrew Bellis.
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Castleford’s ‘first lady ’– former councillor Winifred McLoughlin – has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Mrs McLoughlin, also a former mayor of Castleford, received the prestigious award for her services to the community of Glass Houghton.

Mrs McLoughlin, 91, served the ward from 1955 to 2000 and was given freeman status in 2001.

She continues to run a luncheon club and social afternoon at Glass Houghton Healthy Living Centre two days a week and is president of the Castleford Heritage Trust.

She said: “I am very proud but whatever I have done for Glass Houhgton I have not done it for a medal.

“I served 45 years as a councillor and have lots of happy memories because I like helping other people.”

Alison Drake, chairman of Caslteford Heritage Trust, described Mrs McLoughlin as the “first lady of Castleford” for her continuous support for the community.

In 2011 the trust unveiled a plaque in the town centre in her honour.

Mrs Drake said: “Winnie is a very special Castleford lady who is very dear to the community.

“The award could not be more deserved. All her adult life has been devoted to the community.”

Mrs McLoughlin has been president of the trust for 13 years and is still actively involved with the group.

Mrs Drake said: “We are all delighted for Winnie. We still turn to her for advice and guidance and she is always there.

“We couldn’t be more pleased.”

Mrs McLoughlin first got involved in politics after Labour cabinet member and feminist Margaret Bondfield gave a talk in Castleford.

She said: “Margaret said that more women should be involved in politics and it all started from there really.”

Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper said: “This is a richly deserved honour. Winnie has been an inspiration to women and men across the Five Towns for over half a century.

“She was one of the first women in the coalfields to be elected as a councillor - challenging the idea that only men could represent their communities.”

Tina Brown, former manager of Remploy in Pontefract, was awarded an MBE in the birthday honours for services to disabled people.