North East heroes recognised in New Year's Honours list

Educators, businessmen and charity volunteers are recognised for their contribution to North East life

Head teacher at Whitley Bay High School Adam Chedburn
Head teacher at Whitley Bay High School Adam Chedburn

Educators, charity volunteers and a couple who have fostered more than 100 children are among those from the North East to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.

Linda and Ian Greener, from Chopwell in Gateshead, foster carers for the last 20 years, have both received MBEs after opening their family home to some of the region’s most vulnerable children.

Linda, 63, said: “I’m very humbled and just so excited about it. It makes me very emotional to think that children who I’ve looked after put our names forward.”

Ian, a former prison officer, added: “When the kids come in and they’ve often got nothing, so we try to give them a normal life.”

Also honoured for public service is Marion Clark, who will receive a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Felton and Thirston, Northumberland.

She said: “I was overwhelmed delighted when I heard. I wasn’t expecting it at all. No one knows about it – the first my family will have heard will be when they read it in the paper.

“I just wanted it to be a nice surprise for them. Hopefully they’ll be pleased!”

Top of the list of honours recipients on Tyneside is former world champion athlete Steve Cram, who receives a CBE for his role with the English Institute for Sport, while headteachers Adam Chedburn, from Whitley Bay High School, and Nick Hurn, from Cardinal Hume School in Gateshead, are named OBEs.

A number of charity volunteers receive MBEs, including Alfred Grummett, of Gosforth, for his work with homelessness charity Haven Tyneside, Suzette Milne, for her services to charity in Corbridge and Hexham, and Swan Lodge Lifehouse fundraiser Sonia Ritchie-Park, from Sunderland.

Sam Harris, from Peterlee, will receive an MBE for services to recreational sea angling.

A keen fisherman, Sam has spent his life fishing all over the world, while back at home he has devoted his time to organising fishing competitions and raising money for charity.

He said: “I feel on top of the world. It came as quite a shock. I couldn’t believe it when I opened the letter.”

Alan Fearon, a member of the Royal Northern Sinfonia for the past 45 years, will receive an MBE for services to music in the North East.

He said: “It’s a bit of a surprise to me but it’s a very nice thing to receive because I know that it takes quite a lot of people saying very nice things about you to be awarded this, so it’s very touching.

“I’ve been around for a long time. I started playing with the Sinfonia about 45 years ago and I founded the choir that goes with it 40 years ago. I’ve worked with both of them at the Sage Gateshead.

“I’ve only just retired – I thought it was probably time to stop after 40-odd years – and this also coincided nicely with the 10th anniversary of the Sage, but I’m still doing quite a lot of work in education.”

North East care home entrepreneur Helen McArdle will receive a CBE for services to the Care Home Business and the community in the North East of England.

Helen, who founded Helen McArdle Care in 1989, leads a Gateshead-based group which manages 17 care homes across the region.

Helen, who founded the business with her husband Michael and their four children, has been named a CBE for her services to industry and the community.

Helen said: “This is totally unexpected; the North East is a great place to have a business and I am humbled and proud to receive this honour alongside so many inspirational people.

I would like to thank my family, friends and wonderful staff team who have helped me to achieve this.”

And Janice Davinson, from County Durham, will receive an MBE for services to agriculture and the rural community.

Ms Davinson, who currently lives in Gamblesby near Penrith but was educated in Craghead, has been Chief Officer of the Cumbria Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs for 17 years.

Under her guidance the organisation has seen a steady rise in membership, huge success in competitions both locally and nationally, financial stability and a membership steered towards the training and skills that make the Young Farmers valued members of their rural communities.

Other award recipients include Patricia Bolton, founder of the Gateshead ADHD Support Group, Carol Falconer, president of the Durham North County Guide Association, and Newcastle councillor Dr Wendy Taylor.

