A LONG serving councillor has been honoured in the town which she worked so hard to improve - with a plaque and church gates erected in her memory.

Theda Bannister, 75, spent five years on Shildon Town Council and was deputy mayor when she died last October.

She joined the council as a Labour member alongside current Shildon mayor, Henry Nicholson, in a 2008 by-election.

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Mrs Bannister’s family wished to erect a memorial to their mother and £2,300 was raised to fit two pairs of gates at St John’s Church. A plaque was also placed at the Church Street entrance.

Coun Nicholson said: “I was invited to unveil the plaque and gates as I am mayor of Shildon but this is also an occasion which has a personal meaning for me.

“It is an emotional event for the family and it is fantastic and it’s a privilege for me to be involved in helping to mark Theda’s contribution to the town.”

Mrs Bannister had two sons Neil and Paul and daughters Lisa and Claire plus grandchildren Sophie and Hannah.

Paul Bannister said: “It’s nice to have a plaque to commemorate all of the work that Theda did for the town. We’re pleased that Coun Nicholson could unveil them.”

Reverend David Tomlinson, vicar of St John’s, said: “Theda’s family wanted to do something and a former church warden, Jack Coley, came up with the idea of the gates.

“Theda was someone who invested a lot into the town and did so much for it. We are very pleased to be involved in this event.”

A garden party was held at the church as part of the event.