Long-service fire service worker Anne Metcalfe wins British Empire Medal

A long-serving fire and rescue service worker has been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Anne Metcalfe, from Baxenden, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to fire safety and young people.

She has been joined on the honours list by What More UK boss Tony Grimshaw, who received an OBE, and East division police watch liaison officer Tony Ford, who has been awarded an MBE.

The former St Christopher’s High School and Accrington and Rossendale College pupil has worked for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for 43 years and said she is ‘thrilled to bits’ to receive the honour.

She told the Observer: “It came completely out of the blue. I was really was shocked. There wasn’t a thought in my head that anything could happen like that.

“We have joked about it at work when we all say we need a medal to do what we do but, that is very tongue-in-cheek. I’m absolutely delighted and my family are thrilled.

“I’ve had a lovely weekend. I’ve had loads of messages including ones from sons and daughters of firefighters that I first started working with.

“They have said they their dads would’ve been so proud of me which is really lovely.

“You can’t knock the smile off my face at the moment.”

Anne started as a shorthand typist at the former division headquarters on Rose Street in Accrington before moving to the old fire station on Manchester Road.

She later worked in Burnley and Blackburn before returning to Hyndburn fire station where she has been community safety advisor for the last ten years.

Her role includes promoting fire safety with young people and residents with drug and alcohol problems and helping fire victims when they return home.

Anne said she is busy trying to find out who nominated her for the award.

She said: “I really don’t know. I’m still putting feelers out. Nobody is saying yet who it was. It’s obviously work related so I’m assuming somebody from work has done it.”

The mum-of-one also paid tribute to her family and husband Ian for the ‘flexibility’ to enjoy her career.

She said: “I can’t thank them enough. I’ve had such flexibility in my life because of the way my family have been with me.

“There have been times that my tea has been left in the oven or everything drops because I’ve had to go and do something.

“It’s been accepted that my career has been a big part of my life. I’ve been very lucky that way.”

A company director said he is ‘incredibly proud’ to receive an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Tony Grimshaw, who runs Altham-based plastics manufacturing firm What More UK, has been recognised for his work in international trade export.

The 65-year-old said: “To say I feel proud is an understatement. I’m actually amazed and haven’t got over the news yet.

“I received notification from the Cabinet Office around six weeks ago and have had a job of keeping the news to myself ever since – it hasn’t been easy. I’m so proud of my family and can’t wait to tell them.

“I’m incredibly proud to be a Lancastrian too and hope that this recognition helps me fly the flag for North West businesses.

“I feel honoured to be a part of WhatMore UK and am keen to share this accolade with my colleagues.”

Lancashire police watch liaison officer Tony Ford has also been given an MBE in the honours list.

Tony, who works in the East division covering Hyndburn, has received the award for services to policing and the community. He said: “I feel extremely honoured by this award and still can’t quite believe it.”