Community recognsed in local honours

The EDP looks at local recipients in today's New Year Honours list.

Turkey king Bernard Matthews is made CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) for his work with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Mr Matthews, aged 76, who is chairman of the Great Witchingham-based turkey and meat company, is also a Charter Founder member of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.

Noted for his enthusiastic support for the independent lifeboat at Caister, near Yarmouth, for the past dozen years, he visited the crew and officials before Christmas to present 30 turkeys. The latest lifeboat on station, the Bernard Matthews II, was launched after a successful £800,000 appeal including his substantial donation.

t She has spent a nearly two decades trying to help impoverished children in the slums of southern India.

But while she has been described as Norfolk's Mother Teresa, it is a comparison the Rev Pat Atkinson, from Brundall, shies away from.

Made an MBE for services to street children in South India, she is keen to deflect attention away from herself and on to those who have supported the Vidiyal Trust (formerly part of the Cooper Atkinson Trust), whose fundraising efforts she has spearheaded.

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“I don't like publicity, we don't work that way,” she said. “This MBE isn't about me at all, it's about all the people in Norfolk who have supported us for the last 16 years. They have stood by us when things have been really difficult. I'm just an ordinary person, but I fell in love with some kids - that's what did it, love.”

It was during a trip to India 16 years ago that she vowed to do something to help after staring into the eyes of a child beggar.

That led to annual visits and the building of a Montessori nursery school, a drop-in centre for street children, a home for destitute women and girls, a work centre for 60 boys and a medical centre as well as plans for a primary school.

t A Lowestoft scientist who has spearheaded a major study into climate change in the world's northern oceans was celebrating being made a CBE for his work.

Dr Bob Dickson has worked for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Lowestoft since 1964 and is chairman of the international study, launched in 2000, to investigate and understand the role of the northern seas in climate.

The now semi-retired ocean scientist was enjoying a holiday in Las Vegas with his wife Deanne when he received a call to say he was being recognised in the New Year Honours.

Dr Dickson, 65, said: “I thought it was thrilling. I was lying in bed in Las Vegas and Deanne said she had 10 Downing Street for me and brought the phone over.

“It's a great thrill that someone noticed the work, but it's equally good to know that the problem I've been working on is itself recognised as important.

“It is not going to easily change things, but if we can understand it, it will give people a better chance to mitigate some of the impacts.”

Since its beginnings in 2000, the Arctic-subarctic Ocean Flux Study (ASOF) has rapidly grown to the point where it is now the largest ocean-observing system in the northern hemisphere.

Dr Dickson will continue to chair the ASOF study and act as a member of the UK National Committee for the International Polar Year, which from March 2007 will investigate the changes taking place in the physical environment of both Poles.

t Brewery head Simon Loftus, who also turned a wine business into an international success story, has been made an OBE for services to business.

Mr Loftus, who stood down last summer just before his 60th birthday and after 10 years as chairman of Southwold-based Adnams, joined the company in 1969 from Cambridge University.

Mr Loftus, who lives at Blythburgh, said: “I'm more embarrassed than anything else to be quite truthful. It is not my sort of thing really. It is recognition for the whole of the team at Adnams for what we've achieved over the past few years.

“The great thing is we've got a terrific team in place and they're carrying it forward.”

He started on the bottom rung after a year back-packing when he was pitched into what he later described as the “black hole that was the wine department.” He put the Adnams wine business on the map and became more involved with the hotel side.

t John Buxton's tireless conservation work at Horsey Mere, near Yarmouth, has led to him being made an OBE.

The Horsey Hall landowner, a former Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, has won national recognition for his management of the site in the centre of the Upper Thurne Broads and marshes.

Mr Buxton has made significant improvements to the management of the Mere - one of England's few Areas of Special Protection, largely because it has the UK's only breeding population of European cranes, as well as marsh harrier and bittern.

His sensitive management has brought a steady increase of the crane population over the past 25 years.

t In the late 1950s as a Manchester schoolboy, Robert Cranna missed his chance to talk to the Queen when she chose the boy next to him in a guard of honour to talk to instead.

