Six in 80th birthday honours list

ONE OF the area s best-known businessmen was among six people from Comet country to be named in the Queen s 80th birthday honours list. William Armitage, co-owner of David s Bookshop, David s Music and David s Gifts in Letchworth GC was awarded an MBE. Mr

ONE OF the area's best-known businessmen was among six people from Comet country to be named in the Queen's 80th birthday honours list.

William Armitage, co-owner of David's Bookshop, David's Music and David's Gifts in Letchworth GC was awarded an MBE.

Mr Armitage, 62, who has lived in Letchworth GC and Weston for most of his life, was given the award for services to business and the community in Letchworth GC.

He said he was "surprised, pleased and slightly embarrassed" by the award.

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But he added: "I thought what was nice about it was recognition that you can run a successful business and serve the community at the same time, you don't have to divorce the two when you run a shop."

Another Comet country resident to be named in the honours list is Kathy Cook, from Tristram Road in Hitchin.

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Mrs Cook, 67, was a teaching assistant at Highover JMI School for 32 years until she retired last December.

She has been awarded an MBE for services to education.

Mrs Cook said after she found out in May her husband had to convince her that she deserved the award.

"Really and truly I loved my job so much that I didn't think I deserved an award for it. I just loved being with the children," she said.

Fellow Hitchin resident Liz Nicholl has been given an OBE for services to sport.

Mrs Nicholl, who is director of performance for UK Sport, was previously awarded an MBE in 2000.

She said: "I am delighted to accept the honour. This reflects everything the organisation has achieved over the last year or so and the commitment we have shown in facing up to the new challenge of transforming the performance landscape, aiming for success in 2012 and beyond."

Elsewhere in the area, Alistair Gammell from Sandy was awarded an OBE for services to conservation.

Mr Gammell is director of international conservation at the RSPB in Sandy and is also a member of Mid Beds District Council.

The council is also celebrating the announcement that its contract services manager, Steve Whittaker, is to receive an MBE for services to local government.

Mr Whittaker, who has worked in local government for over 30 years, said: "I was absolutely shocked and humbled to receive an MBE, when I received the letter informing me of my award.

"Working in local government has its own specific challenges that are not always understood by others.

"The award is a great honour which I share with colleagues and in particular the contract services team."

Another organisation which had an employee on the honours list was Hertfordshire Police.

The force's chief constable Frank Whiteley has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM).

He was appointed chief constable in October 2004.

Mr Whiteley said: "I feel very honoured to be awarded the QPM. However, policing is all about team work and partnership and I would see this award more appropriately as recognition of the work of the many colleagues who have assisted me.

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