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Queen's Birthday Honours: Celebrations for Shropshire and Mid Wales people

Pontesbury | News | Published: | Last Updated:

A retired police officer and a long-standing Severn Hospice volunteer were among the stalwarts in Shropshire who were recognised today in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

At the age of 90, Kathleen Hartshorne, from Pontesbury, was one of the oldest people to be made an MBE.

The great grandmother-of-three, who received the honour for services to the community in Pontesbury, said she was shocked when she received a letter telling her the good news last month.

She said: "I thought, I can't believe this.

"I was a bit shaken. It is a great honour. I had never dreamed of such a thing."

Mrs Hartshorne, of Shrewsbury Road, has been deeply committed to the work of the Severn Hospice as a volunteer since it opened in 1989.

She has worked continuously since then, supporting patients in the day unit in Shrewsbury.

She has also played the piano willingly and enthusiastically at every service since the hospice opened, providing great pleasure and comfort and actively encouraging others to volunteer.

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Mrs Hartshorne, who was born in Pontesbury, said "When I lost my first husband there was a big void.

"I wanted to do something worthwhile. It's been a great privilege. I've worked with wonderful people and met some very special people."

As well as volunteering for the hospice, she has been a member of Pontesbury Congregational Church since the age of 12.

She has run the Sunday school, helps cater for the chapel and is the first to volunteer for any pastoral support.

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Mrs Hartshorne also gave 35 years of service running the village hall and has only recently retired from the committee.

Allan Caswell BEM

Retired police officer Allan Caswell has also been awarded a BEM for services to the community in Bayston Hill.

The 73-year-old, of Castle Lane, Bayston Hill, near Shrewsbury, said it was a "great honour".

The grandfather-of-five said: "I was very surprised. It's nice to be recognised.

"It's been hard keeping it a secret."

Mr Caswell served as a police constable for 30 years, joining the force in 1966.

He worked in Denbighshire, Wales, for five years before joining West Mercia Police and spending time working in Telford and Shrewsbury.

Mr Caswell visited schools speaking to children about the dangers of drugs and road safety.

Allan Caswell , inset, and in the white top, front middle, working in front of the Bayston Hill Memorial Hall in 1959

He also served as a school governor at Belvidere Primary School between 1991 and 1996.

Mr Caswell was involved in setting up a youth club as a committee member of Bayston Hill Memorial Hall when he was 16.

He has been chairman of the committee since 2001 and helped to revamp the venue after raising funds and applying for grants.

The improvements he has overseen include a new kitchen, better flooring, heating, lighting and the extension of two new committee rooms.

Mr Caswell said: "When I took over it was in a rather sorry state. We transformed it.

"We have nearly 40 regular groups who now use it."

Through the latest round of grants and fundraising he has been able to create a memorial garden in the memory of a police constable who was murdered in Shrewsbury and a field of poppies to commemorate the events of the First World War.

Pc Richard Gray was shot dead while attending a domestic dispute in Shrewsbury in 2007.

Over a period of a decade Mr Caswell has raised £324,000 for the hall.

Mr Caswell, who also dresses as Santa for Christmas events in the village, said: "It's been a team effort. Everyone pulled together.

"We've raised a lot of money over the years."

Gloria Johnson BEM

Also picking up a BEM is Gloria Johnson, of Noble Street, Wem.

The grandmother-of-two has been given the award for services to the community in Measham, Leicestershire.

The 63-year-old breathed life back into her declining village, which faced great challenges, such as unemployment, after the closures of the four coal mines that were the backbone of the community.

Mrs Johnson, who moved to Wem last year, said: "I was overwhelmed. I was shocked, surprised and then I became very emotional.

"It is a tremendous honour."

In 1994 she was headhunted by North West Leicestershire District Council to manage the community office.

Without any great experience or skills to run the office, she rose to the challenge after the offices were in great threat to be sold on or permanently closed.

She raised the funds single-handedly and set up the Measham and District Community Enterprise Trust in the same building.

After 21 years in operation the Enterprise encompasses many activities including Action for Jobs, employment training, an employment bureau, Community Action, workers co-operatives and festivals.

She has also managed to support on a voluntary basis organisations such as Mobility Bus Appeal, Measham Museum and History Group and Age Concern.

The Enterprise covers a significantly larger area than the small neighbourhood of Measham and has developed a model for regeneration that has been mirrored all over the country.

After moving to Shropshire, she is now working with St Peter & St Paul's Church in Wem to set up community projects there.

She said: "There is a church hall which is under-used. We are going to try and set up some little projects.

"It's in its infancy. We would like to so some sort of project for the youth."

Recipients of awards in Shropshire and Wales

SHROPSHIRE

OBE

Roger Malcolm Evans, of Lydbury North. For services to the UK Dairy Industry and local community.

MBE

Mrs Kathleen Isobel Hartshorne, of Shrewsbury. For services to the community in Pontesbury, Shropshire.

John O’Brien, of Shrewsbury. For services to Youth Initiatives in the UK and Abroad.

BEM

Allan Caswell, of Shrewsbury. For services to the community in Bayston Hill Shropshire. (Shrewsbury, Shropshire)

Mrs Gloria Elizabeth Johnson, of Wem. For services to the community in Measham, Leicestershire. (Wem, Shropshire)

WALES

Knights bachelor

Malcolm Conrad Walker, CBE, of Deeside. Chairman and chief executive, Iceland Frozen Food. For services to Retailing, Entrepreneurship and charity.

OBE

Professor Lynda May Warren, of Machynlieth. Formerly Deputy Chair on Radioactive Waste Management. For services to Environmental Protection in the UK and Abroad.

BEM

Roy William Palmer, of Llandrindod Wells. For services to charity and the community.

Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal:

Robin Petterson, Clinical Support Officer Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Tony Rossetti, First Responder Officer Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

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