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Janet Barnes and Rob Tibbits top New Year Honours in York
Janet Barnes, chief executive of the trust which runs York’s museums and art gallery, who has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours
TWO people with very different roles at some of York’s biggest museums have won official recognition in today’s New Year Honours.
Janet Barnes, chief executive of York Museums Trust – which runs the Museum Gardens, Yorkshire Museum, Castle Museum and Art Gallery – receives the CBE.
And Rob Tibbits, who volunteered at the National Railway Museum on the day it was opened by Prince Philip in 1975 and has been helping there ever since, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).
Dr Barnes, 61, who has been chief executive of the trust for 11 years, overseeing major refurbishment projects at all the key venues, said it was very nice to have received the recognition.
“It has been a real pleasure working with the museums in York,” she said. “The collections and institutions are top quality and we have been very successful in getting access to funding for investment over the last eight years or so – about £13 million has been invested.”
Mr Tibbits, 69, a former Easingwold School teacher, of Shirley Avenue, York, has been involved in the cleaning and maintenance of Duchess of Hamilton, and in a group which raised almost £500,000 towards operating and restoring the iconic steam loco.
He has also been an active member of NRM’s Friends since its inception. He was a steward at Railfest last year and is said to have made an unstinting contribution to the wider life of Easingwold school. He said he was amazed when he heard he had been nominated for the award.
Jean Thorpe, of Norton, Malton, whose dedication to rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured animals over the past 30 years has supported the recovery of many of the UK’s most endangered species, such as otters, red kites and marsh harriers, receives the MBE for services to wildlife rescue in Yorkshire.
Mrs Thorpe, 61, is the founder of Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation. On average, she rescues nearly 400 animals a year and she also finds time to work with local schools to encourage the value of nature.
She has supported the work of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, by giving key, expert evidence in enforcement cases. She is now established as an expert witness and works closely with the police, RSPB, RSPCA and Natural England.
She said: “When I heard I was getting this I was absolutely amazed – gobsmacked. I didn’t know anything about it and couldn’t believe it. This is real morale boost for me.”
Terence Frazier, 75, of Ripon, who has been an outstanding supporter of the National Trust for the last 39 years, also receives the BEM. He became involved with the trust in 1974 as a volunteer lecturer supporting his favourite property, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.
He has given 850 talks and lectures about the abbey to professional and social groups, including schools and universities, and liaised with local communities in order to explain the Trust’s plans, raising a total of £15,000 for the property.
Jean Kershaw, from Nawton, one of the founders of Helmsley Arts Centre, has been recognised for her contribution to the arts with an MBE.
Fellow trustee Martin Vander Weyer said she had made an enormous voluntary contribution to the centre and it was good news she had been recognised at last.
“Everyone at the arts centre will be thrilled and delighted that Jean’s contribution over so many years has been recognised,” he added.
Elaine Dowell, of Sinnington, near Pickering, who founded the Encephalitis Society with her husband Keith in 1994 after their son, Andrew, developed the brain infection, aged seven, receives the MBE for services to people with the illness and their families.
Mrs Dowell struggled for information and support when the illness left her son with learning difficulties, epilepsy and behavioural problems, so she formed a support group and began producing information, and the society has since grown enormously. She worked for the charity for 18 years until retiring in 2012.
Gordon Eastham, of York, grounds maintenance manager at the University of York, receives the BEM for services to higher education.
Barry Dodd OBE, chairman of GSM Group in Wetherby and of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), receives the CBE for services to the Yorkshire economy and voluntary service to the community.
Alison Cunningham, of Selby, group manager for debt contact centres with the Department of Work and Pensions, receives the OBE for services to debt management and the community in North Yorkshire, John Longden, of Harrogate, founder of Pub Is The Hub, receives the OBE for voluntary services to rural communities and Sharon Houfe, a police constable, of East Yorkshire, receives the OBE for services to policing.
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