08:29 Tuesday 31 December 2013

Music to our ears - New Year Honours



A 73-YEAR-OLD woman has been honoured for her voluntary service to disability sport in East Staffordshire.

For the last 42 years, Beryl Horton has made it her mission to provide sport and ‘something to do’ for disabled people in the area, and her hard work has paid off with a British Empire Medal (BEM).

However, it is not the first time Mrs Horton has been recognised for her work – last year she became an Olympic torchbearer during the Derby to Nottingham leg of the Olympic relay.

At her home, in Hall Lane, Willington, Mrs Horton remained modest and said: “We don’t volunteer for this work to get recognition and glory, we do it because we enjoy it and just to see their faces when they win a medal it is all worth it.”

Mrs Horton, who has a severely disabled son and disabled daughter with her husband Murray, is the club leader and secretary of CREST, which provides activities for its disabled members aged anywhere between 10 and into their 60s.

She has been the voluntary driver of disability sports provision in East Staffordshire for over four decades. In 1971 she began working to raise money to build a swimming pool for Springfield Junior School, in Swadlincote, after her daughter, Susan, enrolled.

For many years, she has organised a disabled swimming club for people in Burton and went on to become the national swimming team leader for Mencap for more than 20 years. Mrs Horton has also played a leading role in the formation of the East Staffordshire Able Too Forum. In this role she has played an integral role in raising £75,000 of funding over the past 10 years to allow the activities to develop. She spends her evenings and weekends coaching Unihoc and swimming and runs a weekly youth club.

When she joined what was to become CREST, the group had ‘a few jigsaws’ and 10 members. Beryl proudly points out it now boasts 87 members, with many taking part in five-side football matches, cricket as well as the swimming galas, including competitions in Geneva.

She said: “I love to see people enjoying themselves, going from someone who cannot swim and are terrified of water to taking part in their first competition and winning three medals.”

With a total of eight children as well as grandchildren to keep their hands full, Mrs Horton says she is grateful to a dedicated group of volunteers who help to keep the sessions running.

In recent years, Mr and Mrs Horton’s charitable work has also taken them to eastern Europe where they have become involved with a project helping children in Romania.


A MUSICIAN, who has been instrumental in tinkling the ivories of the Mighty Wurlitzer and bringing fame to Burton, has been honoured by the Queen.

Today, Arthur Tipper, receives a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music, and said: “It was quite a shock when I was told – not an unpleasant one. It was very surprising.

“I have never been honoured like this before. I once went to Lambeth Palace to collect a certificate for church music but nothing like this.

“My family thought I was pulling their leg when I told them, quite exciting really.”

Tutbury resident, Arthur, started piano lessons at eight-years-old. By the age of nine, he was playing for the Sunday School and at eleven held a post at a church in Scropton.

Eventually he was playing piano in a Royal Engineers’ dance band during his National Service and, following this, Arthur played tenor saxophone and piano in a 14-piece band until the 1950s.

In addition to playing piano and electronic organ, Arthur has been playing the Mighty Wurlitzer at Burton Town Hall since it’s installation in 1973, for concerts, dancing and civic functions. He has also featured the instrument on BBC1 and BBC Radio 2, together with several local radio programmes.

He also holds a Diploma in Church Music and works freelance around many of the local churches.

Apart from playing in the UK, Arthur has also given recitals in Germany and Russia.

Burton’s Wurlitzer organ was manufactured by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company at North Tonawanda, New York State, in 1925, and was brought to Burton from a cinema in Manchester following a campaign by the late keyboard enthusiast Armsbee Bancroft.


A LEADING educationalist, from Rangemore, who had little grasp of the English language when she arrived on these shores from India has become a Dame.

Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College, has been appointed a DBE for services to further education. The accolade comes five years after she was awarded an OBE for services to education.

Asha is also the first Indian-born woman for 83 years to be awarded the DBE.

