Suffolk people honoured by Queen

KNOT tier and rope maker Des Pawson was a mixture of emotions today as he declared himself “quite shocked” and “dead chuffed” to be awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

By Richard Cornwell

KNOT tier and rope maker Des Pawson was a mixture of emotions today as he declared himself “quite shocked” and “dead chuffed” to be awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Mr Pawson, 60, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, is one of the best known knot tiers alive and has a worldwide following - and his skills has been used by TV for programmes such as Hornblower and he helped on the film Pirates of the Caribbean.

One of a dying breed of traditional craftsmen, he receives his award for services to the rope industry.


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“I am really pleased. All my life ropes have been my passion while I have felt they have been under-rated by museums and the public in general - this award recognises knots, sailors' ropework and rope as essential and important to be understood and studied as part of the development of civilisation,” he said.

In 1980, Mr Pawson, chairman of Ipswich Maritime Trust, set up his own company called Footrope Knots and in 1982 he co-founded the International Guild of Knot Tiers to help knot enthusiasts keep traditions alive and promote the art, craft and science of knotting, its study and practice.

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Receiving the CBE today is Clare Marx, consultant orthopaedic surgeon with Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, for services to medicine.

Miss Marx, who lives at Hoo, was the region's first female orthopaedic surgeon and regularly gives up her time to speak at school speech and prize days to encourage girls to embark on careers which make the best use of their talents and succeed in male-dominated workplaces.

A former well-known Suffolk man receiving an award is Paul Scott-Lee, the county's Chief Constable until five years ago, who receives a knighthood.

Sir Paul, 53, currently Chief Constable with West Midlands Police, the biggest police force outside London, served for eight years with the Suffolk force, instigating the Suffolk First programme, a drive to make the county the safest in England and a project then copied by many other forces.

Suffolk people receiving MBEs included Valleria Lee, a school crossing warden at Beccles for services to education.

Others MBEs included John Allport, for services to the community in Beccles, Ellen Crane for services to the community in Lakenheath, Tina Ellis, district manager for Jobcentre Plus at Lowestoft, Peter Fordham, of Bury St Edmunds, for conservation work in Suffolk.

Richard Gimson, of Leiston, received an MBE for services to people with disabilities and to the community in Sizewell, and the same award went to Ian Thompson, of Mildenhall, waste service manager with Forest Heath District Council for services to local government.

Two people received an OBE - William Coward, of Newmarket, for services to nutritional science, and Nigel Palmer, of Felixstowe, chairman of the Merchant Navy Training Board and Maritime Skills Alliance, for services to shipping.

Valerie Hill, assistant to the clerk of the Lieutenancy of Suffolk, will be invested as a Member of the Victorian Order.

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