VETERAN rambler Ida Ashworth has been joined by walkers in the Wednesday Walkers group she founded 33 years ago to celebrate the British Empire Medal award she received in the New Year's Honours List.

Ninety-year-old Royton woman Ida had received her award from the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Warren J Smith at a ceremony in Oldham Civic Centre also attended by several mayors from the city region's boroughs, including Oldham first citizen, Javid Iqbal.

And Ida donned her walking boots yet again when she rendezvoused with her fellow walkers at Trinity Methodist Church in Radcliffe Street, Royton, where she photographed with her medal before their regular ramble.

Outdoors enthusiast Ida launched the Wednesday Walkers Oldham rambling group 33 years ago as she approached retirement.

She ran the club single-handedly for four years before it became so successful a committee was formed to help administer it.

Now the president of the group which has 240 walkers in five groups of different grades and ages, Ida is still an active participant herself.

Ida’s name was put forward for the BEM fellow members Sue Dibden and Margaret Lang.

After receiving the news she was to be honoured, Ida told The Oldham Times: “I was amazed and surprised.

"When I formed the group almost 33 years ago, there were two other walking groups were full up. They ran buses to their walking destinations and they wasn't enough space to accommodate others. So I launched the group and ran it myself for the first four years then it became too big and we formed a committee.

“I’ve always been an outdoors person and I formed the group when I was coming up retirement.”

Ida worked in the canteen as a cashier at Ferranti in Derker when she retired. Before that she was a baker and confectioner.

"The ceremony (at the Civic Centre) was very nice," said Ida. "There was a nice buffet and a bit of pomp and ceremony. I had a really good time, and it was great to get out with the group the following day."

But the pomp and ceremony doesn't end there. Ida and her husband of 65 years, John, will attend the Queen's royal garden party at Buckingham Palace on May 15.

"I'm really looking forward to going to the Palace," said Ida. "It's been an incredible year since I turned 90."