THERE was a special accolade at the latest Pride in Ilfracombe Awards as the town paid tribute to dance teacher Betty Blackmore. The town council s ongoing initiative to honour the community s unsung heroes was especially poignant on Friday as almost 20 m

THERE was a special accolade at the latest Pride in Ilfracombe Awards as the town paid tribute to dance teacher Betty Blackmore.The town council's ongoing initiative to honour the community's unsung heroes was especially poignant on Friday as almost 20 members of Betty's family, from her children to great grandchildren, gathered to collect her posthumous Lifetime Service Award.Also on hand to receive awards were Phyllis Martin, for her dedicated length of service to the St John Ambulance, Ann Doody for services to Tourism and Kim Fuller plus Mandy Ellis, jointly receiving the Voluntary Service award. Betty Blackmore, who passed away just before Christmas, introduced hundreds of youngsters to the joy of dance through the Betty Blackmore School of Dance, while raising tens of thousands for charity through local shows.Her Lifetime Service to the Community Award was collected by grandson Mark Weeks, who said the family was proud to receive her award."Nan gave a huge amount to the town and surrounding areas," he said."This means a lot to all of us, as she has been recognised for her commitment to all the local charities and the young people of the town who danced with her over the years."Phyllis Martin's long service award recognised her countless hours of hard work on behalf of St John Ambulance alongside its volunteers.Mrs Martin said she was very proud to receive it, but added: "I could not have done any of those things without the wonderful people I have worked with."Kim Fuller and Mandy Ellis have also worked hard to clean up their road - as Street Representatives and Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators they and residents have tackled rubbish, graffiti, eyesores and other issues to make Victoria Road a nicer place in which to live."We couldn't have done it without the help and support from our neighbours, PCSO Katie Simpson and Helen Frisby of Transform," said Kim.Ilfracombe hotelier Ann Doody chaired the Tourism Association for many years, organised the annual Hotel and Catering Exhibition and continues to arrange a full programme of bands on the sea front each summer. "Ann has always fought for Ilfracombe to be the resort it should be," said Cllr Philip Webb. "She's put a great deal of time and effort into the town, attracting huge numbers of tourists and that has helped all our local businesses."The Mayor, Councillor John Swan, said the award winners just typified the many people who worked tirelessly on behalf of the town. He urged anyone who wanted to nominate an unsung hero or heroine for an award to contact the town council offices on (01271) 855317.