Wakefield men presented with Queen's New Year honours

Two Wakefield men have been rewarded for their work in the Queen's New Year honours.

By Laura Drysdale
Thursday, 31st December 2015, 9:27 am
Bob Howden, president of British Cycling
Bob Howden, president of British Cycling

British Cycling President Robert Ellis Howden, better known as Bob, has been awarded an OBE for his services to cycling.

And David Christopher Lane, the former vice president of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) was given a CBE for his services to childcare and social work.

Mr Howden began cycling in 1968 with Calder Clarion, before becoming a founder member of Wakefield Cycling Club in 1974.

He raced for 24 years, representing West Yorkshire at a senior level.

Mr Howden has also been a member of the British Cycling association for more than four decades and a board member across 13 years. He was elected as president in 2013 and has been the chairman of the Yorkshire region since its inception in 2001.

He was founder and chairman of the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, organised the British Cycling National Road Championships in 2005, 2008 and 2012, and the annual Ryedale Grand Prix Premier Calendar Road Race.

Yorkshire Cycling presented Mr Howden with the C.A Rhodes Memorial honour in 2013, in recognition for his outstanding service to cycling in both Yorkshire and nationally. The award is the greatest distinction the organisation can bestow.

Mr Howden is also owner and managing director of Ongoing Developments, a group which includes Wakefield-based company Grass Concrete Limited.

He paid tribute to the volunteers without whom “we simply wouldn’t have a sport” after receiving his OBE.

He said: “Naturally I feel very proud to have been honoured by Her Majesty but, like the thousands of volunteers up and down the country who help put on bike races, organise club runs, coach young people and help out in a thousand different ways, I’ve really been motivated by love of the sport.

“Cycling has come a long way in the last 10 years and much of the credit for that is due to an army of people who are passionate about cycling in their communities and give freely of their time and expertise, so it was great to see the Government start to recognise the value of volunteers in the new sport strategy announced just before Christmas.

“Without those people, the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Laura Trott would not have made their first steps in the sport, without those people the huge numbers we have inspired to get on their bikes would not have the network of clubs and events needed to support them and without those people we simply would not have a sport.

“Volunteering in cycling is incredibly rewarding, I would recommend it to anyone of any age and and I'm an example how far volunteers can progress in this great sport."

Mr Lane began his career with eight years of work in residential child care, mainly assessing young offenders.

He spent eight years as Director of Social Services in Wakefield, from 1985 to 1993 and was vice president of PACEY, a standard-setting organisation which promotes best practice and supports childcare professionals to deliver high standards of care and learning, for several years.

Since then he has worked on more than eighty legal cases in which former children in care have sought damages for negligence, as a consultant in social services and expert witness.

He is currently a panel member in the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

Mr Lane has also worked in a volunteer capacity with a breadth of charitable organisations including Leonard Cheshire Disability and the Child Care History Network.

He said: “I am very grateful to PACEY for nominating me for an honour. It feels quite undeserved, as my contribution has been mainly in the background. I have not done the hard work of looking after the children.

"The reason I joined the organisation was because I wrote a report which made recommendations about training and support for childminders. People who work from home looking after children are often insular and not supported but it's an important job and one that needed recognition.

"Pacey ensured that that happened and pushed for the professionalising of child-minding.

"I hope that PACEY's members all feel that they own a piece of the honour, therefore, because it is the excellent services provided by PACEY members which are really being recognised."

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, said: “We are delighted that David’s commitment has been recognised. While he has been humble in his acceptance of the honour, he has contributed a huge amount to our organisation over two decades in terms of governance, counsel and support to trustees, members and staff. I want to congratulate David on behalf of all of PACEY’s members.”