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The Queen honours Ann Lovesey champion of Great Barford Scouts

Date: 15th Jan 2018 Author: Gerald Law
Mrs Elizabeth Ann Lovesey, the quiet village champion of Great Barford, has been awarded an MBE by the Queen in the New Year Honours List for dedicated services to education and the community in Bedfordshire including work with her local Scout Group.

Her 50-year career included fund-raising for the local Scouts, teacher and governor at the village school, parish councillor, church warden and director of the Bedfordshire Women’s Institute. With quiet determination and very little fuss she devoted her spare time to improving the village for those who live there and was always willing to go that extra mile to support those around her.

At the age of 25 in 1966 Mrs Lovesey arrived in the village with husband Bob. One day in 1969 Bob arrived home to say he’d been made Group Scout Leader of the Great Barford Scouts and he added I want you to be our fund raiser.  She said, “You don’t say no to a new Group Scout Leader!

“But I loved it. I chaired the camp site committee and we set about turning the largely derelict 3-acre Jordan’s Close Camp Site into an asset we could be proud of.

“We raised money to buy a flotilla of canoes we could sail on the River Ouse that ran past the site. There was a shower block and toilets to build. And we erected a climbing wall and archery range as part of the numerous Scouting activities we offer.

“I stayed for 43 years and I am proud to say our team has provided a camping ground now used by the whole of Bedfordshire and many nearby counties.”

A multi-tasking champion, Ann Lovesey also found time to add numerous other roles to her portfolio. She was a teacher and deputy head of the local school for 30 years.

In 1966 she became school governor, a voluntary role she held for 50 years. When the school became an academy in 2017 she was quickly co-opted onto the board of governors.

Earlier, in 1976, she was elected to the parish council and later chaired a committee that drew up the Parish Plan for the growing village which is now being implemented. She said, “It was a satisfying job that I loved doing.”

A church warden for her local church, Ann Lovesey has also been a guiding light for the Women’s Institute in Bedfordshire.

Mrs Lovesey fondly remembers the time she spent at the village lower school and the surprise 50-year celebration they planned for her in 2016. Among the guests were Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis, Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson and Pam Heath on behalf of Chief Education Officer Colin Foster as well as family, friends and school colleagues.

At home in Green End Lane she said, “I could hardly believe it when the letter came just before Christmas. It was quite out of the blue! My two daughters and four granddaughters were told two days before New Year’s Day when we celebrated husband Bob’s birthday. They were all sworn to secrecy.”

She added, “It’s all so wonderful. It will take some getting used to. And a trip to Buckingham Palace in the summer will just be the icing on the cake.”

The village school said, “Congratulations to our long-standing governor, Mrs Lovesey, for her New Year’s Honour, the award of an MBE for her services to education in Great Barford as both a teacher and a governor. Well done Ann, we’re all very proud of you.”

Now 76, Ann can look back on a career that included raising two lovely daughters, having fun time with four gorgeous granddaughters and over 50 years of quiet devoted service to education and her village community.

The Queen honours Ann Lovesey champion of Great Barford Scouts
The Queen honours Ann Lovesey champion of Great Barford Scouts

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls