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Golden boy Ed leads Wiltshire's New Year Honours list
Kayak king Ed McKeever from Bradford on Avon leads a long list of Wiltshire people commemorated by the Queen in her New Year’s Honours List.
The former St Laurence School pupil, 29, who grew up in Farleigh Wick, was awarded an MBE for his Olympic Games heroics on the waters of Eton Dorney in the men’s kayak single K1 200m where he won a gold medal.
The accolade capped a remarkable year for Ed who had a postbox in Bradford on Avon painted gold in his honour and in September he tied the knot with his fiancée, teacher Anya Kuczha, at a service held in Beaconsfield with the couple currently in the Virgin Islands enjoying their honeymoon.
Father Derek McKeever, who lives in Farleigh Wick, with his wife Janice, said: “We are very proud of him. Having talked it through with my wife, she said she has three other people on her side of the family who’ve received honours, so it carries on the trend for her but this is something very new for me and concludes a great year for Ed.”
Gitte Dawson, 70, a trustee of The Galleries Shop & Café, in Freshford, which raises funds for village projects was also awarded an MBE.
The Galleries, owned and run by trustees, has raised around £17,000 for the Freshford & Limpley Stoke Community Association this year.
Ms Dawson, of Hillside Farm, Freshford, said: “I discovered I’d been nominated about two weeks ago when I received a letter asking me if I’d accept the honour. Of course I was delighted and said yes. It is a fantastic accolade which I’m very, very proud of."
Seend village stalwart Lilian Smallshaw, who founded the village’s Nosh and Natter Club, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for her tireless work in her community.
David Deacon has also been awarded a MBE for charitable efforts in the Warminster area, and David Edgington, from Westbury, has been honoured with an MBE for services to the Industrial Heritage of the Stationary Engine .
Jill Clark, 76, who lives in Sutton Benger, and organises village events including church fetes, a flower festival and a variety show, was awarded an MBE for services to the community.
The mother-of-three said: “I think the village has given me more than I’ve given them. I’ve tried not to think much about it, I do find it a bit embarrassing.
“To me, it really is for all the people that I’ve worked with over the years as you’re only a part of it really. In a way the award really belongs to the village.”
A Warminster charity worker will receive an OBE after being named on the New Year’s honours list for her work with cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
Daphne Pullen, of Manor Road, Upton Lovell, joined CLIC Sargent as chair in April 2006, after previously completing a three-year term as chair of Samaritans, where she continued to offer her services as a helpline volunteer.
The 60-year-old, who lives with her husband Andrew, is a retired local authority lawyer, but has been doing charity work for years - including time as vice chair of a branch of Victim Support.
Marlborough special constable Mike Tupman has also been awarded an MBE for his years of dedicated service in the town, while June Barnes, chairman of Frome Carnival has been awarded an OBE and Simon Pugh-Jones, a teacher at Writhlington School has been made an MBE by the Queen.
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