Queen’s honour is ‘pleasant surprise’ for Peak volunteer

NEW Years Honours. James Dunlop MBE of Whaley Bridge
NEW Years Honours. James Dunlop MBE of Whaley Bridge

Whaley Bridge’s James Dunlop has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for his services to the community and to Stockport Canal Boat Trust.

Mr Dunlop, 76, has been a trustee of Stockport Canal Boat Trust since 1998 and its chair since 1998.

In that role, he has organised whole and half-day trips for people with disabilities, as well as arranging countless charitable fundraising events.

In addition, he also chaired the fundraising committee for St Mary’s Church, Disley, which needed £200,000 for urgent repairs

Upon learning he was to be awarded the MBE, Mr Dunlop said: “It was a shock. You get a letter from the Prime Minister’s office and wonder what it’s about.

“It came as a complete surprise. But it was a very pleasant surprise.”

Mr Dunlop has dedicated many years to the voluntary sector, and also joined the board of trustees for the Stockport Council for Voluntary Services in 1995, where his skills, knowledge, management of people and strategic thinking saw him elevated to the position of chair.

He added: “This is a recognition of a lot of people’s hard work. It is a reward for people who have committed themselves in the community in one way or another.

“Although I am fortunate to get the gong, there are a lot of people who deserve recognition for the work they do.”

Mr Dunlop, a former factory director at McVitie’s, has a long-standing association with St Mary’s Church in Disley, and was involved in raising money for work to be done there more than 25 years ago.

So when he was asked to get involved with a new fundraising campaign at the church a few years ago, he jumped at the chance.

“The main satisfaction I got from that was the preservation of a historic building,” he said. “St Mary’s was built in the 16th Century and we have got to look after our historic buildings.”