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East Midlands Chamber News

Jason made Freeman of City of London

Jason Wright is made Freeman of the City of LondonNottingham roofer Jason Wright has been made a Freeman of the City of London.

The acolade was bestowed days before he collected the Medal of Ushakov on behalf of his grandfather Horace Hodgson.

Jason, MD of J Wright Roofing and head of the East Midlands Roofing College, received the honour in person from Murray Craig, the clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court - an accolade awarded to him through the redemption of the Worshipful Guild of Tylers and Bricklayers.

“December was an incredible month for my whole family, and being made Freeman of the City of London is a tremendous honour for me. The entire day was an amazing experience and meeting Murray Craig in person was a highlight – it was a pleasure to meet him as, interestingly, he studied in Nottingham during the late 70s,” said Jason.

“It was amazing to receive the honourable title of Freeman, knowing that I am now in the company of my own idols such as Annie Lennox and Bob Geldof - who both received their honour from Murray Craig, just as I have,” he added.

Jason is in illustrious company with the likes of Morgan Freeman, David Beckham, Sir Ian McKellen and actresses Angela Lansbury and Dame Helen Mirren all being honoured this year.

The time-honoured ceremony is believed to have originated in the 12th century and allows Freemen to carry out their trade in the City of London. In days gone by, Freemen were allowed to herd sheep over London Bridge.

The celebrations have not slowed down for Jason, who then visited the Russian Embassy to collect his grandfather’s Medal of Ushakov, a Soviet military award created in 1944. The award is named after Fyodor Ushakov, an 18th Century naval commander who never lost a battle and the patron saint of the Russian navy. The honour is awarded to veterans of WWII specifically those who served in the Artic Convoys.

Jason said: “I was proud to receive the honour of Freeman, but accepting my grandfather’s medal at the Russian Embassy made me even prouder. I am so proud of all he has done, and collecting the medal on his behalf has taught me so much more about his remarkable achievements.”

More than 3,000 men died during the maritime Artic Convoy campaign, Winston Churchill was reported to have called it the "worst journey in the world".

The two remarkable honours awarded to both Jason and Horace, recognise the significant work and service of both men. Jason has pioneered apprenticeships in Nottingham, working hard to ensure that local young people are given the opportunity to learn the trade of roofing.

WWII veteran Horace has continued to give to the community since his service in the war and he has been secretary of the Oakleigh Lodge Social Club, the old Basford branch of the British Legion since 1966.

J Wright now employs 70 people across his three companies - J Wright Roofing, East Midlands Roofing College (RightTrack) Ltd and East Midlands Roofing Supplies Ltd.

J Wright Roofing works on major projects all over the UK, including restoration projects.