A FORMER Evesham man, who worked for the Evesham Admag, Journal and Worcester News, has been given one of London's oldest honours.

Clive Message, who enjoyed more than 30 years in the newspaper industry, has been granted the Freedom of the City of London.

Mr Message called it a great honour being presented with a parchment document recording the occasion as well as a copy of The Rules for the Conduct of Life, which date from the 18th century.

Mr Message receives the honour having moved to London in 2010 to work for the internationally renowned medical journal, The Lancet, where he has managed the global print and logistics operations for 16 titles since 2010.

Mr Message began his career as an apprentice compositor to the Evesham Admag in 1977, before becoming production manager of the Evesham Journal and holding a number of similar positions in Evesham and Worcester.

The Freedom of the City ceremony is thought to date back to 1237 and although most of the rights granted have been overtaken through time, the Freeman still reads the Declaration of a Freeman and signs the Freeman’s Declaration Book.

The 57-year-old joked: "Now I’m just looking for someone who has some sheep I can borrow - as the driving of sheep across London Bridge seems to be the main benefit to being a Freeman today.”

Earlier this year, Mr Message was also appointed a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, a guild which dates back to 1403.