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Community honours its unsung heroes; Popular characters get medals.

FIVE unsung heroes of community life in Nuneaton and Bedworth have been recognised for their stalwart services to the borough.

They include Frank Parsons, the former prisoner-of-war who is one of the driving forces behind Bedworth's annual Armistice Day parade, and Jonah Moore, Nuneaton's "whistling milkman", who has helped to raise more than pounds 200,000 for charity.

They have been presented with specially-commissioned bronze medallions by borough mayor Cllr Diana Hawkes to honour their services to the community.

Other awards have gone to a Bedworth man for his contribution to disabled and special needs children in the borough, and a couple who are being honoured for their efforts in developing the arts in the borough.

Mr Parsons, aged 78, of Chamberlaine Street, Bedworth, has been organising the Armistice Day parade, one of the borough's most cherished annual traditions, for more than a decade.

The retired Royal Marines Commando said: "I am very honoured to have received this award, but the people of Nuneaton and Bedworth who regularly support the event really deserve it."

The borough council citation says: "His efforts and dedication have brought much awareness on the unique continuity of the parade."

Jonah Moore's award caps half-a-century of fund-raising by one of Nuneaton's most colourful characters who is known locally as "The Whistling Milkman."

Mr Moore, 70, of Ansley Road, appeared on television and radio - and twice toured the world on board the Canberra - with his whistling act during the 50s, 60s and 70s.

He worked as a milkman with a horse and cart in Camp Hill and saved three lives on his rounds in the 1950s - breaking down a door when he smelled gas to rescue a couple, and then driving a woman to hospital after he found her slumped on a lawn suffering from hypothermia.

He played soccer for Nuneaton Borough, ran for Warwickshire, was a finalist in a News of the World darts championship and trained with Randolph Turpin when he was preparing for the World Middleweight title fight against Sugar Ray Robinson in 1950.

Over a 50-year period, he helped raise an estimated pounds 200,000 for charity while entertaining in working men's clubs, old people's homes and with the Red Cross.

Celia Watson, aged 64, and her 68-year-old husband, Mike, who live in Gallagher Road, Bedworth, have been honoured for their contribution to the development of the arts in the borough.

They have been performers, directors, prop-makers and set-builders, and were prime movers in the setting up and development of Bedworth Arts Centre.

A bronze medallion was also presented to Alan Hall, aged 62, of Black Bank, Bedworth, who set up a multi-disabled swimming group at Bedworth Baths and also had close links with the Riding for the Disabled project at Galley Common.

"His contribution to special needs projects has lasted over 25 years," says his citation.

The awards, presented at the Town Hall, are part of the borough's millennium celebrations and are presented to people who have been nominated by a friend or organisation. Nominations are then considered by a panel.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 13, 2000
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