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Local Postman, author and amateur historian gains MBE in honours list

Local Postman, author, photographer and amateur histroian, Richard Lethbridge has gained an MBE in the Queen's honours list. See the article below which appeared on the 'This is Devon' Website;

10:25 - 21 June 2002
A postie, a tax office worker and a campaigning mother have topped the Queen's Birthday Honours list in North Devon.

For his tireless tramping around the villages surrounding Umberleigh, come rain or shine, postman and author Richard Lethbridge, of Chittlehamholt is honoured with an MBE.

His award came in recognition of services to Consignia and the local community.

Richard is a well-known member of the community - not just for delivering the mail, but for the books he has written, contributed to, or researched.
His first book was about the Tiverton Staghounds with whom he hunts and he also made contributions to the High Bickington and Chittlehampton books, created to mark the Millennium. He is currently working on a similar book to be named Chittlehamholt with Warkleigh and Satterleigh.
His postal rounds which take him as far as High Bickington, have enabled him to chat to people about their memories and ask them for old photographs and memorabilia for the book, due to go to print in November.

Mr Lethbridge was delighted with the news, but admitted he has taken some teasing since the news got out.
"Everyone is really pleased for me, but they say things like 'we'll have to call you Lord now."

Also honoured with an MBE was Sandra Hooper, a personal assistant at the Barnstaple tax office who has just chalked up 40 years service.

And Michaela Willis, the Croyde mother who campaigned for a public inquiry into the Bristol heart babies scandal, was also awarded an MBE.
Mrs Willis was thrust into the limelight when she set up a parent support group, after her baby son Daniel died during an arterial switch operation at just one week old. His heart was retained without her knowledge.
She campaigned for the inquiry as chairman of the group and later led further investigations into the retention of organs at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
She said: "I was a bit shocked when I found out, but it's very nice and I feel a bit guilty as well, because obviously I could not have done any of the work I have done if it was not for the support of my family."
Mrs Willis is a non-executive member of the North Devon Primary Care Trust and of the Retained Organ Commission. Her award is for services to the National Committee Relating to Organ Retention.