But after being made an MBE in the New Year's honours list he will finally get the chance to meet the monarch.

Mr Cranna, known to his friends as Bob, was nominated for the honour for his services to the probation service, from which he retired in July of this year after more than 30 years.

After qualifying in 1973,

Mr Cranna spent 11 years as a probation officer in King's Lynn. He was instrumental in the introduction of alternative approaches to rehabilitation including setting up challenge and adventure courses for young offenders.

When HMP Wayland was opened, the first new prison in the country for many years, Mr Cranna was appointed senior probation officer, an opportunity he used to introduce a number of new initiatives.

Since his retirement, he has spent his time indulging his other passion as president of the Norfolk Rugby Football Union.

t Popular charity fund-raiser and Norwich City Football Club steward Ali Dent said he was delighted to have been made an MBE.

The honour has proved to be even more poignant as earlier in the year Mr Dent had been left fighting for his life after he was struck down with meningitis.

Over the years, Mr Dent, 49, a butcher at Hilgay, near Downham Market, has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities in West Norfolk through his annual book fairs, and his next chosen charity is the Macmillan Cancer Support. He has also been involved in fundraising events for the village.

t For 16 years Peter Lambley's working life has been about how to manage the natural changes affecting Norfolk's coastline.

And now he has been made an MBE in recognition of his conservation work.

Until his retirement in November the 60-year-old was a conservation officer for English Nature and two schemes occupied his thoughts, the Cley Saltmarshes in North Norfolk and the Yarmouth outer harbour.

A parish councillor, who lives in Lyng with his wife Gill, he is also vice president of the British Lichen Society.

He hopes to revisit Papua New Guinea, where he once worked for four years to do some natural history work.

t Having taught ballet for 56 years and seen three of her pupils gain honours, it is now Eve Pettinger's time to bask in the limelight.

The 77-year-old from Sheringham has been made an MBE for services to dance.

She was a founder member of the Markova-Dolin dance company. She trained at Arts Education School and worked in ballet before going into teaching, where she has remained ever since.

She teaches at ArtsEd three days a week and at the Peggy Carr School of dance in West Runton one day a week.

She has worked with the Bolshoi Russian ballet company, the English National Ballet, London City Ballet and the Royal Ballet and her students include actress Jane Seymour, who has an OBE.

t As a lifelong civil servant Andrew Ramsey has spent his entire career in service of the country, a feat for which he has been rewarded in the New Year Honours.

The director general of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Culture, Creativity and Economy group is to be made a CBE for his work.

The 55-year-old from Sedgeford, near Hunstanton, has spent the past decade working on the review of the BBC and creating the charter for the next 10 years. He is now working on projects for the upcoming London Olympics.

t Daniel Harvey has been responsible for every piece of machinery on the Sandringham Estate for almost 15 years.

From strimmers to tractors to even the Duke of Edinburgh's beloved driving carriages, Mr Harvey's role at the estate is to ensure everything is well maintained and in good working order.

Now his hard work has been rewarded after he was chosen to receive a Royal Victorian Medal.

Mr Harvey, 50, who lives on the Sandringham Estate, is married to Devina and has three children and two grandchildren and has always lived in Norfolk. He started his working life as an apprentice in Burnham Market.

Stephen Frohawk, a tractor driver at the Sandringham Estate has also been awarded a Royal Victorian Medal, along with Jacqueline Osborne, a daily lady who works at Sandringham House.

t A long-serving magistrate and former council chairman has been made a Member of the British Empire.

Valerie Attenborough, from Diss, has chaired the South Norfolk magistrates' bench for many years - first in Diss and now in Thetford and Swaffham.

Until 1996, she also chaired the South Norfolk District Scout Council.

t Sue Wade has been made an MBE for 13 unstinting years as a teaching assistant at Hethersett High School.

