City's unsung heroes recognised in Queen's New Year list

Community heroes for all walks of life '“ including a 90-year-old Sheffield cutler who once made a knife for the Queen '“ have been recognised in the New Year Honours.

Friday, 30th December 2016, 9:30 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:03 pm
Stan Shaw,90, has received the BEM
Stan Shaw,90, has received the BEM

Community heroes for all walks of life – including a 90-year-old Sheffield cutler who once made a knife for the Queen – have been recognised in the New Year Honours.

Stan Shaw will receive a British Empire Medal for a lifetime spent in Sheffield’s famous cutlery trade.

MP's Forum. Photo attached (left-right): Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber President Chris MacCormac, Kevin Barron MP, John Healey MP, Angela Smith MP, Chris Rea OBE

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Jean Holland, aged 81, who has dedicated her life to the community of Mosborough, also receives the BEM.

And 74-year-old John Warnock, of Chapeltown, a former Sheffield United academy director, who has promoted equality and opportunity through football across the world has been awarded an MBE.

Stan is probably the last of Sheffield’s little mesters – the independent craftsmen responsible for Sheffield’s global reputation for excellent cutlery - and still makes every part of his pocket knives by hand.

He was once commissioned by Sheffield Assay Office to make a platinum pocket knife for the Queen.

Jean Holland, 81, from Mosborough, has been given a British Empire Medal for services to the community.

“I found out in November, and I’ve not breathed a word to anyone yet,” said a delighted Stan.

“I didn’t dream for one minute I should get one.

“It’s great for my family. I’ve been doing the job for 76 years – it’s a long time.

“Hopefully I have helped keep Sheffield craft alive.”

William (John) Warnock Sheffield MBE

Stan’s work is in high demand, with some of his knives selling for more than £1,000. He has a four-year waiting list for orders, and his work – each blade stamped with Stan Shaw, Sheffield, England – is sought after by collectors across the world.

“It will be nice to leave a bit of a legacy behind when I’m gone,” he said. “It’s the trade that’s been recognised.

“It’s good that it’s possible for me to still be doing what I am doing. I still enjoy it – even more now I’m down at Kelham Island.”

Stan added: “It’s good to see that quality counts and there is always a market for good quality stuff. It feels as if we are still wanted.”

MP's Forum. Photo attached (left-right): Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber President Chris MacCormac, Kevin Barron MP, John Healey MP, Angela Smith MP, Chris Rea OBE

Mr Warnock said he was humbled to have been recognised in the New Year Honours for working in the sport that he loves.

He said it had been difficult to keep news of his New Year Honour from his friends and family.

“The only person who has known is my wife because she was there when I opened the envelope,” he said.

“To start with, you think it is a hoax, then you realise it is not. It is nice to know someone has appreciated what you have been doing and what you have enjoyed doing.”

Mr Warnock has been awarded the MBE for services to higher education sports.

A keen player in his younger years, he was the head coach of Sheffield Polytechnic – now Sheffield Hallam University – football team between 1970 and 1999 and from the 1980s worked part-time for Sheffield United after being approached by manager Dave Bassett.

Jean Holland, 81, from Mosborough, has been given a British Empire Medal for services to the community.

In 1999, he became director of the Sheffield United academy and head of youth development.

He was the GB team manager for the British Polytechnics Sports Association and the British Student Association football teams and from 1987 to 2011 was the director of football and futsal for the International Federation for University Sport (FISU).

In 2011, Mr Warnock was appointed on the FISU technical committee for the World University Games, held every two years.

His career has taken him to tournaments in countries across the world.

Community stalwart Jean Holland, who has beenawarded the British Empire Medal – has been a familiar face in Mosborough for most of her 81 years.

Whether through her work at St Mark’s Church, her roles on a variety of committees or her work at the Joseph Stone Centre, she is at the heart of village life.

“I read the letter three times when it arrived,” said Jean. “I just thought ‘that can’t be right’. It was a very pleasant surprise, although it’s quite difficult to bite your tongue about it.”

Jean was born in Mosborough and has lived in the village her whole life. In 1990 she became secretary of Mosborough Village Action Group, later the Mosborough Millennium Committee, and has worked hard to improve village life.

Jean and her late husband Harry, who died four years ago, were instrumental in setting up the Joseph Stone Centre, which has been a key part of village life since it opened in 2008.

“You just do what you can for your local area,” said the 81-year-old.

Chris Fowler has been honoured with an MBE after more than a decade of secret work fighting global terrorism. The 32-year-old has served in the Intelligence Corps since 2003.

Chris, a father of one, from Swinton, Rotherham, now living in Wiltshire, is unable to detail his work under the Official Secrets Act.

Chris said: “It comes off the back of a decade of military operations, tackling terrorism in Africa, America, the Middle East, South East Asia, Europe and the UK.

“I’ve flown all over the world to do my job and this award recognises what we do to safeguard Britain.

“Every terrorist organisation you have ever heard of I have either researched, analysed or worked against. It is my job to assess their capability and strengths.”

The father of a Rotherham abuse victim who has spent years campaigning against child sexual exploitation has been awarded the BEM. Gary Smith is the co-founder of the Working Against Grooming organisation set up following the abuse scandal in the town.

“We have worked closely with the police and crime commissioner, South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council”, he said.

“You can go on blaming people every day for what happened but it’s about making sure it doesn’t happen to other families.”

Malcolm Newsam, former children’s social care commissioner at Rotherham Council, has been awarded a CBE for his work. He was part of the team brought in by the Government to oversee Rotherham Council in the wake of the abuse scandal.

Rotherham charity boss Chris MacCormac, aged 58, has been awarded an MBE for services to education and business in South Yorkshire.

Mr MacCormac is chief executive of the Morthyng Group, which helps more than 500 young people a year from disadvantaged backgrounds to progress with further education or employment. He has also previously served as president of the Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, as well as being chairman of the dementia charity Lost Chord.

Mr MacCormac said: “When I got the letter, I actually thought I had been fined as I have never had a letter from Her Majesty’s Service before.”

Also honoured was 78-year-old Patricia Levitt, for her services to the community in Barnsley.

Her husband Brian is also an MBE winner, having been awarded the honour 20 years ago for his work as an estates manager.

Mrs Levitt has been given the award for her decades of voluntary service with groups such as the Girl Guides, as a marriage and bereavement counsellor and a committee member for Mothers’ Union.

She has been an organiser at the Thurgoland Lunch club for more than 20 years.

Doncaster’s elected mayor Ros Jones received a CBE in recognition of her services to local government.

The 67-year-old miner’s daughter, who was an accountant in the public sector for 30 years, was a Labour councillor for Askern for seven years before becoming mayor in May 2013.

James Fletcher, of Rotherham receives an MBE for services to his local community.

Carol Wilding, of Sheffield, a Home Office operations manager, receives a BEM for public and voluntary services to people with disabilities in South Yorkshire.

Kenneth Barrass, of Worksop, former chair of Rotherham and North Nottinghamshire College, receives an MBE for services to further education, and the Reverend Jennifer Mullis, of Sheffield, receives an OBE for services to education and to the community in York.

William (John) Warnock Sheffield MBE