Team GB lead the way in New Year Honours list

Britain's first ever Tour de France cyclist, a cutler to the Queen with 76 years under his belt and the director of an agricultural show are among the Yorkshire recipients of New Year's Honours

Friday, 30th December 2016, 10:44 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:01 pm
Nicola Adams, pictured in Leeds, will receive an OBE.

Nationally, Olympic heroes Mo Farah, Andy Murray and Sheffield’ Jessica Ennis-Hill lead the way in a list dominated by Rio 2016’s Team GB.

Others who will claim the title Sir in the new year include Kinks frontman Ray Davies, 72, and veteran comic Ken Dodd, 89, recognised for services to the arts, and entertainment and charity, respectively.

In Yorkshire, dozens of OBEs, CBEs, MBEs and British Empire Medals were announced for the region’s great and good as well as lower profile, yet equally devoted, community servants.

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The former Bishop of Liverpool, who played a pivotal part in securing new verdicts for the families of those killed in the Hillsborough disaster, is to be awarded a knighthood for services to the bereaved families and to justice.

The Right Reverend James Stuart Jones, from Malton, North Yorkshire, was asked to chair the Hillsborough Independent Panel in 2009, a report which led to the quashing of the original inquest verdicts into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fan.

Appointed by Prime Minister Theresa May, then Home Secretary, and asked to re-examine all documentation, it was to be a post of enormous national importance - and significant pressure.

But, he says, it was an honour to be a part of something which brought about some measure of justice for the families involved.

“I knew some people would be surprised that a Bishop would be asked to chair it,” the former Bishop of Hull said. “Over the decades, the families’ trust in the process, in the press, politicians and parliament, had been really undermined. Who else could they turn to?

“I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say it has been their lifes’ work. Right from the beginning they knew that the story being put about was not right. They kept raising their own objections but they kept being knocked back.

“I know that the families held out, not just for their own sake, not just for the city of Liverpool or for Liverpool Football Club, but for the nation - they believed it was such a travesty of justice and they had to fight it.

“It was important for the sake of truth and justice and adversity. For faith in public institutions. That, I think, is a matter of national concern. To be able to do something which has such a pastoral impact with the families is deeply fulfilling and an honour.”

Elsewhere, the great and the good of Yorkshire were rewarded for their public service.

Lt Col Andrew Garner, who served for two-and-a-half years as Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, will get an MBE.

David Cussons, the director of the Ryedale Show, will be the recipient of an MBE for services to agriculture and rural communities in North Yorkshire.

Nigel Richardson, the man credited with transforming Leeds City Council’s troubled children’s services department prior to his retirement earlier this year, was awarded a CBE.

And Tom Miskell, who has held a number of senior housing jobs across the North and is currently chairman at Bradford-based Accent group, was named as the recipient of an OBE for services to Housing Associations in North East England.

A Sheffield cutler who once made a knife for the Queen has had the favour returned with a new year honour.

Stan Shaw will receive a British Empire Medal, or BEM, for a lifetime spent in Sheffield’s famous cutlery trade.

The 90-year-old began his career in 1941 and is still working, crafting his specialised knives at his home in Deepcar and, for two days a week, at a workshop at Kelham Island Museum.

Mr Shaw was once commissioned by Sheffield Assay Office to make a platinum pocket knife for the Queen. And Her Majesty has now recognised his expertise.

“I found out in November, and I’ve not breathed a word to anyone yet,” he said this week. “I didn’t dream for one minute I should get one.

“It’s great for my family. I’ve been doing the job for 76 years – it’s a long time.

“Hopefully I have helped keep Sheffield craft alive.”

He is probably the last of Sheffield’s little mesters – the independent craftsmen responsible for Sheffield’s global reputation for excellent cutlery - and still makes every part of his pocket knives by hand.

His work is in high demand, with some of his knives selling for more than £1,000. He has a four-year waiting list for orders, and his work - each blade stamped with Stan Shaw, Sheffield, England - is sought after by collectors across the world.

“It will be nice to leave a bit of a legacy behind when I’m gone,” he said. “It’s the trade that’s been recognised.

