A LONG-serving veteran of St Helens Theatre Royal was awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to performing arts in the north west.

Enid Pennington, from Eccleston Park, was named in the New Year's Honours List and was awarded her medal at a special ceremony on Thursday, May 11, held at Liverpool's Athenaeum Club.

The 92-year-old was joined by friends and family, as well as the Mayor of St Helens Councillor Dave Banks, and theatre manager Chantelle Nolan as she was presented the award by Dame Lorna Muirhead, Merseyside Lieutenant.

Enid said: "What a delightful honour it is to be acknowledged like this. It was wonderful to share it with my friends and family who travelled from far and wide for the occasion.

The Theatre Royal has a special place in my heart, and I have the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of people."

She added: "I can't imagine St Helens without the Theatre Royal, and will always continue to do all I can to help keep the arts alive in St Helens.”

Avid theatre enthusiast, Enid has acted in, produced and directed countless plays and musicals at the Theatre Royal spanning almost 70 years and is an active member of many of the theatre's organisations.

She joined the Unnamed Players in the 1950s for which she was appointed director in 1986 and played her first principal role with St Helens Amateur Operatic society in 1948 in the production The Student Prince and went on to play The Merry Widow, South Pacific, Carousel and Maid of the Mountains, amongst others.

When the Corporation Street venue closed its doors in 1984, Enid was a founding member of the Friends of the Theatre Royal, a group which campaigned to raise funds to reopen the theatre - and she is currently the organisation's chairwoman.

She continues to work with new generations of St Helens amateur actors from all walks and stages of life, tutoring budding actors and actresses in all educational aspects of theatre and stage craft.