THE CHAIRMAN of a long-running concert club, an organiser of Ilkley's Christmas lights switch-on, and the former chairman of an organisation representing local voluntary groups have been honoured by Ilkley Parish Council.

The parish council traditionally hands out its Community Awards to people who have done much for the town's community at its Annual Meeting.

This year, it was the turn of David Pyett, Gill Bowskill and David Giddings to receive awards from the parish council chairman.

Mr Pyett, who was presented with another parish council award around ten years ago, is the chairman of Ilkley Concert Club as well as Wharfedale Recorded Music.

Retiring Ilkley Parish Council chairman, Councillor Brian Mann, said the award recognised Mr Pyett's contribution in attracting international musicians to play in Ilkley.

Ilkley Concert Club organises a well-subscribed series of monthly concerts at the King's Hall from autumn to spring, attracting many top classical musicians.

"Each month during the season, the King's Hall is filled with very appreciative people," said Councillor Mann. "David has done an awful lot for the cultural life of the town."

Wharfedale Recorded Music, which meets weekly from September to May, usually at St John's Church Hall, Ben Rhydding, invites speakers to introduce recorded classic music on a variety of themes and by many composers.

Mr Pyett said he never expected to receive either award.

"Having been born in Ilkley, all I can say is I've enjoyed my life here and it's been a great privilege to help do the things that make this an enjoyable place to live."

The long-serving former chairman of Ilkley and District Council for Voluntary Service (ICVS), Gill Bowskill, was also presented with an Ilkley Parish Council Community Award.

Mrs Bowskill retired from her role as ICVS chairman last year after ten years serving the organisation. She got involved with the organisation via the Arthritis Care Ilkley and District Branch group.

Her chairmanship of the ICVS saw many changes, including a four-fold increase in the number of member organisations.

Coun Mann said: "Gill has done a lot for disabled people and one of the things I think we're particularly proud of is the way in which she organised the Christmas day lunches for the disadvantaged."

Mrs Bowskill thanked the ICVS committee and the members of the organisation, saying they deserved credit for the work.

Mr Giddings, who runs gift and homewares shop Opulent Designs, on The Grove, was honoured for his work on the annual Ilkley Christmas lights switch-on ceremony, and providing a helpful link between Ilkley traders and the parish council and police.

"David Giddings is a source of inspiration to us," said Coun Mann.

Mr Giddings has brought in big names, including Sir Jimmy Savile, Harry Potter films star Matthew Lewis and Chron-icles of Narnia star Georgie Henley, to switch on the lights.

He also said he was surprised to be receiving the award.

"Anything I do is for Ilkley, not for myself, but I'm very proud to receive this," said Mr Giddings.

The Christmas lights switch-on date this year has already been set for Saturday, November 24.