St Albans, Harpenden, and Hertfordshire people recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

PUBLISHED: 22:30 07 June 2019

Lady Verulam recieving her honorary degree. Picture: Greg McClamon

Lady Verulam recieving her honorary degree. Picture: Greg McClamon

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Extraordinary people from around the district and county have been recognised by the Queen for outstanding achievements.

Bob Pepper has been awarded an OBE, on top of an MBE he received in 2005, for services to music. Picture: Submitted by Bob PepperBob Pepper has been awarded an OBE, on top of an MBE he received in 2005, for services to music. Picture: Submitted by Bob Pepper

This year's Queen's Birthday Honours, awarded to people who have gone above and beyond in their respective fields, have been announced and there are several people from this area who made the list.

The Countess of Verulam, Dione Angela, has received a CVO. She was the first woman to be the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, has received an honorary degree from the University of Hertfordshire, and is the patron of local charities Home-Start Herts and Youth Talk.

She founded the Gorhambury Group and is involved in running the Gorhambury Estate, including penning and illustrating the Gorhambury Gardens guide.

Chair of the Arhag Housing Association, Qadeer Kiani, is being given an OBE for helping migrants and refugees, alongside magistrate Nicholas Moss for services to the administration of justice in Hertfordshire.

Harpenden golfer Kenneth Brown is receiving an MBE for services to sport and broadcasting. In an interview with Hertfordshire Life, Kenneth said his success story began at the Harpenden Common Golf Club and working as an assistant pro golfer at Verulam Golf Club in St Albans.

He has won four European tour wins and had five appearances at the Ryder Cup.

Bob Pepper has been awarded an OBE, on top of an MBE he received in 2005, for services to music.

The 68-year-old Harpenden resident has helped young people using music education through organisations such us The Music in Secondary Schools Trust and the Enfield Youth Symphony Orchestra.

He said: "I feel honoured and excited, it is great to be recognised for the work you have done.

"Music is a tremendous vehicle for helping kids in all sorts of ways. It encourages and helps them to work with others, it is intellectually demanding, it is lots of fun, it provides emotional relief and gives them a sense of community.

"Lots of kids I work with do not have the best backgrounds and it helps them to find a community in a good way rather than a bad way."

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Geoffrey Golding is the owner of a St Albans tailors, GD Golding, and has been awarded a Royal Victorian Order recognising personal service to the monarch.

At 75 years old, he still works 60-hour weeks and has tailored six leading members of the Royal Family over three decades.

Geoffrey said he was shocked, humbled and overwhelmed: "Awards protocol forbids me from naming which members of the Royal Family I serve but I will say that it has been an honour and always a pleasure to fulfil their requirements whenever called upon."

Suffering from dyslexia and having left school without qualifications, Geoffrey set up the Hatfield Road shop in 1963 at 19 years old. He now employs 15 people in front of house and office roles.

A major step forward from local to national recognition came in 1978 when Geoffrey won an appointment to make officers' uniforms for the Household Cavalry.

He said: "Those officers appreciate the quality of our services, military and civilian, and stay with us when they leave the armed services and move into other important roles.

"Their endorsement has helped build us a reputation in the city, in the wider business world, in the civil service and in politics - including former prime ministers."

Other customers have included MPs and Lords, High Sheriffs, a chairman of an international holiday cruise line and a chairman of the Stock Exchange.

He thanked his employees: "They include tailors and seamstresses who have been with us for over 25 years. The staff's loyalty and skills, so hard to find nowadays, have been crucial to our progress.

"We are eternally grateful for their contribution."

More recipients of MBEs include the executive assistant at the Ministry of Defence, Jacqueline Ida Clarke, for services to defence; Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Joint Protective Services Major Crime Unit review team manager Michael Oliver Flavin, for services to policing in Herts; and London North West Healthcare NHS Trust Macmillan nurse consultant, Gillian Claire Taylor, for services to colorectal cancer nursing in St Albans.

Andrew Bignell is also being awarded a BEM for services to public libraries in St Albans.

Head of resources defence intelligence, Gary Nigel Lewitt, has been given a CBE for services to defence in Hertfordshire alongside the former chief executive of The Pensions Regulator, Lesley Jane Titcomb, who is receiving her CBE for services to pensions regulation in the county.

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