As is traditional on the last Saturday of the year, the Queen’s New Years Honour list is announced and in 2018 3 prominent members of Chesterfield have received MBEs (Member of British Empire).
John Lowe for services to darts and charity
Former world professional darts champion, John Lowe, of Chesterfield, was one of the most talented and best known darts players during the 1970s and 1980s.
The three times World Darts Champion was the first player to achieve the feat of becoming world champion in three different decades – 1979, 1987 and 1993.
In October 1984 he achieved the ultimate feat in darts during the World Matchplay tournament against Keith Deller, when he managed a nine-dart finish – the sport’s equivalent of a 147 break in snooker. He played for England over 100 times and was captain for seven years, during which time his team was unbeaten.
Mr Lowe, 73, was secretary and chairman of the World Professional Dart Players Association (later to become the Professional Dart Players Association (PDPA)) and in 2005 enjoyed a testimonial year in the sport to commemorate his 30th year as a professional.
He is a prolific fund-raiser for several charities, having raised well in excess of £1m both for a number of worthy causes over the past 35 years.
Recently, he became an Ambassador for MacMillan Nursing. The John Lowe Classic Charity Golf Day has raised around £250,000 for AMATE (Tenerife’s Breast Cancer Association) since it began 14 years ago.
Barbara Arrandale for services to the community in Hasland
Retiring to Hasland, Mrs Arrandale, 68, became an active member of the local community and created Hasland Hall Park Community Association, improving services, local parks and green spaces.
She was chair from 2004 to 2011 and since then has been association secretary helping to maintain local bus services, running the neighbourhood watch, improving road crossings for children and the elderly and maintaining playgrounds and parks.
As the founder and chair of the Friends of Eastwood Park Group, she helped to secure £1.2m funding which was pivotal in the transformation of the local park from a neglected and underused facility with dilapidated play equipment to a well maintained and modern facility that is enjoyed by the entire community.
On Mrs Arrandale’s initiative, Hasland Gala Day was restarted in 2007 and she has started a Walking for Health Group, which has supported hundreds of people to become engaged with the Derbyshire countryside and improve the health of participants.
Additionally, she is a snow warden, school governor, was previously President of the local branch of the Women’s Institute, sits on the Board of the LINKS Volunteer Service (previously chair) and is an independent custody visitor for the Derbyshire scheme.
Mervyn John Allcock for services to Barrow Hill engine shed and railway heritage
In 1989, in his early 20s, Mr Allcock, 53, heard of the proposed closure of Barrow Hill engine shed. Recognising its importance as the last surviving operational roundhouse in the country, he persuaded the local council to apply for listed building status and in 1991, with just 48 hours to spare, the listing was approved.
His vision and dynamism to secure the future of this matchless piece of Britain’s industrial heritage continues apace today, with Barrow Hill one of the most significant locations in the country for the railway heritage movement and a thriving centre for specialist railway maintenance.
In parallel, he established the Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society to take on the maintenance lease. Today, Barrow Hill is home to 11 rail companies and also Newrail, the University of Newcastle’s centre for research into rail innovations. He is equally passionate about training the next generation of rail workers with the depot site a safe place for apprentices to practice track laying and maintenance.