From loyal lollipop ladies to top professors, the Queen’s Birthday Honours list commends the great and good and the unsung heroes of our communities.

People who strive to make our lives easier and more fulfilling have been given a royal thank-you for their achievements and commitment over the years.

Sandringham estate workers Robert Rowlands, a stud groom, accounts clerk and farm secretary Karen Woodhouse, and Marianne Back, a senior sales assistant in the gift shop are given Royal Victorian Medals, a personal award for services to the sovereign.

Stephen Earl, Yarmouth Borough Council's principal conservation officer and Yarmouth Preservation Trust's project leader and company secretary, is made an MBE for services to heritage and local government.

“I am delighted to receive the award. It is recognition for Yarmouth as an important town,” said the 54-year-old who is married to Brenda and has two sons.

Mr Earl, who lives in Norwich, has worked in conservation since 1974, initially with Norfolk County Council before moving to Yarmouth Council in 1990.

One of the projects he was responsible for was the multi-million pound Time and Tide Museum, which opened in 2004.

The Marquess of Cholmondeley of Houghton Hall, has been made a KCVO of the Royal Victorian Order.

Alan Fairchild, who has been made an MBE for services to local government, became one of the youngest full-time parish council clerks in the country when he was appointed to Norfolk's largest parish at Sprowston near Norwich in 1969 - a post he kept for 37 years until March this year.

He helped to found the Society of Local Council Clerks, which now has a membership of more than 3,500, and is the current chairman of the Norfolk branch.

Married to Lyn, with one daughter Anne, he divides his time between the society, his part-time Cawston clerkship and acting as information officer for Norfolk Freemasons.

Erika Watson, 41, of Norwich, has been made an MBE for services to women's enterprise.

She is the founding executive director of Prowess, the assoc-iation of organisations committed to the development of women's entrepreneurial potential in the UK.

She has been pivotal in the development of an effective women-friendly business support infrastructure and enterprise culture, that has helped build Prowess membership to more than 190 organisations, providing business support and networking to 100,000 women each year, and helping 10,000 to start a new business.

She works closely with the government on the women's enterprise agenda through her involvement with the Women's Enterprise Panel and has tirelessly worked in support of the programme to increase women in enterprise, which has benefited the UK economy

She was previously chief executive of the award-winning, Norfolk-based Women's Employment, Enterprise and Training Unit (Weetu), where she introduced a highly regarded range of enterprise support programmes including Full Circle, the UK's first micro credit programme.

William Hill, executive director of the Office of Government Commerce in Norwich, is made an MBE.

Norfolk novelist Rose Tremain, 63, who graduated from UEA, has been made a CBE for services to literature.

Ms Tremain went on to teach creative writing at the university and has attracted critical acclaim for her historical novels. Restoration, set during the reign of Charles II, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Music and Silence won best novel in the 1999 Whitbread Awards.

John Allport, who devotes his time to serving the people of Beccles, has been made an MBE for his work in the community.

Mr Allport, 70, said he was “over the moon” when he found out that he had been nominated for the honour.

After serving 25 years in the Metropolitan Police, being shot three times on duty and awarded an exemplary service medal, Mr Allport and his wife Sally moved to Beccles in 2001. He soon became involved in community work through St Luke's church and played a key role in raising more than £300,000 for the redevelopment of the Rigbourne Hill Community Centre.

Having been honoured as man of the year in 1977, invested with the British Empire Medal in 1990 and made an honorary lay canon of Bury St Edmunds cathedral in 2004, Mr Allport is no stranger to accolades.

He said: “I am stunned but also very, very embarrassed because other people have been giving to this community for much longer than I have.”

Margaret Bullen, of Old Hunstanton, chairman of the Hunstanton and West Norfolk Guild, RNLI, has been made an MBE for charitable services.

Roger Harman, former head at Flitcham School, was awarded the Royal Victorian Order.

“To say it's a great honour is putting it mildly,” he said last night. “My mother has been very ill and unfortunately died last week, so it was nice that she knew about it.”

Mr Harman, 62, was head at Flitcham for 24 years, from April 1983 until this Easter when he retired.

“I had a great staff and a great bunch of parents and children, who I miss,” he said.

A Suffolk Army officer who led by example has been made an OBE in recognition of his work with the 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment.

Lt Col Robert Goodin's Territorial Army infantry unit provides both formed bodies and individuals for operations with the regular army.

During his time as commanding office, the battalion which recruits from across Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk has deployed more than 300 soldiers including formed companies in support of operations in Iraq.

Lt Col Goodin said: “It is a great honour to be recognised and a compliment not just for me but for the battalion which has done an amazing job providing soldiers for operations.”

