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Member of the Order of the British Empire


Remember last year I received a letter from the Cabinet Office to tell me, in strict confidence, that the Prime Minister was recommending to the Queen that I be appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). 

I couldn't tell anyone about this honour until the publishing of the New Year Honours list that was difficult! 
I was receiving this honour as a result of lots of different things from my work with charities when I was working at St Andrews Travel, the company I founded in 1983. 
I had discovered a win-win formula where I helped local charities raise loads of money and they helped my business grow as their supporters came and booked their holidays with me. 
Just before I sold the business I was asked to help start a local community radio station and Bolton FM was born. Fourteen years later, with 10 years of broadcasting, it is still going strong and as Chairman for the last 9 years I am extremely proud of that. 
My trip to Buckingham Palace last week was with my sons James and Martin, and I could not have been prouder. The whole experience was fantastic, beautifully run by the nicest of people from the armed police on the gates to the footmen (and women) who look after you. 
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, was the Royal on the day and he couldn't have been nicer with a short chat for every recipient from Knights, Dames, Commanders, Officers and MBE's. 
My boys tell me I was the only one to make Prince William laugh as I told him about Bolton FM and asked him to promise to visit the station if he ever came to Bolton. He agreed to this and we'll let him have a go in the studio!

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