A MAN who has dedicated his life to helping other people in Huddersfield has received a special award to mark his service.
Billy Grayson "officially" retired from `front-line' service at Huddersfield Methodist Mission last month.
And at a special lunch and presentation on the eve of his 85th birthday he was honoured with a medal which bore the words: "Billy Grayson - who has glorified God and served the needy."
The words echo those cut into the stonework of the Mission building, which sets out the focus for its work.
The Rev Alan Boyd, of the Mission said: "The work of the Kingdom of God has been Billy Grayson's life. He was born into faith and has had quite a ministry because of it.
"The Methodist people are grateful for it."
Mr Grayson was born in Huddersfield and brought up in the Queen Street Mission, where his father, Alfred, was caretaker for 20 years.
"I was christened at the Mission and married there, although I can't be buried from there because the building is now the LBT," said Mr Grayson.
Mr Grayson, who lives in Golcar, served with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, the 7th King's Own Royal Regiment and the Lancashire Fusiliers during the Second World War in Britain, Ireland and India.
In 1940 he married Ilma, and in 1946 their son David was born.
Both are now dead.
Mr Grayson was a bus conductor with Hansons, then for 33 years until retirement was a Midland Bank messenger.
Throughout that time he was an active trade union member.
For more than 25 years he worked - and still works - for the Royal British Legion. He was secretary of the Shepley branch and a regional officer.
Mr Grayson has been a member of Huddersfield Methodist Choir since 1946 amd has serve on its committee.
For six years he sang with the Glee and Madrigal Society - now the Huddersfield Singers - and still sings with the Huddersfield Over-60s Choir.
At the Mission he has been society steward, senior steward, property steward, church council secretary, trustee and secretary to the trustees.
He also served on the Mission's circuit committee and was a member of the Huddersfield Pennine Circuit.
He served on the former Huddersfield Community Health Council for six years. He was active in Huddersfield Polio Fellowship and the Guild for the Disabled.