Marjorie set for Royal honour

Marjorie Atkinson, of Great Hale, pictured exhibiting a Morris Eight at the weekend.
Marjorie Atkinson, of Great Hale, pictured exhibiting a Morris Eight at the weekend.

A Great Hale woman has been recognised for decades of work in the community with a place on The Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Marjorie Atkinson, 73, of High Street, is to be awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in her home village.

The award was announced on Friday with the publication of the latest Queen’s Birthday Honours list, which also saw distinctions for such public figures as author J. K. Rowling, musician Sir Paul McCartney, and comedian Billy Connolly.

Marjorie’s honour, the BEM, is awarded for what the Government describes as ‘hands-on service to the local community’.

It was re-introduced in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Marjorie was told earlier in the year via a letter in the post she was due to receive the honour, news which, she said, left her ‘surprised and pleased’.

“I never expected anything like it in my life, never,” she said. “I don’t do what I do for any recognition at all. I just like doing it and get on and do it.”

Marjorie was recognised for a host of community activities, including: organising the Great Hale Bingo Club for the last 35 years at the village hall; running a Monday luncheon club at the village hall for at least 20 years; organising a fortnightly whist drive at the village hall; presiding over the weekly tea and biscuit sessions at St John the Baptist Church, in Great Hale; being involved in the Boston and District Classic Car Club for 15 years, organising events including a yearly visit to a Leonard Cheshire care home for the disabled and a Christmas meal in the village hall for members; and holding an annual brunch, again at the village hall, as a fundraiser for Lincolnshire’s St Barnabas Hospice for the past decade or so, raising between £500 and £900 each year.

Of her involvement with so many community activities, she said: “I just like helping people. I don’t like sitting down and life passing by. I like to keep busy.”

“I like helping people,” she added. “A lot of them are on their own and it makes their lives a bit better getting out to these functions and meeting people.”

Marjorie, who will receive her BEM on a future date, has lived in Great Hale for 52 years following her marriage to Cecil, today aged 79.

She grew up in Heckington and during her working life has held a number of jobs, starting out at Woolworths, in Sleaford, when she left school at 15, and retiring from Greenacres care home, in Heckington, where she began as a cleaner but moved on to become a carer.

She has two children and four grandchildren.