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Seend stalwart is made MBE
Community campaigner Peter Fisher, who was at the heart of bids to save Seend’s community centre and WI hall, has been made an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Mr Fisher, 85, of School Road, Seend, a former managing director of Avon Rubber, gained a reputation as someone who got things done.
Mr Fisher, who with his wife Pat moved to their present home in 1976, said: “There was a Colonel Marks in the village, known locally as the garrison commander, who organised most of the village events. When he found I was someone who was willing to do things, he got me busy.”
Mr Fisher was soon involved in designing, building and lighting the area’s beacon for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
He said: “When Col Marks became ill, he asked me to take over the presidency of Seend social club, whose income had declined by the late 1990s. I told the other trustees we had two options: to sell the building and pay our debts, or apply for charitable status.”
Mr Fisher discovered that the moribund Seend Trust had much the same aims and objectives as the social club and persuaded the Charity Commissioners to transfer charity status to the social club, which has since gone from strength to strength.
Then the village WI, which met in a First World War hut on Rusty Lane with allotments behind it, decided that, because of falling numbers, it would have to close. Its committee pursued a planning application for a housing development on the site.
Mr Fisher spearheaded a campaign against it which failed to stop Kennet District Council granting permission.
However, Mr Fisher discovered that the WI trustees had not followed the instructions of the covenant on the property and the approval was annulled.
Mr Fisher said he had mixed feelings when he received the letter informing him of the MBE. He said: “At first I was overwhelmed by the honour, particularly in the diamond jubilee year.
“But, on reflection, I was somewhat bewildered, in light of the number of people in this community that do so much, why it should be me.
“Seend is a remarkable village with a remarkable community spirit. This honour reflects on what the community does.”
Mr Fisher is also a member of Melksham Rotary Club, is a supporter of the Royal British Legion, and has been the driving force behind Seend Flower Show, which raises money for the Lye Field recreational trust, of which he is a trustee.