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Issue 295 – Frome’s Person of the Year revealed

FROME’S Person of the Year 2009 has been revealed as Memorial Theatre stalwart Humphrey Barnes.

Humphrey was the overall winner of the first ever Person of the Year poll organised by Frome Times.
With six nominees in the running, Humphrey received the most votes, with Carnival organiser June Barnes coming second and slimming consultant Helen Hill coming in third.
Humphrey is chair of the Frome Memorial Theatre Trust and fought hard 25 years ago to keep the theatre open when it was in danger of being closed. And without his hard work, the theatre may not have been running today.
Humphrey has also been involved with the Frome Amateur Operatic Society since 1951.
Humphrey said, “It’s lovely to have won. But I think I’ve got this award on behalf of lots of people as well at the Memorial Theatre.
“I do no more or less than the 100 people involved in running the theatre. I’m the chairman and maybe have a higher profile because of that, but without the other 99 people there wouldn’t be a Memorial Theatre.
“I’d like to say thank you to everyone who voted for me, it is a great honour. I’ll look after your shield for 12 months and next year it will be someone else’s turn.”
A stalwart of the group’s annual pantomime, Hum-phrey often lands the blousy, animated and much-loved role of the Dame. Humphrey was also the FAOS chairman for some years. Last year, FAOS awarded Humphrey and his wife Gill a Lifetime Achievement Award.
As well as Gill, Humphrey’s daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren are all involved in the theatre.
His nominator said, “Humphrey’s leadership and hard work has kept the Frome Memorial Theatre open for over 25 years.”
Ian Drew, editor of the Frome Times presented a winner’s shield to Humphrey last week with the help of Frome Mayor, councillor Damon Hooton.
Ian Drew said, “I’d like to congratulate Humphrey on being the first winner of the ‘Person of the Year’ competition. All of the nominees work extremely hard for their local community and they all have reason to be proud. We hope our new award will help to highlight all the fantastic work done to help make Frome such a great town.

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