Outstanding group and individual celebrated with award of Citizenship Cup

Published Tuesday 25 July 2023

An outstanding group and an individual in the community were honoured this week by being presented with the prestigious Citizenship Cup.

Peter Mitchell, Harborough Cinema.
Colin Sullivan, Committee member, MH Movie Makers.
Peter Wilford, Secretary and acting Treasurer, MH Movie Makers.
Cllr Barbara Johnson, HDC Chair.
Ralph Holderness, Chairman of MH Movie Makers.
Cllr Barbara Johnson, HDC Chair presents the Citizens Cup to: (l to r) Peter Mitchell, Harborough Cinema. Colin Sullivan, Committee member MH Movie Makers. Peter Wilford, Secretary and acting Treasurer MH Movie Makers. Ralph Holderness Chairman of MH Movie Makers

Harborough District Council Chairman Cllr Barbara Johnson hosted a presentation at The Symington Building on Monday 24 July - in conjunction with the Market Harborough Civic Society - to award the Citizenship Cup to two worthy recipients. 

The chairman presented the cup to Ralph Holderness (chairman), Peter Wilford (secretary and acting treasurer) and Colin Sullivan (committee member) on behalf of Market Harborough Movie Makers and Peter Mitchell of the Harborough Cinema (formerly Octagon Films), for services to the community of Market Harborough and elsewhere.

Market Harborough Movie Makers has successfully produced a library of films for 60 years illustrating the history and recording events in and around Market Harborough for future generations to watch. Sadly, at their AGM in June of this year, they agreed to wind up operations.

Peter Mitchell has been pivotal to the success of Harborough Cinema, since fundraising in the mid-1990s to establish a cinema in the town. Peter has chaired Octagon Films - rebranded as Harborough Cinema in 2023 - since 2002.

The cinema retains its charitable status and is run almost entirely by volunteers and is open to members of the public as well as Harborough Cinema members. To date, Harborough Cinema/Octagon Films has shown 751 films with a total of 42,500 attendances and 316 live broadcasts with 22,160 attendances.

Both recipients were nominated by a panel comprising representatives of the Civic Society, Chamber of Trade, Churches Together, Historical Society, Harborough Mail and Market Harborough Building Society.

The Chairman of Harborough District Council, Cllr Barbara Johnson, said, “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to present the Citizenship Cup for 2023 on behalf of Harborough District Council and Market Harborough Civic Society to such deserving members of our community. The recipients have been single-minded in their commitment to our community over many years. Between them, they have, through film, enriched our lives, widened our horizons, and given us precious glimpses into our past. On behalf of Harborough District Council and the Market Harborough Civic Society, I thank you all for your tremendous contribution to our community life.”

The Citizenship Cup was donated anonymously to the council in 1955 on the Diamond Jubilee of the Market Harborough Urban District Council with the intention of being awarded from time to time to individuals or organised groups of individuals in recognition of outstanding achievement enhancing the reputation of or reflecting credit on Market Harborough, and for distinguished service rendered in the interests of the town.

The cup has been looked after by Harborough Museum since 1991 and is part of the displays located on the first floor of The Symington Building in Market Harborough. It was last presented in 2017.

Previous winners include Herbert H.Pickering OBE, JP (1955), Market Harborough Archaeological and Historical Society (1957), Arthur E.Elliott (1960), George E.Aldridge (1963), Market Harborough division of St John Ambulance (1965), Reginald L.D.Crisp (1970), Louise M.Burton (1992), Revd Malcolm J.Barrett (1997), Mark Stamp (2006), Donald and Doreen Clinton Smith (2008), James Briggs (2011), Marjorie Adcock MBE and Sarah Hill posthumously on behalf of her late husband Martin Hill (2017).