New Year’s Honours presented by Duchess of Northumberland

From left: John Warren, the Duchess of Northumberland, Marion Lockhart and Anthony Murray.
From left: John Warren, the Duchess of Northumberland, Marion Lockhart and Anthony Murray.
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The Duchess of Northumberland has presented three county residents with their New Year’s Honours medals, recognising their dedicated community work.

At the end of last year, it was announced that councillor Anthony Murray had been awarded an MBE, while Marion Lockhart and John Warren received British Empire Medals.

And last Thursday, the trio were presented with their honours by the Duchess – in her capacity as the Queen’s Lord-Lieutenant for the county – at a special investiture ceremony at Alnwick Castle.

Coun Murray was awarded for his services to the community in Wooler and the wider county of Northumberland. He has worked with the Northumberland National Park since 1972 to achieve practical improvements for visitors and to develop links between the park and the local rural communities.

Coun Murray was elected a member of the Berwick-upon-Tweed Borough Council in 1981, serving as Mayor in 2006, and has been a member of Northumberland County Council since 2008.

Alongside this work, Coun Murray is also a governor at Glendale Community Middle School and a trustee of Glendale Gateway Trust, which is dedicated to providing affordable housing in the area, particularly in Wooler. He has given true service to Northumberland for almost half a century and is an ambassador for the local area.

Mrs Lockhart has been awarded for services to the Glendale Show and the community in Wooler. A well-known member of the community, she has been associated with the Glendale Show for more than 30 years and has been instrumental in its success.

In the voluntary role of industrial secretary for the past 20 years, Mrs Lockhart has dedicated much of her spare time to the show every year including management of the horticultural and industrial marquee, which features local crafts and children’s activities.

Working with the local community and schools, she has not only encouraged a generation to learn and exhibit traditional rural skills, but has been a role model for hard work and quiet determination in her success.

Mr Warren, from Blyth, has been awarded for services to the art of woodcarving. Originally joining Ralph Hedley (Craftsman) Ltd as an apprentice in 1958, John went on to become the last traditional woodcarver in the North East and one of the finest antique furniture restorers in the country.

Now retired, he is committed to passing on his woodcarving skills and to teaching the dying art to a new generation of students through his work with the Kirkley Hall carving group.

Mr Warren also attends local exhibitions and charity events where he encourages people to try their hand at woodcarving in the hope that it will ignite the same passion in the art form as it did for him.

The Duchess said: “It is a pleasure to present such honourable awards to three very worthy recipients and I would like to congratulate each on their hard work and continued dedication to their community. They are a credit to Northumberland and an inspiration to us all.”