“It’s good that it’s possible for me to still be doing what I am doing. I still enjoy it – even more now I’m down at Kelham Island.”

He added: “It’s good to see that quality counts and there is always a market for good quality stuff. It feels as if we are still wanted.”

A number of Yorkshire’s Rio heroes were also honoured, with double Olympic Champion Nicola Adams, from Leeds, crowning a triumphant year with an OBE for services to boxing.

Kadeena Cox, also from Leeds, who won gold in cycling and athletics during the Paralympics and was the flag-bearer at the closing ceremony in September, was among those to receive an MBE.

Jack Laugher and Chris Mears, who together won Britain’s first ever gold medal in diving, were also honoured, along with gold-medal winning Olympic rower Paul Bennett and Adam Duggleby, who won two Paralympic golds as a sighted pilot for visually impaired cyclist Stephen Bate.

Nicola Adams, who earlier this week guest edited the Today show on BBC Radio 4, is Britain’s most celebrated female boxer after winning her second gold medal at Rio this summer. Cyclist Ed Clancy, from Huddersfield, who won his third gold medal on the track this summer, was also awarded an OBE.

Sheffield rower Grace Clough, table tennis champion Will Bayley, from Rotherham, and Northallerton rower Laurence Whiteley, who all won gold in the Paralympics, are rewarded with MBEs.

And Brian Robinson, from Mirfield, the first Briton to compete in the Tour de France, was named as the recipient of a British Empire Medal for services to cycling.

The 86-year-old father-of-three from Mirfield, who was also the first Briton to win a Tour de France stage, said he hadn’t “broadcast” the news since getting a letter about it two weeks ago. He said: “I haven’t told anyone, really, not even my family know.

“It is like a bonus, really, I don’t suppose anyone ever counts on this sort of thing, not at my level anyway.

“It is very nice for cycling to be rewarded. I come from a cycling family, my father was a champion so we have a pedigree.”

A former Barnsley FC goalkeeper and coach nicknamed “Mr Barnsley” who died this week aged 93 will receive a British Empire Medal posthumously.

Norman Rimmington, known as “Rimmo”, signed with the club in 1945 and worked in a series of roles after his retirement.

The club said it was “truly devastated” by his death this week and described him as a “true legend” who “embodied everything good about our town and our people”. It was announced today that he will receive the honour for services to football and the community of Barnsley.

Elsewhere, Lady Gail Jopling, who transformed the fundraising capacity of the charity Hope and Homes for Children, is to become an MBE.

Lady Gail, 80, from Thirsk, has generated more than £5m and attracted more than 2,000 supporters, which has helped save the lives of hundreds of children and transformed the lives of thousands more.

Patricia Levitt, 78, from Barnsley, is also made an MBE. She is described as “an exemplary member of her community, giving over 30 years of voluntary services to a number of charitable organisations” including the Mothers’ Union.

Max Mills, 74, from Knaresborough, a teacher at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Harrogate for 51 years, receives the same honour for services to education.

The Cabinet Office citation says: “The sporting success of students, both individually and in teams was outstanding and can be attributed to his special coaching skills, his contagious enthusiasm and his willingness to commit his time and energy way beyond the normal teaching day.”

A hospital specialist who helps support child burn victims is “amazed and overwhelmed” to get the British Empire Medal. Burns hospital play specialist Tracy Foster, from Pinderfields Hospital, in Wakefield, was honoured for services to burn and scald rehabilitation for children.

Separately, David Wilkinson, a consultant vascular surgeon who helped oversee the successful expansion of the University of Leeds Medical School into Bradford, is made an MBE.

Well-known figures in Yorkshire politics have been honoured in today’s list.

Ros Jones, the elected mayor of Doncaster, was awarded a CBE for services to local government, while Debbie Toon, regional chairman of the Yorkshire and the Humber Conservatives, will get an MBE for political service.

James Newman, formerly chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board, is the recipient of an OBE for services to business, the economy and charity in Yorkshire.

Angela MacDonald, from York, who is Operational Excellence Director at the Department for Work and Pensions, will be given a CBE for services to welfare reform.