In addition, Lt Col Goodin is praised for his work with the Civil Contingency Reaction Force, a battalion-strength organisation designed to act as an early military support to the responding services if called upon in a civilian disaster.

Maj Ralph Wooddisse, from the Royal Anglian Regiment is made an MBE; Air commodore Gregory Bagwell, a former station commander at RAF Marham, is made a CBE.

t William Bond, founder of the Battle of Britain Historical Society, was made an MBE following his unstinting tenacity in keeping the memory alive of the brave air servicemen known as The Few who died during the crucial battle of 1940.

The award honours his efforts in creating a poignant monument on the banks of the Thames, dedicated to the 3,000 pilots and crew who flew in the battle.

“I am very pleased to receive an MBE and would like to pay tribute to my wonderful family and members of the historical society for their tremendous support,” Mr Bond, who lives in Gunthorpe near Melton Constable, said.

“I overheard a conversation between two RAF senior officers a few years ago and was horrified at their lack of knowledge regarding the meaning of the Battle of Britain. It was a key moment in the second world war which most certainly changed the course of history. As a result I decided to create the Battle of Britain Society some 10 years ago which was followed by the unveiling of a monument in the centre of London to ensure that the memory of The Few lives on,” the 66-year-old former air serviceman said.

t It all started as an offer of support to a friend's daughter - and 30 years later is helping people across the UK.

Nancy Pearce, who co-founded the Norwich-based Eating Disorders Association, has been made an OBE for services to mental health.

The 77-year-old used her background as a marriage guidance counsellor to start the Anorexia Family Group in 1976 after a daughter of a friend battled the disease.

“In those days there was a stigma against it and it seemed very important to get families together,” said Mrs Pearce, who lives in Reepham.

“We got more and more people contacting us and from quite a long way away and I would go around giving talks and I did a course in America to learn more about eating disorders.”

The charity, now known as Beat, helped shatter many misconceptions about the “passing fad” and had a dedicated phone line set up in Mrs Pearce's home until the charity got enough money together to open a city office. It now has more than 60 support groups across the UK, a website and national helpline.

t On Monday, Valleria Lee will celebrate 41 years as a lollipop lady.

It has been a long career that started when she was asked to stand in temporarily because there was no one else to do the job.

The mother of four and grandmother of six lives in Worlingham, near Beccles, and stands on patrol every morning and afternoon at Ingate, helping children from schools across Beccles to get across a busy road.

Mrs Lee, 72, said: “It stated as a favour. They hadn't got anyone at Worlingham at the time.

“They said could I do it while they got somebody. I have never looked back.”

At the time it appealed to her because she wanted to have her children around her. Her youngest was five at the time and is now 46.

To become an MBE was the last thing she expected, she said. “I am shocked. I am very surprised. When they told me all I could say was 'thank-you'. I shook.”

Now she is looking forward to going to Buckingham Palace, and hopes her MBE will encourage others to follow in her footsteps. She said: “We badly need them. I have got to retire next year. The retirement age was 70 but they have put it up to 74, so I will stop then.”


Knights Bachelor

t Prof Christopher Alan Bayly, Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History, University of Cambridge, for services to history.


t Prof Peter Matthews, of Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, for services to the water industry and the environment.

t Dr William Coward, formerly head of Stable Isotopes Research, Medical Research Council, Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge, for services to nutritional science


t Prof Azim Surani, Marshall-Walton Prof of Physiology and Reproduction, University of Cambridge, for services to Biology.

t Dr Pamela Wilson Ewan, consultant in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Addenbrooke's Hospital, for services to healthcare.

t Mary Winifred Coussey, chairwoman of the Advisory Board for Naturalisation and Integration and lately Immigration and Nationality Directorate Race Monitor, for services to community relations.

t Myles Fredric Burnyeat, honorary fellow, Robinson College, Cambridge, for services to scholarship.


t Ian Thompson, of Mildenhall, a waste service manager of Forest Heath District Council, for services to local government.

t Peter Fordham, of Bury St Edmunds, for services to conservation in Suffolk.

t Tina Ellis, district manager of JobCentre Plus, who lives in Lowestoft.

t Patrick Everard Goldsworthy, project manager for the Voluntary Initiative for Pesticides Programme, for services to the environment.

t Peter Hewitt for services to the community in March.

t Peter Skoulding for services to local government in March and the Fenlands.

t Jillian Mary Gamlin, physiotherapist for the Physio Direct Service, Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, for services to healthcare;

t Ellen Crane, of Lakenheath, for services to the community.


t Valerie Hill, assistant to the clerk of the Lieutenancy of Suffolk.