Duo get recognition in Birthday Honours list

BEM recipient 'Linda Watson and her partner,  Alderman Drew Thompson. (''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photograph)

BEM recipient 'Linda Watson and her partner, Alderman Drew Thompson. (''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photograph)

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Waterside community worker, Linda Watson, and musician, Robert Goodman, have been recognised for their work in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

They are both to receive a BEM (British Empire Medal) and have been invited to Buckingham Palace.

BEM recipient Ken Goodman pictured when he was bandmaster conducting the Britannia Brass & Reed Bandy. INLS4612-151KM

BEM recipient Ken Goodman pictured when he was bandmaster conducting the Britannia Brass & Reed Bandy. INLS4612-151KM

Linda received her gong in recognition of her community work as co-ordinator for Caw Nelson Drive Action Group, while Robert, retired Bandmaster for the Britannia Band, received his for services to music in Northern Ireland.

“I am so shocked that anyone would nominate me,” said Linda.

“I came home three weeks ago to see an envelope addressed to me marked ‘private and confidential’ from the Cabinet office. Drew said my mouth opened wider and wider as I read down the letter.

“It was the last thing I expected. I am a bit shell shocked as I did not think anybody would take the time to fill in the application form and all the paperwork. I feel very excited and pleased that someone would take the time to do that for me, so obviously I am doing something right.

“I would love to know who nominated me so that I can thank them personally for taking the time to do this for me. It is a great honour.”

Linda said family were getting together for a night out on Saturday and in addition to receiving her award locally, both she and Mr Goodman are invited to Buckingham Palace.

Mr Goodman, who retired said he was “quite surprised” when his letter arrived from the Cabinet Office.

“I have no idea who nominated me, but I’d like to thank them,” he said.

“I joined the band when I was 12. The family were always involved.”