Volunteer with The Friends of the Flitch Way is honoured with a medal from the Queen
- Credit: Town and Country Photographic
A volunteer who has given many years of support to The Friends of the Flitch Way and Braintree Lions Club has been honoured with a British Empire Medal.
Stanley Davies has been a volunteer for 16 years for various organisations since he retired in 2004 from the civil service.
He has been an active member of The Friends of the Flitch Way since they formed in 2004, securing more than £50,000 funding towards maintenance and clearance work, and to fund points of interest including former Victorian railway stations and the Railway Carriage Museum at Rayne Station.
He also lectures on the Flitch Way and its history and works at Cressing Temple Gardens.
He has volunteered at the Braintree branch of the Lions Club for 13 years. He has helped to raise and distribute up to £20,000 annually to charities, and to organise the Real Ale Festival in Braintree every year, holding various roles in the club.
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At Christmas, he has been Father Christmas on the float as it goes around the houses delighting children and raising money.
Stan said getting the letter in the post announcing he had been nominated was a great surprise.
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“This came out of the blue for me,” he said.
“It’s my name on the medal but the award is for all volunteers, either for The Flitch Way or the Lions or any other organisation.
“Volunteers are the cement that holds the bricks together in society. I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t have volunteers working.
“The award has to go to one person, I happen to be the fortunate person to be nominated.”
Speaking about his work with The Friends of the Flitch Way, Stan said they work under the guidance of the county council park rangers at Great Notley.
“We started off in quite a small way but we maintain the whole of the Flitch Way and other areas such as the Old Maldon to Witham branch line, to improve and maintain the footpath for people.”
Stan said the number of people who use the Flitch Way is growing. The action group is trying to get the different sections joined together.
The citation is for Stan’s work in and around Braintree, where he lives, and he was nominated secretly by someone who wanted his efforts to be noted.
The medal should have been presented some time ago but Stan was unable to make the original date, then coronavirus put things on hold.
The medal was presented on behalf of the Queen by Essex Lord-Lieutenant Jennifer Tolhurst in a socially distanced investiture ceremony at County Hall, Chelmsford.
The medals were placed on a cushion for recipients to collect, to avoid any contact.
Stan took his wife Margery with him to the ceremony, but there were restrictions of numbers including guest numbers because of coronavirus social distancing measures.
Mrs Tolhurst said: “The qualities that are exemplified by all those who we honour are selfless support, a real interest in improving people’s lives and making a considerable contribution to their communities. Without people such as these our lives and our country would be much the poorer.”
Alan Trigg, chairman of The Friends of the Flitch Way said: “The Friends of the Flitch Way are very proud of Stan receiving a BEM for all the time and effort he puts into his voluntary and charitable work.
“He is always at the forefront when it comes to helping out, whether it be work parties or fundraising.
“He is a friendly and jovial character who is instantly liked by everyone he meets. He also does a lot of work behind the scenes during the festive season which is very much appreciated by the community.”
Malcolm Richardson, Braintree Lions President, said: “Stan is a loyal, sincere and very active member of Lions whose main activity is to identify a need within the local community.
“He is loved by many children at Christmas on his sleigh with whie beard and red coat
touring the local community.”