MBE for ‘pillar of Ilfracombe community’

Joseph Bulmer

MORE than 50 years of work for the community of her native Ilfracombe has been recognised with the award of the MBE to 89-year-old Phyllis Martyn in the New Year Honours list.

Mrs Martyn is president of Ilfracombe St John Ambulance unit, with which she has served for 55 years. She was instrumental in setting up the town’s annual carnival in the 1950s and has since continued to play her part in running it as a local attraction and fund raiser for St John.

Among countless hours of work for her local community she is also well known for her many coffee mornings, organised for a wide range of good causes, and her help in transporting people to and from the health centre and hospital.

Clare Mordan, Ilfracombe St John Adult Divisional Superintendent, told the Gazette: “Phyllis is our president and also our mother and our grandmother. She is a pillar of the community who never takes recognition. She is absolutely brilliant and deserves this honour. Without her we would not be where we are today.”

Mrs Martyn said: “I am more than honoured by this award, but I don’t think I really deserve it. None of what I have done could have been done without the backing of so many people. I feel this honour is due to all my friends and helpmates over the years. I am Ilfracombe born and bred and the town means a lot to me. I hope this will help to raise its profile.”