MBE for Harrogate district's high street champion

Proud moment at Buckingham Palace - Keith Tordoff after receiving his MBE from Prince Charles.
Proud moment at Buckingham Palace - Keith Tordoff after receiving his MBE from Prince Charles.

The Harrogate district's best known champion of the Dales went to Buckingham Palace this week to receive his MBE - and shared a funny moment with Prince Charles.

Having done so much in recent years to revive Pateley Bridge's high street and build this Dales town's wider profile UK-wide, Keith Tordoff described the occasion as a “great honour” and dedicated the award to the whole town.

But the hard-working chairman of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade admitted he had been a little nervous in advance of yesterday, Wednesday’s official investiture ceremony.

When it came to the big moment, he did manage to share a funny moment as he was presented with his medal by Prince Charles.

The good-humoured Keith said: “When I was told of the protocol; how many steps to take, how to address Prince Charles, I thought “I really have to get this right!”

“When I met him he knew why I was getting the award on behalf of Pateley Bridge and he said “you’ve got the sweet shop on the high street.”

“I said I’ve got some sweets in my pocket if you want one. He had a laugh about that!”

Awarded the MBE for “services to business and the community in Nidderdale”, Keith’s massive enthusiasm was praised by his deputy at the chamber of trade.

Tim Ledbetter said the list of matters Keith had thrown himself into was impressive:
Voluntary roles
Charity commitments
Writing for the Nidderdale Herald
Heading the In Bloom group for Pateley Bridge
Organising the winning Great British High Street Awards campaign
Supporting many events throughout the year including the Tour de Yorkshire
The 1940s Weekend
The Food & Drink Festival
The Christmas celebrations
Attracting top-name celebrities, TV and media to Pateley Bridge.

Also paying tribute to Keith was Sir Gary Verity DL, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. who said: “I would like to offer my huge congratulations to Keith on his MBE which is richly deserved.

“Keith has been instrumental in rallying the community, particularly during the Tour de Yorkshire when the town has always been inspirational.”

But despite his success, Keith said his enthusiasm was always first and foremost in the cause of his community.

He said: “I like to think of myself as someone who bangs the drum for Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale.
“I think the award sends a powerful message to the wider world that the Dales is a special place with a special community and a special spirit.”

Major boost for town's movie event

Wallace and Gromit man coming to Harrogate Film Festival