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New Year Honours: Gloucestershire recipients celebrate awards

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 02, 2014

  • Councillor Mark Hawthorne

  • Chris Martin

  • Fred Goode

  • PC Martyn Hillier

  • Mike Houghton

  • Pamela Cottle

  • Robin Morris

  • Kevin McCloud

Comments (10)

THEY come from all walks of life, from politics to Girlguiding, but all of the county’s New Year Honours recipients have one thing in common – the impact they have had on life in Gloucestershire.

Fred Goode, 92, from Churchdown, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his work with the Burma Star Association in Gloucestershire.

The Royal Navy veteran said: “My wife kept this secret since January and I only found out about it in November.

“I was never in Burma, but I have great respect for the people that were there. They did not get the kudos they deserved. I was in the Navy for 38 years.

“I feel very honoured. I have every respect for those men who fought in Burma, they didn’t live, they just existed and fought to survive.

“As I see it, they should have had more respect, many of these men do not talk about their experiences and that speaks volumes.”

Also honoured is Gloucestershire County Council leader Mark Hawthorne, who will receive an MBE for services to local government.

He said he felt surprised and honoured when he heard the news.

“Everything I have been involved with for the last 16 years has been as a result of working with some fantastic people both at member and officer level,” he said.

“Everything we have achieved has been done collectively. This is an award for them as much as it is for me.

“As a politician, it was hard to keep quiet about it. I told my parents over the weekend as it was the last chance I had before it became public and my mother was thrilled. It is an absolute honour.”

Girl Guide leader Pam Cottle, 82, has been honoured with the British Empire Medal after 60 years’ voluntary work with the youth movement.

Mrs Cottle, from Minchinhampton, said she was very grateful but a “little embarrassed”.

“It seems stupid giving me something for something I have so enjoyed doing,” she said.

A schoolteacher by profession, Mrs Cottle started out as a Guide leader in her home area of Sharpness and later became a trainer of other Guiders.

Currently president of Girlguiding UK’s Gloucestershire West Division, Mrs Cottle was also a Guides’ camp adviser.

“I specialised in outdoor things. We still have a lot to offer, there is no doubt about it,” she said.

Founder member and chairman of Gloucester Civic Trust Robin Morris receives the MBE for services to the community, particularly heritage in Gloucester.

Mr Morris, 81, a solicitor, said he was “very pleased” with the recognition of the trust’s work.

“It is probably due to everybody else’s effort really,” he said.

Trust chairman for almost 30 years, Mr Morris said he was proudest of gaining Gloucester’s recognition as a heritage city.

“It was neglected for so many years,” he said. “We now have one of the best records for heritage open days in the country.”

After 35 years of helping bikers to be safer on the county’s roads, retired police officer Martyn Hillier has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service.

Mr Hillier established BikeSafe in 1978 as one of the country’s first police initiatives to reduce accidents for motorcyclists.

Mr Hillier said he believed it was the longest running similar police initiative in the country.

“You can never prove you have prevented an accident but I hope that we have,” he said.

Mr Hillier, 60, retired from Gloucestershire Police a year ago. He served 41 years with the force, and joined in 1971, the year that his father, also a police officer, died.

“I was allowed to change my collar number to my dad’s, so for 63 years their was a 520 Hillier in Gloucestershire police.”

He was stunned to receive notification of the medal.

“It was a complete surprise and I’m very humbled,” he said.

Chris Martin, 64, retired as a retained firefighter in Lydney, where he lives with wife Lyn, in May this year, but he still co-ordinates much of the fire and rescue service’s retained operation from its Gloucester headquarters.

He is receiving an MBE for his dedication to the fire service.

He said he was “totally amazed” by the news.

“I couldn’t quite believe it really,” he said. “I know it’s a cliché, and people can say it as much as they like, but as long as you work with good people, that’s all that matters.”

Another retained firefighter, Mike Houghton, will pick up a British Empire Medal for his dedicated work in Tetbury. The granddad-of-four retired this month aged 65, 49 years after starting.

“I’m very honoured,” he said. “To be honest, I just love the job I did. I did 49 years on a job I always wanted and I just felt like I was doing my duty. For somebody to nominate me, I feel grateful and very honoured.”

