Former St Albans councillor awarded MBE for services to the community

PUBLISHED: 09:00 09 December 2018

Melvyn Teare with his wife Heather Teare and daughters Emma Skipp and Catherine Wright. Picture: Johnny Green, PA Photos

Melvyn Teare with his wife Heather Teare and daughters Emma Skipp and Catherine Wright. Picture: Johnny Green, PA Photos

Press Association Images

A former St Albans district councillor received an MBE at Buckingham Palace for his work helping the community.

Melvyn Teare, 68, who now lives in Yorkshire, lived in St Albans for 40 years and worked as a district councillor alongside running a charity and taking on a large number of community roles.

He visited Buckingham Palace on Thursday, November 29 with his wife Heather and daughters Emma Skipp and Catherine Wright to receive his award from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Melvyn said: “It was very much a surprise when it was announced back in June. Going up to Buckingham Palace was really the highlight of my life.

“We stayed in a hotel overnight and we had to get a taxi to be at Buckingham palace for a set time and the taxi didn’t turn up. We were walking up and down in the rain and the excitement and the trepidation that we would be late started to build up.”

Melvyn and his family found another taxi, which had to be searched by armed police as it drove into Buckingham Palace. When they arrived he waited with the other recipients until it was his turn to be presented with the medal.

He said: “We were informed as to how to bow and then we discovered that it was going to be Prince William. You never know which of the royals it’s going to be that day. I was pleasantly surprised.

“He asked about Computer Friendly, the charity I ran for about 12 years, and we talked about various things as he shook my hand.”

Computer Friendly offers IT training in both St Albans and Harpenden, helping around 1,000 people each year. As well as running the charity, during his time in St Albans Melvyn helped organise events for Scouts, was president of the Chamber of Commerce, and worked as city centre manager for four years, helping to set up the Sunday farmers’ market which is still running to this day.

As district councillor, Melvyn was in charge of heritage and tourism, and was made an honorary alderman for his services to the council.

Melvyn was born in Yorkshire, and decided to move back up there four years ago after having throat cancer. He said: “We came up for a holiday and decided as a family to move back.”

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