Horsham residents celebrated in Queen’s birthday honours

The race director of the Barns Green Half Marathon and a Horsham woman who has helped to tackle obesity have been celebrated in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Friday, 12th June 2015, 10:30 pm
Melanie Leech

Vernon Jennings of Barns Green was awarded a British Empire Medal for his work with the Barns Green Half Marathon and in the community.

Vernon, 72, has been committee chairman and race director of the popular annual event since 1998.

He said: “I am rather astounded by it. I thought ‘why me?’

“I have met many people who are far more worthy than I am. It boils down to if you are lucky and someone feels you should be nominated.

“I think it is a tribute to all the organisations I have been connected with. I am a community person and I thrive on this kind of thing.

“I am exceptionally proud and honoured.”

He has been involved with race operations for more than 30 years, and was crucial in keeping it going when the committee nearly disbanded in 1998.

Since then, the race has raised more than £130,000 for charities and the community.

Melanie Leech has also been named in the honours list picking up a CBE for her hard work as director general of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

The federation works with global brands and small businesses and helps them to operate in the manufacturing market.

As well as working with these business Melanie and the federation also work along side the government and in particular the department of Health helping to tackle food related issues including nutrition, obesity and food safety and sustainability.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted and feeling very honoured. It came completely out of the blue I had no idea at all.

“You are not allowed to tell anyone, you have to celebrate in the privacy of your bedroom behind closed doors which is really hard.

“I am absolutely over the moon and I can’t wait to celebrate tomorrow.”

She added she hopes to celebrate her success this weekend with her family.

Melanie has since left the FDF and now works for the British Property Federation where she hopes she can achieve the same amount of success.

Peter Knowles, from Pulborough, was also awarded with a British Empire Medal for his services to the community in West Chiltington.

Other Sussex residents who have been honoured include:


Thomas Baird Jeffery, CB. Director general, Department for Education, Children’s Services and Departmental Strategy Directorate. For services to the Department for Education. (Lewes, East Sussex)



Jonathan Church. Artistic director Chichester Festival Theatre. For services to the Theatre. (Chichester, West Sussex)

Professor Julian Moray Crampton, DL. Vice Chancellor, University of Brighton. For services to Higher Education. (East Sussex)

Alan Finch. Executive director Chichester Festival Theatre. For services to the Theatre. (Chichester, West Sussex)


David Patrick Henry Burgess, MBE, DL. For services to Young People and the Community in West Sussex. (Chichester, West Sussex)

Roderick Barrymore Brooke Jones. For services to the community in Bognor Regis West Sussex. (Bognor Regis, West Sussex)

Desmond Paul Lambert. Principal Plumpton College. For services to Land Based Education and Young People. (Lewes, East Sussex)

Mrs Shelagh Jane Legrave. Principal and chief executive, Chichester College. For services to Further Education. (Midhurst, West Sussex)

Dr Hong Lu. For services to the Chinese community in the UK and Community Relations between the UK and China. (Hove, East Sussex)


Ms Clare Collins. Chair of Governors Weyfield Primary Academy, Surrey. For services to Education and School Governance. (Haywards Heath, West Sussex)

Leslie Henry Alden. For services to the community in Southwark London. (Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex)

Mrs Lorraine Brockhurst. Work Experience Co-ordinator, Worthing, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to Young People in the Workplace. (Worthing, West Sussex)

Anthony John French, TD. For services to the community in Chichester West Sussex. (Chichester, West Sussex)

Mrs Jean Stella Goad. District and Parish Councillor, Arun District, West Sussex. For services to Local Government. (Barnham, West Sussex)

Robert James Goddard. Foster Carer Brighton and Hove. For services to Children and Families. (Peacehaven, East Sussex)

Trevor Green. For services to Humanitarian Aid through Operation Florian and to charity in East Sussex. (Mayfield, East Sussex)

Andrew David James Jackson. Director Wakehurst Place, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. For services to Conservation. (West Sussex)

Mrs Helen Joanna Mary Kilbride-Roberts. Chair, Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, West Sussex. For services to the Arts and Crafts.

Mrs Valerie Joy Maynard. Prison Volunteer, HMPrison Lewes. For services to Prisoners and their Families. (East Grinstead, West Sussex)

Mrs Lorraine Mercer. For services to the community and to charity in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. (Haywards Heath, West Sussex)

Mrs Jillian Winifred Parker. Founder, Eastbourne Area Parents’ Action Group and the JPK Sussex Project, Eastbourne. For services to Children and Adults with a Learning Disability and their Families. (Eastbourne, East Sussex)

Lloyd Martin Richards. For services to the community in West Sussex. (East Grinstead, West Sussex)

Iain Shepherd. Marine Systems director MARCOM Defence. For services to the Marine Sector and the Economy in Chichester, West Sussex. (Aldwick, West Sussex)

James George Thomas Smith. For services to the community in Crawley West Sussex. (Crawley, West Sussex)

John Alexander Vincent. Restauranteur. For services to School Food. (Horsted Keynes, West Sussex)

Peter Webb. Founder and managing director Electronic Temperature Instruments Ltd. For services to Business and the community in Worthing, West Sussex. (Worthing, West Sussex)

Mrs Patricia Anne Weller. For voluntary and charitable services in Brighton and Hove. (East Sussex)


Graham Robert Carpenter. Chief executive Dandelion Time. For services to Young People and Families in Kent. (Crowborough, East Sussex)

Mrs Joan Downing. Councillor, Westfield Parish Council, East Sussex. For services to Rural Inclusion. (Hastings, East Sussex)

Mrs Myrna Rae Festing. For services to the community in Rye, East Sussex.

Mrs Lorraine Margaret Grocott. Clerk, Milland Parish Council. For services to the community in Milland, West Sussex. (Milland, West Sussex)

Peter Stanley Albert Hayman. For services to the community in Northiam East Sussex. (Rye, East Sussex)

Miss Mary Norah Howse. For services to the community in Beckley and Rye East Sussex. (Rye, East Sussex)

Mrs Josephine Jane Jordan Hutchinson. For services to the Arts in Worthing. (Worthing, West Sussex)

Mrs Claire Judge. Volunteer, Development Committee, Ashurst Wood Community Pre-School. For services to Early Years Education. (West Sussex)

Mrs Mary Joan Taylor. For services to the community in Burwash, East Sussex. (Etchingham, East Sussex)

Mrs Susan Ward. Chair, West Durrington Phoenix Youth Group. For services to Children and the community in West Durrington. (Worthing, West Sussex)

Miss Rowenna Jane Woodward. For services to Young People in Surrey and West Sussex through the Guide and Scout Movements. (Copthorne, West Sussex)


Gary Charles Walsh. Deputy chief Fire Officer East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage at www.wscountytimes.co.uk

2 Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wscountytimes

3 Follow us on Twitter @wscountytimes

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

The County Times – always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.