A WELL-KNOWN historian and author has been recognised by a town council with its highest possible honour.

Janet Gyford was granted The Freedom of Witham following a unanimous vote by the town's councillors.

She is only the second Witham resident to ever be presented with the award and was recognised at a mayoral reception.

Mayor Tom Pleasance said: "Many local citizens will recognise Janet Gyford as our highly respected local historian, author and principle historical events fact-checker.

"Her contribution to our community has been truly invaluable which has led to the council awarding the highest possible honour that is within our powers."

Town Clerk Mark Squire said: "When any historical information on any aspect of Witham is required, I always point in the direction of Janet – all roads lead to Rome."

She has contributed to many projects conducted by the town council including helping with the World War One centenary commemorations.

She has also written a number of books on the history of Witham which can be bought from the town's information centre.