She said: “Further Education has been my life. I believe passionately in the power of Further Education to transform lives – it has mine and it does so for countless others. To receive such a recognition is deeply humbling. This is a shared honour; shared with everyone who I have worked with over the years.

“I am indebted to my husband and my three children; throughout this journey, they have been my rock and my inspiration.

“My passion for Further Education is impossible to describe and grows more so every day. I am immensely proud to be part of this amazing sector.”

Asha came to the UK in 1978 with husband Shankar, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, and three young children.

Under Asha’s leadership, West Nottinghamshire College has become one of the most successful and eminent colleges in the UK. It is the largest college provider of apprenticeships for 16 to 18-year-olds in the country. In February 2013 Asha was part of Prime Minster David Cameron’s trade delegation to India.

In 2008, Asha founded The Inspire and Achieve Foundation - a charity dedicated to improving the lives of young people who have been disenchanted and disengaged from any form of education and training.

Over the years Asha has received many accolades including ‘Asian Women of Achievement’, ‘National Jewel Award’, ‘Business Women of the Midlands’ and ‘Inspirational Women of the Year.’

Her husband Shankar said: “Asha makes us proud everyday but to be appointed a Dame is unbelievable. This huge recognition is a matter of great pride and honour not just for Asha and our families but for generations to come. It is an achievement of which every Indian, wherever they live, will feel proud of and hold their head high. For me personally, the last six weeks have been the longest weeks of my life because I was not allowed to share this great news with my family and friends.”

Lindsey Jean Clark - OBE for services to further education, from Swadlincote.

Mrs Clark has been a teacher for 38 years. In 2001, she became head teacher of Park View School, an inner city Birmingham school in very challenging circumstances. Today, the school, The Academy of Mathematics and Science is outstanding. It has become a Multi-Academy Trust which is supporting a large primary school to improve rapidly. Lindsey has also been a director of an Alternative Provision Free School. She is a National Leader of Education.

Peter Dartford – chief fire officer for Staffordshire fire and rescue service – Queen’s Fire Service Medal.

Peter started his career aged 18 as a firefighter with Hertfordshire Fire Brigade, reaching the rank of Divisional Commander. He took charge of the rescue operation at the train crash that occurred in Watford in August 1996.

He joined Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service in February 1999 as Senior Divisional Officer. Just two years later Peter was again promoted to Assistant Chief Fire Officer and in 2005 became Deputy Chief Fire Officer. April 2008 saw Peter become the new Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive and was also appointed a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers in 2009 and is also the National Lead Officer for Prevention for the Chief Fire Officers’ Association.

Geoffrey Miller – Derbyshire cricketer – OBE for services to cricket.

A former cricketer, Mr Miller played in 34 Tests and 25 ODIs for England from 1976 to 1984. He played for Derbyshire from 1973 to 1986, captaining the side from 1979 to 1981, and returned in 1990 after playing for Essex between 1987 and 1989.

Dr Satbir Jassal – medical director of Rainbows Hospice - MBE for his services to palliative care for children and young people.

In 1993, Dr Jassal set up the role of medical director at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People from nothing and has developed it into a role model for others.

He was a founder member of the Association of Paediatric Palliative Medicine and is one of two GP members of the group developing the curriculum for paediatric palliative care. He is a co-author and contributor for many text books, including the Oxford Handbook of Paediatric Palliative Medicine. Dr Jassal also delivers training on paediatric palliative medicine to the wider children’s palliative care community.

His work has raised the profile of Rainbows, which cares for more than 280 children and young people with life-limiting illnesses from the East Midlands. In 2009, Dr Jassal was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in recognition of his contribution.

Andrew Lewer, former leader of Derbyshire County Council - MBE for services to local government

He was elected on to the council in May 2005, making him one of Derbyshire’s youngest County Councillors and the youngest county council leader in the country.

As well as serving as leader of the council, he was the Cabinet Member for Culture and Chairman of the Derbyshire Partnership Forum. He sat on the East Midlands Leaders Board and represented the county council on the Local Government Association as a Board member for Culture, Tourism and Sport.

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