Queen’s Birthday Honours: Tractor driver and retired Norfolk pig farmer join Angelina Jolie in prestigious list
PUBLISHED: 22:30 13 June 2014
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A tractor-driving fundraiser is among more than three dozen people across East Anglia to be recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Announcing the latest round of honours today, the Cabinet Office said more than 1,100 people nationwide had received an award.
Ten people in Norfolk, 11 in Suffolk and 15 in Cambridgeshire received honours, from teachers to musicians and people in the world of sport to those in the justice system.
The British Empire Medal, resurrected in June 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, went to 300 honours recipients including Anne Chapman, who is founder of the Ladies’ Pink Tractor Run.
Mrs Chapman, of Pulham St Mary, founded the annual Cancer Research UK fundraiser in 2004 after noticing that tractor runs organised in the area often tended to be male-dominated affairs.
She has since raised more than £335,000 for the charity, and last year’s event was entered by more than 160 people from around the world.
And Mrs Chapman said she felt “very honoured and humble” when she heard the news.
“I don’t feel the award is just for me,” she explained. “It’s a huge team effort and I couldn’t do it without a whole network of people who help me with it.”
The 72-year-old had set women the challenge of finding a tractor for the day and learning how to drive it along a route, which starts and finishes at Thorpe Abbotts Airfield and goes through the centre of Harleston.
She was motivated to raise money as a friend was being treated for breast cancer at the time.
Mrs Chapman also set entrants the task of decorating their tractors in pink to raise money for Cancer Research UK - a cause which she realised touched everyone’s hearts.
Two estate workers from Sandringham were included in the honours list.
Gardener Jason Dennis and tractor driver Stephen Frohawk were awarded the Royal Victorian Medal.
Jane Hannah dedicated her British Empire Medal to the legions of grassroots cricket coaches, umpires and groundkeepers who she helps to organise.
The 35-year-old, of Long Stratton, is the national volunteer manager for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Under her leadership the number of registered volunteers has swelled to more than 80,000, and she has helped to grow a national awards ceremony that celebrates their work.
“This award, for me, is fantastic,” she said. “It’s been quite emotional and it feels surreal.”
She dedicated the honour to the volunteers who work week in week out.
“It’s really about recognising what’s going on at a local grassroots level,” she added. “Volunteers are the golden thread of everything we do.”
But she confessed she had never played cricket before.
She started work for Active Norfolk 12 years ago, became involved with the Norfolk Cricket Board and has not looked back since.
Ms Hannah has since helped to support the volunteers programme during the International Cricket Council (ICC) 2013 Champions Trophy in England and Wales.
Together with ECB colleagues she helped volunteers take part in the Nat West Cricket Force day in April 2013.
Cricket Force organises the local community and local business to attend community cricket clubs over a weekend to build new pavilions, practice facilities, clear grounds and extend social facilities.
It is estimated that the value of this project in 2013 alone was in excess of £30m to community cricket.
Organisers said the success of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, the most viewed single sports event ever held in the UK, could not have been achieved without the support of volunteers and her leadership of this group.
She has helped to grow the Outstanding Services to Cricket Awards Ceremony which is held annually at Lord’s Cricket Ground for 500 of the leading volunteers in England and Wales.
Ms Hannah said recruiting new volunteers was down to enthusiasm, and she praised her six-strong team for their efforts.
Alan Wilkinson, honorary music director and co-founder of Music in Country Churches, was made an MBE. Mr Wilkinson, of King’s Lynn, was recognised for his services to music and for charitable services.
Norfolk woman Janet Quarlters, who works as an administrative assistant at the Ministry of Defence, was awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to defence and charitable services through the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Women received 49% of the honours, after the New Year honours earlier this year became the first in which there were more women on the list than men.
Retired pig farmer Peter Reeder has devoted virtually his whole life to agriculture and the village in which he has always lived.
Now the 80-year-old, of South Lopham, has been rewarded for a lifetime of service by receiving the British Empire Medal for services to agriculture and the community.
He said: “It is a great honour that I did not expect. I was totally surprised when I found out.”
The former Thetford Grammar School pupil took over the running of the farm from his father Leslie and specialised in breeding pigs, especially the Welsh and Large Black varieties.
He has also appeared on judging panels at numerous shows across the country, including the Royal Welsh Show and Royal Smithfield Show where he was responsible for judging the pigs.
He believed he had been a judge for approximately 50 years on the Large Black and Welsh pigs panel and the All Breeds panel.
His contribution to the community has included being a councillor on South Lopham Parish Council for 30 years and a churchwarden at St Andrew’s Church for 40 years, while he has also been involved with South Lopham Estates Charity for 52 years.
Community stalwart Brenda Ford was awarded the British Empire Medal.
The 86-year-old, of Wymondham, has volunteered at a string of places including Wymondham Heritage Museum, helps tend to gardens in Chandlers Hill and at Wymondham Arts Centre and has founded a popular walking club.
She said she was initially overwhelmed by the honour and was reluctant to accept, but as the news sank in she struggled to keep it a secret.
The great grandmother, a former mayor of Wymondham, is an advocate of the Walking for Health programme.
She took a training course in Breckland around 12 years ago, and when she learned there was no such scheme in her hometown she decided to start one.
Her popular walks are now attended by around 30 people most weeks.
A man who has worked in the justice system for more than three decades has been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.
Michael Spurr, who is director general and chief executive officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Mr Spurr, of Norwich, is a former governing governor of HMP Wayland and of HMP Norwich.
He became area manager for London North and East Anglia before he progressed to his current position.
He was nominated for the honour for his services to offender management.
A retired teacher who dedicated 39 years to supporting children and teenagers with learning disabilities is “amazed and chuffed” after being made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Ruth Diver, 61, from Beeston Road, Sheringham, taught youngsters aged three-19 at Sheringham Woodfields complex-needs school since the centre was built nearly 12 years ago until her retirement last summer.
Before that she taught at the former Edinburgh Road School Junior Training Centre in Holt, which was demolished to make way for Woodfields school.
She started at the specialist complex-needs school in 1974 as a 21 year old fresh out of Manchester University.
Miss Diver said: “I found it a challenge and really enjoyed it.
“My love was teaching and being with the youngsters. I used to love doing residential and special trips.”
She added it was a wrench to leave Woodfields school and she missed the company of students and banter with staff.