"Outstanding story teller" given freedom of the city

First published in County News

The glittering career of Pembrokeshire author Sarah Waters has hit yet another high after she was given the Freedom of the City of London.

The ceremony dates back to the 13th century and means that the Neylandborn author of Tipping the Velvet, The Night Watch and Fingersmith can herd sheep over London Bridge and even go about the city with a drawn sword.

Bizarrely, it is also said to mean that should Sarah be convicted of a capital offence she would be hanged with a silken rope.

The honour was bestowed on Sarah at the Guildhall in London at the end of March by the Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court. She had been nominated by members of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee.

Sarah said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, because London plays a huge role in my life, my novels and my family history, and to be offered the Freedom of the City is a tremendous honour.”

At the freedom lunch, committee chairman John Scott said: “Sarah, we are delighted that you accepted the City’s Invitation to receive the Freedom for services to literature.

“As one of our most outstanding story tellers, we believe that your Freedom is richly deserved and we are very proud of you.”

Sarah, aged 45, is the daughter of Ron and Mary Waters, who still live in Neyland.

Ron told the Western Telegraph: “The award for Sarah was pretty impressive and Mary and I and all the family are immensely proud of her.

“The Guildhall ceremony and the surroundings put into perspective just how highly regarded Sarah has become inside and outside the literary world.

“They even chose to serve Welsh lamb at the lunch!”

Harry Potter author J. K.

Rowling is due to be made a Freeman of London next week for services to children’s literature.

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