Actress Julie Goodyear MBE was given the Freedom of the Borough of Rochdale at a packed ceremony at the borough’s famous town hall last week

The Heywood star was honoured for her contribution to the arts and entertainment, and for her years of dedicated charity work.

Friends and family joined civic dignitaries and councillors to celebrate her achievements and her lifelong love of her home town. After receiving the official Freedom of the Borough scroll she was given a rapturous standing ovation that echoed long around the council chamber.

Paying tribute to Julie, council leader Richard Farnell said: “Julie Goodyear is one of the most famous faces from British television and is very well-known to all of us. She is one of the best-known and best-loved characters from Coronation Street and one of – if not the – strongest female lead from a show that is famous for its fiery women. Who can say that they haven’t seen Julie holding court in the Rovers Return? In the days when television brought that nation together, when millions of people huddled round their small sets to watch the same programmes, she was one of its brightest stars.”

Councillor Ashley Dearnley, leader of the Conservative group, said: “I am delighted to support Julie Goodyear MBE for Freedom of the Borough. She has always showed great passion and enthusiasm for the borough. She has always showed compassion to people in various circumstances and been a real support to people through her charity work and her gritty, northern role in Coronation Street. I am delighted to second the motion that sees Julie given Freedom of the Borough she cares so much about.”

The Rovers Return landlady joins actor, singer and comedian Gracie Fields; former Heywood and Royton MP and cabinet minister Lord Joel Barnett; Rochdale AFC, and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers as recipients of the Freedom of the Borough of Rochdale


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