Queen’s honour ‘deserved by the whole village’

Keith Hart.

Keith Hart. - Credit: Archant

A LYMPSHAM man says he is ‘flabbergasted’ to have been given a medal from the Queen.

Keith Hart.

Keith Hart. - Credit: Archant

Keith Hart, aged 71, has been given the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours list for services to the village.

He said: “I have been in the village for about 35 years and it is a wonderful village full of wonderful people who do wonderful things for the community.

“Since we moved into the village it has changed and grown a lot and I have loved being part of it.”

Mr Hart moved to Lympsham in 1977 and quickly became immersed in village life.

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He became a governor at the primary school and stayed in the role for several years, during which time the school was threatened with closure.

He said: “I don’t do these things to give back, more to join in. They tried to close our school and the villagers went round counting all the children and whether they were in school, and asked mums if they were having any more – that was a village thing, not me. Just the village getting organised, I was just the mouthpiece.

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“The award is for services to Lympsham and I’m proud to give those services.

“It is an award deserved by the whole village.”

Mr Hart says he was totally shocked when he found out he was included on the honours list, and said: “When I opened the letter I was absolutely flabbergasted. I was very surprised, I was in a state of disbelief. I read the letter about three or four times and I still wasn’t sure it was real.

“It was a total surprise and then a feeling of warmth. There was some disbelief among the children – they laughed and said ‘what do they want to give you that for?’”

Mr Hart, who lives with his wife Liz, has also helped to revamp the sports club and hire a steward to run it, as well as raise money to build an annex on the sports pavilion to house the village shop and post office when they were threatened with closure.

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