Mrs Wade, from Woodton, near Bungay, works with the school's art department and this year became the centrepoint of students' projects, when they were told to dress her up in creative ways.

The 203 resulting photos, where Mrs Wade grins unselfishly out of a series of weird and wonderful outfits, are now available on the internet for the world to see. In 2000 she was commended in the latest east of England BAFTAs (Brilliant and Fantastic Teaching Awards).

At the time head teacher Marion Chapman said: “She gives everything she possibly can to the school.“

t Derek Saunders, made an MBE, is described as a “stalwart” of the Royal British Legion and “thoroughly deserving” of the honour.

Mr Saunders, of Heywood Road, Diss, has been treasurer of the Norwich RBL branch for the last 52 years and was responsible for funding the current base on Aylsham Road.

He served with the RAF in the second world war from 1939 to 1945, firstly based in Britain and then fighting in the Far East.

Norwich RBL president Jimmy Hipwell said: “Derek's been a wonderful member of the Royal British Legion. If you ask him to do anything nothing's too much for him. “He's a stalwart and deserves every bit of this honour.”

t Ian Carstairs, already a Member of the British Empire, has been “promoted” to OBE.

In 1989, he set up a conservation charity - the Carstairs Conservation Trust - that, throughout the 1990s, rescued a 12th century priory and internationally-important wetland habitat along the river Derwent in Yorkshire.

In recent years, Mr Carstairs has turned his attention to saving arable plants from extinction in the North York Moors, where he has already saved a number of plants from total loss in the region.

Along with a handful of local volunteers he has surveyed the plants of the national park, secured local seed of the few remaining plants of a wide range of species and grown them in a nursery before planting them into a working farm field.

Mr Carstairs, who has lived in Harleston for five years with partner Jan, recently held an exhibition of photographs of some of the flowers in the south Norfolk town.

At the time he said: “Our motto throughout has been, 'These flowers are not extinct, we just haven't seen them for a long time.'”

t A former RAF Coltishall commander is today honoured in the Queen's military honour's list.

Air Commodore Graham Wright, who was in charge of the base when the Jaguar jets left for the final time and who established the Coltishall Association is made a CBE.

t Norfolk-born vacuum cleaner king James Dyson is knighted today for his services to business.

The 59-year-old billionaire thanked his 1,500 workers for turning his invention into a “great international success”.

Sir James revolutionised the domestic appliances market with the bagless vacuum cleaner.

The Dyson Dual Cyclone became the best-selling vacuum cleaner in the UK within 18 months of its launch.

t Made an OBE for services to music is renowned double bass player and teacher Rodney Gerald Yorke Slatford, from South Creake, near Fakenham.

For the past 11 years he has run a new arts centre for the Yorke Trust near his Norfolk home, running workshops and performances by young musicians. He initially founded the Trust in 1985 with help from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation with the aim of advancing education in music. The trust focuses on children learning the double bass.

t A Norfolk based schools campaigner is today made an OBE for services to education.

Adrian Underwood, from Wells, spent seven years as national director of the Boarding Schools Association (BSA) helping its member schools and prospective parents and pupils until his retirement this year.

His appointment to the BSA in 1999 involved him running an organisation of 400 schools. He was later appointed as a member of a DfES working party.

t Prof Keith Roberts, 61, from Norwich has been made an OBE for services to plant biology. Recently retired as deputy director of the John Innes Centre, he is also well-known to a generation of sixth form and undergraduate students the world over as the author of the best-selling textbook on cell biology. He also set up the Teacher Science Network aimed at improving the teaching of the subject in schools.

t A pensioner who has worked tirelessly for the community of Weasenham St Peter for

a quarter of a century has been made an MBE.

But speaking yesterday, village resident Peter Brown, 69, who has been a reader for the seven villages in the Great Massingham benefice for 25 years, said he was bemused at the recognition for services to the community.

He is also stage manager for the Weasenham Church Drama Group, edits the Parish Notes newsletter and is a trustee with the Weasenham Charity, which hands out money to the village's pensioners each year.