Wakefield figures sweep up in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Kate Taylor with her book, Theatres and Cinemas of the Wakefield District.
Kate Taylor with her book, Theatres and Cinemas of the Wakefield District.

Dedicated figures from the Wakefield area have been included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Late historian and writer Kate Taylor, who died in May aged 81, was awarded an MBE for services to heritage and community in Wakefield.

Simon Wallis (director) The Hepworth Gallery

Simon Wallis (director) The Hepworth Gallery

It will be accepted on her behalf by her son Simon Jenkins.

Simon Wallis, director of the Hepworth gallery, has been given an OBE for his services to art.

Pontefract’s Judge Derek Searby, a district tribunal judge, was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to the Administration of Justice and the Tribunals Judiciary.

Dr John Gordon Milne, chairman of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee and Jennifer Helen Godson, a dental consultant for Public Health England, were awarded MBEs.

A spokesperson for Kate Taylor’s family said: “The letter confirming the honour was found in Kate’s personal files on the day after her death, so we know that Kate knew that it had been awarded, but as she would have been sworn to secrecy she had not told anyone.”

Her son Simon Jenkins said: “My mother would have been enormously proud to have received the MBE from her Majesty the Queen in her 2015 Birthday Honours list.

“She worked tirelessly to educate people from all walks of life about the history of Wakefield, and to preserve its heritage for future generations, and we are thrilled that her work has been recognised in this way.

“Whilst sadly mother’s death on May 5 means that she will not be able to collect the honour in person, I know how much it would have meant to her and I am looking forward to accepting it on her behalf.”