Alan Ferguson, Executive Chairman of Fergusons
Alan Ferguson, Executive Chairman of Fergusons

New Year's honours 2014: full list of recipients in the North East


Stephen Cram, MBE. Formerly Chair, English Institute of Sport. For services to Sport.

Mrs Josephine Helen McArdle. Founder and chairman, Helen McArdle Care. For services to the Care Home Business and the community in the North East of England.


Colin Booth. Principal Barnsley College. For services to Further Education. (Newton Aycliffe)

Adam Vincent Stewart Chedburn. Headteacher Whitley Bay High School, Tyne and Wear. For services to Education. (Whitley Bay)

Alan Ferguson. Chairman and chief executive Fergusons Transport Ltd. For services to Business in the North East. (Morpeth)

Dr Robert Hardy. Chief executive Aesica Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Forservices to the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industry. (Ponteland)

Nicholas Simon Hurn. Executive Headteacher Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Gateshead and St. Robert of Newminster School, Sunderland. For services to Education. (Washington)

Miss Maura Regan. Principal Carmel College and chief executive, Carmel Education Trust. For services to Education. (Sedgefield)

Head of Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Nick Hurn
Head of Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Nick Hurn


Mrs Patricia Rose Bolton. Founder, Gateshead ADHD Support Group and the Parents In Power Parent-Carer Forum, Gateshead. For services to Children with Disabilities and their Families. (Newcastle)

Ms Roma Lynn Charlton. Chief executive Officer After Adoption. For services to Children and Families. (Newcastle)

Subhash Chander Chaudhary. Mammalian Cell Culture Venture Leader Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. For services to Biotechnology Manufacture in North East England. (Darlington)

Mrs Carol Maud Falconer. President, Durham North County Guide Association. For services to Young People. (Jarrow)

Alan James Fearon. Member and lately Chorus Master Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia. For services to Music in the North East. (Newcastle)

Joseph Charles Fisher. For services to Charity especially the British Polio Fellowship. (Newcastle)

James William Gair. Watch manager (Retained) Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service. For services to the community in Morpeth Northumberland. (Morpeth)

Mrs Surinder Kaur Ghura. For services to Interfaith Understanding and to the community in Newcastle upon Tyne. (Newcastle)

John Greener. Foster Carer Foster Care Associates, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. For services to Children and Families. (Gateshead)

Mrs Linda Greener. Foster Carer, Foster Care Associates, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. For services to Children and Families. (Gateshead)

Alfred Grummett. For services to Homeless People through Haven Tyneside and to the community in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead Tyne and Wear. (Newcastle)

Samuel Harris. For services to Recreational Sea Angling. (Peterlee)

David McKenzie. For services to Young People in the North East.

Barrie Christopher Quinn. Officer Personal Tax Operations Complaint Handler, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to Customers and voluntary service in Newcastle. (Cramlington)

John Peter Reece. Chair Reece Group Ltd. For services to Engineering, Manufacturing and Innovation. (Newcastle)

George Ritchie. Formerly Senior vice president Sembcorp UK. For services to Apprenticeships in the Chemical and Process Industries. (Peterlee)

Dr Wendy Barbara Taylor. Councillor Newcastle City Council. For public and political service in the North East. (Newcastle)

Albert Whiting. For services to the community in North Tyneside and to charitable services in the UK and Abroad. (Whitley Bay)

Alan Fearon
Alan Fearon


Mrs Marion Clark. For services to the community in Felton and Thirston, Northumberland. (Morpeth)

Richard William Thomas Miles. Community Engagement Officer Northumbria Police. For services to the community. (Ryton)

Mrs Elaine Suzette Milne. For services to charity and to the community in Corbridge and Hexham.

Mrs Sonia Helen Hutcheson Crawford Ritchie-Park. Volunteer and Fundraiser, Swan Lodge Lifehouse. For services to Homeless People in Sunderland. (Sunderland)

John Richardson. For services to Charity in the North East of England. (Durham)

John Francis Wall. For services to the community particularly Young People, through Sport in Tyneside. (Tyne and Wear)


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