Being from Tetbury, encounters with royalty are relatively common for Mike. Prince Charles lives just around the corner at Highgrove, but he’d have no qualms if the Prince of Wales stepped in to hand over the medal on the day.

“I’m a bit of a royalist,” said Mike. “I’ve met Charles a few times and I’d like to meet the Queen, very much.”

County council chief executive Pete Bungard said: “It is so rewarding to see the services of our retained firefighters recognised through the New Year’s Honours.

“In addition to their honours award, I really want to record the county council’s thanks for their fantastic service.”

Well known names from stage and screen have also received honours in the New Year list. They include:

* The Good Life actress Penelope Keith becomes a Dame

* Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury has also been honoured with the same title

* Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins becomes an OBE

* Loose Women star and actress Lynda Bellingham also receives the same honour

* Veteran TV and radio broadcaster Nicholas Parsons becomes a CBE

* Renowned sculptor Antony Gormley receives a knighthood

* Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, whose company redeveloped Cashes Green Hospital in Stroud as sustainable homes, becomes a MBE

* Gavin and Stacey writer and actress Ruth Jones becomes a MBE

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10 comments

  • The_Selector  |  January 02 2014, 2:29PM

    This is nothing short of ridiculous. Councillor Hawthorne is well-paid in his role as Leader of the Council, which enables him to devote his time solely to such duties, unlike many other councillors that also have regular jobs. What has he really achieved? Won some safe Tory seats and been the best of a bad bunch from the largest party, and then led the slashing and burning of services. Even if I believed in honours for politicians, or in the honours system at all (which I don't), I would still suggest this award is twenty years premature! The guy is only about 40, and he'll continue to do very well out of the life he has chosen for himself. I am utterly dismayed!

    |   5
  • billy25  |  January 01 2014, 6:08PM

    Hawthorne is "surprised"? I am appalled and disgusted. He presided over "bad government" according to the high court when he tried to withdraw public services from the most deprived areas of the county. He wasted 1/4 million pounds of our money on a court case the council was never going to win. His plans had to be re-drawn under the supervision of the Equality and Human Rights Commision. He refused to meet once with library users concerned about the cuts. He is one of the most unpleasant characters I have ever had the misfortune to deal with and has left me feeling extremely dismayed about the state of local politics. This is award is an insult to those who have been the victim of his reckless policies . Well done to the other deserving folk for their awards though.

    |   7
  • Snappy_Happer  |  January 01 2014, 10:49AM

    Fair enough, if a bit wordy...

  • Lecorche  |  January 01 2014, 10:28AM
    |   2
  • Apothegm_  |  December 31 2013, 1:56PM

    "Also honoured is Gloucestershire County Council leader Mark Hawthorne, who will receive an MBE for services to local government. He said he felt surprised and honoured when he heard the news." Don't worry, Mark, we weren't surprised at all. Just appalled and disgusted, as previous commenters have indicated.

    |   25
  • donnasaxby  |  December 31 2013, 12:00PM

    Sorry but is the same Councillor Mark Hawthorne that was taken to the High Court (and lost at vast expense to council) over proposed library closures in deprived areas? The man that said people could get all their books from Tescos? Great. Congratulations though to all those non-politicians who received deserved recognition in the honours.

    |   26
  • Snappy_Happer  |  December 31 2013, 10:46AM

    The MBE has been utterly degraded by the character of some of the people awarded it, sadly for those who do deserve an accolade for service to their community, and are palmed off with one.

    |   11
  • Whizzo  |  December 31 2013, 10:30AM

    Devotion to your community, tireless charitable work, commitment in your career above and beyond what is expected are all very honourable but, honours should be restricted to those brave men and women who serve and fight some of the most controversial and despicable wars all over the world.

    |   4
  • griffin6  |  December 31 2013, 9:59AM

    The honours list should be renamed the cronies, Hawthorne should be embarrased to even be nominated, there are many far more deserving people in Gloucestershire and perhaps he should have suggested one of them rather than accepting an award for services to Richard Graham.

    |   27
  • JemmyWood  |  December 31 2013, 8:50AM

    Mark Hawthorne, one of the main players in the £25M incinerator millstone that he and his cohorts have lumbered Gloucestershire residents with and dumping it on the area that he currently represents, gets an MBE for services to local government? who decided that? - not anyone outside his little political circle thats for sure. There are far more deserving people in Gloucester.

    |   28

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