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Yarmouth honours former brewer

PUBLISHED: 10:49 01 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:28 03 July 2010

A MAN who has given much of his life to Great Yarmouth was honoured this week with the Honorary Freedom of the Borough.

The former head brewer and director of the town's much-acclaimed Lacon's Brewery, Michael G Falcon - already the lifetime High Steward of Yarmouth - has joined a line of more than 50 illustrious predecessors, including Lord Nelson and William Pitt the Elder.

A MAN who has given much of his life to Great Yarmouth was honoured this week with the Honorary Freedom of the Borough.

The former head brewer and director of the town's much-acclaimed Lacon's Brewery, Michael G Falcon - already the lifetime High Steward of Yarmouth - has joined a line of more than 50 illustrious predecessors, including Lord Nelson and William Pitt the Elder.

The 81-year-old was chosen for the honour in recognition of his role in promoting the town for the last 25 years as high steward - but also earlier in his role at Lacons, as a long-time member of St Nicholas' Church Preservation Trust and as a supporter of Caister Lifeboat.

Mr Falcon joined Lacon's in 1952 and remained until 1968. He also served as a locals magistrate from 1967 to 1988.

In proposing the motion in the Town Hall's council chamber, Cllr Barry Coleman paid tribute to his work for Yarmouth. He also revealed Mr Falcon was a long-time member of the St John Ambulance and was a Commander of the Order. He was also bestowed with the CBE.

“A great deal of his time has been spent helping others and many charities,” said Mr Coleman, “and it is fitting this honour coincides with the opening of EastPort, the most important development for this borough for well over a century.”

He said the bestowing of the Freedom award was “for his services to the community, by the elected representatives.”

In replying, Mr Falcon drew laughter when he revealed as a magistrate he had sat in the same seat in the council chamber “listening to people's misdeeds,” and then added he had sat in the same seat in 1985 for the installation as High Steward and “a life sentence followed, but a sentence which I have welcomed.”

He spoke about the many changes to Yarmouth over the years from the transformation of South Quay to the Lydia Eva vessel, to the Time and Tide Museum, to the Racecourse, and the Outer Harbour. He also recalled watching the progress of the rebuilding of St Nicholas' Church after it was devastated by bombing during the second world war.

He drew more laughter when he said he and his wife April had a shared interest in their family, Great Yarmouth and fishing.

Lord Lieutenant Richard Jewson added his congratulations to Mr Falcon.

Honorary freedoms were first granted in the 1208 and in the town hall there is a plaque with more than 50 names of people given the honour since 1757. Former Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder was given the title in 1757 and in 1800 Lord Nelson received it.

Several of the more recent holders also attended the ceremony.


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