The title of Honorary Alderwomen has been bestowed on two of Bolton's best known and most admired women.

Former councillors Madeline Murray, of Great Lever and Elaine Sherrington of Tonge with the Haulgh were honoured at a full meeting of Bolton Council.

In a series of emotive speeches, Cllr Linda Thomas paid tribute to her friend and colleague Mrs Murray, in particular her work over many years working with Bolton’s children.

Cllr Thomas said: “Madeline was always connected to departments connected to people’s services because Madeline was a people person who was greatly admired, respected and just loved.”

She added: “She brought that love of working with children into her work with the council.”

The Bolton News: Elaine Sherrington and Madeline MurrayElaine Sherrington and Madeline Murray (Image: Bolton Council)

Cllr Thomas told the packed meeting that Mrs Murray’s “good humour always shines through” whatever job she took on.

To be honoured alongside her was Mrs Sherrington, whose “passionate interest in environmental matters and housing” was praised by Cllr Martin Donaghy.

The Bolton News: Madeline Murray with Cllr AyubMadeline Murray with Cllr Ayub (Image: Bolton Council)

He said: “I know one of her passions about housing was that if you give someone a decent house as a decent start in life, half of the services they need afterwards may not actually be needed because they’ve had a decent wind and water tight home to start their lives.”

He added: “Elaine likes getting the job done, she certainly likes getting things done and if that ruffles some feathers so be it.”

Both of the former Labour councillors were also hailed by Conservative opposition leader Cllr Martyn Cox.

The Bolton News: Elaine Sherrington with Cllr AyubElaine Sherrington with Cllr Ayub (Image: Bolton Council)

Speaking about Mrs Murray and recalling his time as executive member for children’s services, he said: “I knew if there was one person I could rely on it would be Cllr Madeleine Murray.”

“And she really did make it her mission while she was on the council to be a champion not just for children but particularly looked after children.”

On Mrs Sherrington, Cllr Cox paid tribute to her commitment to standing by the “courage of her convictions.”

He said: “I don’t think Elaine was ever in fear of saying something that didn’t curry favour.”

As the newly minted Honorary Alderwomen stepped up to address the meeting, both paid emotive tributes to past and present colleagues.

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Mrs Murray, who served as a councillor first for Breightmet and then Great Lever for a total of 23 years, thanked the late former council leader Cllr Cliff Morris, who she described as a “true gentleman” and the staff at Bolton Council.

She described the staff as “the finest people of God’s earth.”

Mrs Sherrington, who served as councillor for Tonge with the Haulgh for an unbroken 24 years, also thanked colleagues through the year’s and paid particular tribute to the voters who had supported her over so many years.

She said: “The biggest thank you I’ve got is to the people of Tonge with the Haulgh who realised what we were trying to achieve.”

“I have to thank them because they are the most important bit.”