Medal for local hero

A LOCAL man has been given a royal seal of approval after he saved a woman from drowning in freezing water.

Steven Anson from Newton Mearns was awarded the Royal Humane Society's testimonial on vellum, which recognises when someone has put themselves in considerable danger to save, or attempt to save, someone else.

Mr Anson was nominated for the honour by East Ren chief inspector Kenny Graham.

Last year when returning from a hospital appointment with his wife Hillary, the 62-year-old Mr Anson stopped off for a walk round Balgray reservoir in Darnley.

Just before the pair were about to return to the car because of the freezing weather condition, Mr Anson heard a scream.

A woman had been walking her dogs when they went on to the ice and fell through, then, while trying to save her dogs, she also fell through into freezing water.

Mr Anson followed her cries and using a branch and his trouser belt to break the ice as he went, dragged the woman from her icy trap.

He said: "I'm glad I kept my calm as it could have been the difference between life and death".

Mr Anson's quick-thinking, life-saving response has been praised by Royal Humane Society secretary, Dick Wilkinson.

Mr Wilkinson said : "Steven averted a tragedy when he managed to pull this lady from the freezing waters of the reservoir".

"He showed tremendous courage in this incredible rescue. He went through the ice himself a couple of times, risking his own life in bitter conditions to save a stranger".

CI Graham added : "It was an extremely noble and courageous course of action.

"I am pleased to have been able to nominate him for this award which he richly deserves".

But Mr Anson is not the only local to be recognised by royalty. In the New Year honours Williamwood headteacher John Fitzpatrick and East

Renfrewshire councillor Betty Cunningham were both appointed OBE..