Honours for Ripon men who have excelled in their fields

Remarkable record - Stephen Hatcher has been honoured for his services to education after serving at St Aidan's School for 22 years. (120104M4)
Remarkable record - Stephen Hatcher has been honoured for his services to education after serving at St Aidan's School for 22 years. (120104M4)

Two Ripon men have been honoured by the Queen.

Stephen Hatcher, Deputy Headteacher at St Aidan’s School and John Peter Coulson, known as Pete, a prison officer at Wetherby Young Offenders Instituteknown have been awarded the MBE.

Honoured - Peter Coulson who received his MBE for services to the Ministry of Justice and his work at Wetherby Young Offenders Institute. (120104M3)

Honoured - Peter Coulson who received his MBE for services to the Ministry of Justice and his work at Wetherby Young Offenders Institute. (120104M3)

Mr Hatcher was honoured for his services to education after serving at St Aidan’s School in Harrogate for 22 years.

He lives in Ripon with his wife June and said he was honoured and humbled with the accolade.

“Working at St Aidan’s I worked with the best colleagues and the most lively students, and that in itself is reward enough, to receive an MBE as well is very humbling.

“I have been overwhelmed with good wishes from former colleagues and friends, and I am very grateful to everyone.”

Mr Hatcher joined St Aidan’s from the Upper Nidderdale High School and Community College in Pateley Bridge in 1989. He said he intended to stay for “a few years” but was there until his retirement in April 2011.

St Aidan’s outgoing headteacher Dennis Richards praised Mr Hatcher’s “remarkable” record with the school,

“This richly deserved award will come as no great surprise to educationists in our part of the North of England.

“Steve Hatcher made a lasting and remarkable impact both on the school environment and in relation to healthy eating, both at St Aidan’s and in schools nationally.”

Over the past 10 years Mr Hatcher has been in involved in the campaign for healthy school meals, serving on national committees and speaking to Prince Charles on the subject several times.

Although he is yet to find out when he will be invited Buckingham Palace to collect his honour Mr Hatcher said his children Andrew, 30, and Kate, 26, were looking forward to the occasion.

“I just hope I get to go up and collect it with Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke,” he said.

Mr Coulson, 61 received his MBE for services to the Ministry of Justice and for his work at Wetherby Young offenders Institute.

The Ripon resident, said the news was still sinking in.

“It was a very big shock when I received the nomination letter, but being on the honours list will take a long time to sink in.”

Mr Coulson, a prison officer for 20 years, set up an Army Cadet course, The Lifestyle and Citizen Award, in October 2009, at the young offenders institute.

The course, which runs for 12 weeks at a time, helps 15-17-year-old boys develop life skills using a range of techniques taught in the Army Cadet Force.

Prison officer Jason Mitchell, who runs the course alongside Mr Coulson, said he was very proud of his colleague: “I am over the moon for Pete, as are all my colleagues and the staff here.

“Pete is an extremely hard worker and knowing him he will be extremely humble about all of this.”

Mr Coulson, was also awarded the Regional Prison Officer of the Year Award 2011.

The former Royal Engineer said the MBE was a “huge honour.”

“It is a huge privilege and surprise to be nominated.

“It is fantastic that Wetherby Young offenders is recognised with this honour.”

Other honours across Yorkshire go to retired headteacher Shirley Woodman, who has been awarded an MBE, University of Leeds Professor Peter Jennings Buckley, OBE and Dr Kathleen Hodgson MBE, Leeds Rhinos player Jamie Peacock, MBE and Dickie Bird the OBE.