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Queen's birthday honours for Cumbrians

Hunter Davies says he was so unprepared to be named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours that he dismissed the notification letter as a tax demand.

The celebrated Carlisle-born author and journalist was today revealed as one of 11 Cumbrians to be recognised in Her Majesty’s latest honours, receiving an OBE for services to literature.

Speaking from his home at Loweswater, near Cockermouth, Mr Davies, 78, said: “I got a call from my agent to say there was a letter for me which said ‘From Her Majesty’s Service’,”

“I said it sounds like tax and I have nothing to hide, so he opened it and read it out.”

When he hung up the phone, Mr Davies told his wife – novelist Margaret Forster – that he was being awarded an OBE.

Mr Davies, a journalist who has written more than 70 books, including the only authorised biography of the Beatles, while claiming he was “just a hack that got lucky”, he went on to admit that he was “chuffed and well pleased” with his OBE .

Maryport fishing veteran John McAvoy has also been honoured, awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the Cumbrian fishing industry and community.

The 71-year-old, of Ritson Wharf, who is manager and secretary of Maryport Fishing Company, said: “I was gobsmacked and in total shock. I was stood there with my mouth open just staring at the letter in disbelief. It was right out of the blue.”

Mr McAvoy was one of six local fisherman who set up the Maryport and Solway Fishing Company in the 1980s. The company was formed to get fisherman a better price for their catches and help service their boats. As well as supplying their own quayside shop, The Catch, most fish is sent to Fleetwood market and prawns go to Prestwick in Scotland for processing.

Mr McAvoy has been prominent in calling for Maryport’s Elizabeth Dock to be dredged before the town’s fishing industry is lost.

The livelihood of the town’s fisherman is at risk because the harbour is filling up with mud. The last time it was dredged was in 2006.

A British Empire Medal also goes to Lake District ranger and mountain rescue hero Peter Barron, 58, of Rosthwaite, near Keswick.

He has played a key part in encouraging the settlement of ospreys in the area since 1997, as well as being involved in the aftermath of the devastating 2001 foot and mouth outbreak and 2009 floods, co-ordinating recovery work and helping out where he could.

As well as his work as a ranger, Peter has also served as deputy leader with Keswick Mountain Rescue Team since 1987.

His honour comes for services to the Lake District and voluntary service to mountain rescue.

“It’s about making a difference and if you can get a real self-satisfaction from what you do then you’re onto a winner,” he said.

Kate Parry, from Cockermouth, has been awarded an MBE in recognition for her work over the past 15 years for the benefit of the community – including during the 2009 floods.

She has worked at the town’s Kirkgate Arts centre for the past eight years and is currently its general manager.

When Cockermouth was devastated by floods in November 2009, she opened the doors of the centre to provide a place for those worst affected to meet and socialise.

Mrs Parry, 40, said she was overwhelmed, as well as “slightly embarrassed” to have been singled out for the award because there were dozens of people in Cockermouth who deserved the recognition.

Working for the family firm has earned David Hodgkiss an OBE.

The 66-year-old, who lives in Penrith, is the chief executive of William Hare, a steel fabrication company based in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Mr Hodgkiss has been given the honour for services to manufacturing and exporting.

Speaking about how he felt after learning of the accolade, he added: “I was honoured and I felt very proud indeed.”

Tom Woof, a planning consultant for Carlisle-based H&H Land and Property and chairman of the Upper Eden Community Plan, receives a British Empire Medal for services to community planning in the area.

A year ago he was behind the pioneering Upper Eden Neighbourhood Plan – which aims to give local people more say over planning issues – which is an idea now being taken up by communities elsewhere in the country.

Mr Woof, a 49-year-old from Kirkby Stephen, said: “Naturally I am very pleased to be recognised in this way, however the award belongs as much to all those who worked with me on the Upper Eden Community Plan.”

Annette Hazel Hennessy, a former chief executive of Cumbria Probation Trust, receives an OBE for services to public protection and reducing reoffending. Ms Hennessy, who lives in Appleby, is now the chief executive of the Merseyside Probation Trust.

Other Cumbrians honoured are: Peter Hensman, of Kendal, who receives and OBE For voluntary service to Cumbria’s rural economy; Professor Anne Strachan Garden, of Arnside, the head of Lancaster University Medical School, who receives an MBE for services to medical education, an honour that also goes to fundraiser Victoria Robinson, of Windermere, for services to the arts. Joan Bentley, of Grange-over-Sands receives an British Empre Medal for services to charity and to the community.

Have your say

Be advised that anyone and any entity/society/company etc can recommend an Honour be given. For information simply Google: "How to recommend a person for an Honour" Please do not be backward in coming forward, with your recommendation, so Carlisle omissions do not continue

Posted by Per Ardua Ad Astra on 15 June 2014 at 14:35

A notable lack of worthy people in the Carlisle area.? .

Posted by a city dweller on 14 June 2014 at 15:52

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