Reporter’s Comment: Big congratulations to our local New Year Honours recipients

Neil Shefferd
Neil Shefferd

Some say that too many honours handed out by Buckingham Palace at New Year and for HM The Queen’s official birthday go to ‘celebrities’ or those in political circles.

So it gave me great pleasure to see that two individuals who I know and have given many hours of their free time over many years to improving their local communities have been recognised.

John Cornish, from Stewkley, and Joyce Brooker, from Wing, have both been given British Empire Medals in recognition of the service they have given to their villages.

John has been on the committee of Stewkley Village Hall for 50 years.

He stepped down as chairman last year after 30 years at the helm but he still remains on the committee itself.

John has led and managed two major refurbishments, the first of which was as a member of the committee in 1976 and the second during his tenure as chair in 2008.

I have known John since I became Village Hall caretaker in 2010, and he was a great support when I first started the job.

He is always there with friendly words of advice or a cheery greeting and he has been a great servant to the hall for many years.

Joyce Brooker has also been a great servant to Wing and has lived there her whole life - with the exception of 12 years when she and her late husband lived in Linslade.

Joyce runs the local village magazine What’s on in Wing - a remarkable achievement when you consider she doesn’t have a computer and does it with the aid of her trusty typewriter and good old pen and paper!

She also runs the cupboard, open twice a week at Wing Village Hall, a shop where old and unwanted items can be donated and purchased.

I have met Joyce when our family has dropped items off there - she is a lovely lady who does so much for Wing and always puts others before herself.

John and Joyce are both in their 80s, and both I am sure get a great sense of satisfaction and pride from all they have done for the places they call home over the years.

They are the very definition of unsung heroes. There are surely people like these in your community - and anyone can nominate them for a royal honour.