An 80 year-old man has been named Townsperson of the Year, following more than a decade of voluntary work.

Lawrence Lewis of Allnutts Road, Epping, was nominated by the Horticultural Society for Epping Town Council’s award, who said that without him, they would not be around today.

Chair of the club, Christine Burgess said that they nominated Lawrence as they believe that he has made an invaluable contribution to the society.

She said: “The committee asked me to nominate him because we fell that he has done so much, for so many years and he is always willing to help anybody.

“I do feel quite proud to be taking over his office.”

“He deserves the recognition as without his work then we may not be here today.”

“In 1983 Lawrence, with his wife's support, saved the society from near collapse and his tireless work for the society has brought it to its present size and strength.”

At the ceremony, on Friday 15, Mayor Jon Whitehouse presented the award to Mr Lewis, who said that he was shocked to have won.

He said: “I was very surprised. There were so many brilliant volunteers.

“When we joined it was an allotment and gardening association, my wife was chair for 15 years and I was for a short time afterwards.”

Mr Lewis still runs the Society’s Meadow Road trading hut, where he sells gardening requisites and offers advice on all things green, each Sunday morning.

He said: “I have lived in Epping for 54 years and been involved with the society for many years.

“I am at the trading hut every Sunday to give people advice on horticultural subjects.”