County's oldest waitress presented with community award in Dursley

Gazette Series: Gwendoline pours another cup of tea Gwendoline pours another cup of tea

A 92-YEAR-OLD, thought to be the oldest waitress in Gloucestershire and possibly even in the whole country, has been given an award for her work in the community.

Gwendoline Chamberlain was awarded the Leslie D Gale award for service to the Dursley community at a ceremony last night, along with Bob Littleford, founding director of Kingshill House, and former deputy mayor Daryl Matthews.

Mr Matthews was given the award posthumously after dying in a swimming accident last year at the age of 45.

Gwendoline, of Cam, has been pouring tea for members of the Dursley Day Centre since it opened in the early 1960s.

Even at the age of 92 she still turns up every week to do her shift and her dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed.

But Gwendoline doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. "I don’t really know why I have won this award, I am just doing my job as I have always done," she said on finding out she had won.

"I enjoy working at the day centre. After my husband died it was a lifeline to me. I have lots of friends at the centre and I can’t imagine not working here."

Bob Littleford, of Dursley, was given the award for his work at Kingshill House, as well as his dedication to a project to create a cycle trail between Cam and Dursley.

He was instrumental in re-opening Kingshill House and restoring the building so it could be used as a community facility.

The house is now a thriving arts centre that is used seven days a week by a whole range of groups and arts clubs.

Mr Littleford said: "I was very shocked when I heard I was being awarded the prize and I am very pleased to be able to accept it. It is good to see that Kingshill House is appreciated for all the work it does in Dursley."

Dursley Town Council, which hands out the award each year, also decided to make a posthumous award for the late Daryl Matthews, who served as the town’s deputy mayor until his death last July.

The award recognised his passion for working with the community and the time he dedicated to being a councillor.

Daryl’s wife Victoria was at the ceremony, held at Kingshill House yesterday evening, to pick up the award.

Mayor of Dursley Jane Ball said: "Daryl thoroughly deserved the award. He was such an asset to the town council and he is missed terribly.

"He did so much work in the community and even today we are finishing projects that Daryl started."

Cllr Ball added: "This year I think we have given the award to three very deserving people and it is nice to share the award between people who have contributed to the community in very different ways."

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