It’s the Queen’s (official) Birthday on Saturday, June 8, and as is custom, Her Majesty has bestowed honours upon some of her subjects, who deserve to be recognised for their contributions to our country.
And some of those are from Bristol and the Bristol area, and this year range from classical music conductors to postmen, Oscar-winning actresses to media creatives.
There will be some who are well known in their communities, well known around the world, or those who have been quietly doing valuable work behind the scenes.
(Image: Getty Images)
When she arrived at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Olivia Colman was treading in the footsteps of generations of stars.
And her gradual, incremental success – from Peep Show and Hot Fuzz to Broadchurch and winning an Oscar – has been played out in front of a nation that has been cheering her on.
Read the full story of Olivia’s award, and her reaction, here.
Prof Graham Collingridge
Graham Collingridge is a Professor of Neuroscience in Bristol’s School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience has been awarded a CBE for his services to neuroscience research.
Professor Collingridge has made major advances in our understanding of the cellular basis of memory and learning. His research studies the brain mechanisms that control the strength of brain cell connections, and how this fundamental property (known as synaptic plasticity) affects brain function.
In 2016, Professor Collingridge was one of three neuroscientists who won The Brain Prize, regarded as the world’s most prestigious neuroscience award, for their outstanding work on the mechanisms of memory.
His work on a brain process known as long-term potentiation (LTP) which underpins the life-long plasticity of the brain and is behind how memories are formed, retained and lost was recognised as an outstanding contribution to the field.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and previously been awarded the Gaddam Memorial Prize, the Santiago Grisolia Prize and the Feldberg Prize.
Professor Collingridge holds positions in Bristol and Canada. He is Director of the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto, Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital and President of the Canadian Physiological Society.
Professor Collingridge said: “I am delighted to receive this honour, which I believe is largely in recognition of the major advances made by members of the MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity in the former Department of Anatomy.
“Understanding synaptic plasticity is not only relevant to how we learn and remember but dysregulated synaptic plasticity is central to devastating brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain and depression,” he added.
Prof Paul Bates
Paul Bates is one of Bristol University’s – and Britain’s – leading experts in flood risk management.
A Professor of Hydrology in the School of Geographical Sciences and the Cabot Institute for the Environment at the University of Bristol, has also been awarded a CBE for his services to flood risk management.
His focus has been on developing numerical solutions to the Shallow Water equations and combining these with satellite and airborne data to advance our fundamental understanding of flood dynamics.
He is best known for his work in developing new computer models for predicting areas at risk from flooding and publishing the algorithms behind these codes.
These techniques have been widely adopted by industry, governments and other researchers. Professor Bates and his team also make the model available as shareware and it has been downloaded by over 1,600 researchers globally.
He has developed global flood hazard and risk data sets for commercial use by firms, NGOs and regulators via a start-up company, Fathom Ltd, based in Bristol.
Professor Bates said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award. The last 20 years has seen amazing advances in flood science and it has been a privilege to contribute to this.
“I’ve been very lucky to work with a group of fantastic PhD students and postdocs, and all of them have contributed hugely to the research that underpins this honour.”
The choral director of Clifton Cathedral in Bristol, John Gibbons is a conductor, composer, arranger, pianist and organist, who has been a passionate advocate of neglected British music of the Twentieth century and renowned for his support of young soloists at the start of their careers.
John was organ scholar at Queens’ College, Cambridge, continuing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music and then as an opera conductor at the Royal College of Music.
John combines working with top professional orchestras – most recently with Liepaja Symphony Orchestra– with community groups such as Ealing Symphony Orchestra and Northampton Symphony Orchestra.
The 65-year-old is best known in Weston as a postie – but it is for much more than delivering letters that Christopher Vallimae has been made a Member of the British Empire.
As well as being the cheery face of the Royal Mail, Chris, goes above and beyond his routine duties, checking on his customers many of which are elderly and have medical conditions.
To many he has become a trusted friend who often helps them decipher bills and find reputable tradesmen to carry out work on their homes.
For the younger members of the community, he represents the postal service at nurseries and play schools to explain how the postal system works, engaging the children with interactive activities.
During his army service earlier in his life, he earned the appointment as battalion photographer and captured significant events in history during his tours of duty in Northern Ireland and Berlin.
He also taught evening classes in photography and digital image editing for eight years, as part of Weston College of Further Education in the local community, encouraging his elderly customers to get involved and identify with the digital world.
His students ranged in age from 19 to 90.
Mr Vallimae also served for four years as a Governor of Castle Batch Community Primary School.
Paul Appleby worked as a producer at the BBC’s Natural History department in Bristol for 30 years, and now is at the forefront of promoting the city as the creative hub it is world-renowned for.
A BAFTA award-winning producer has received an MBE for his work to celebrate and promote creative industries in the region.
He was weeding in his garden when he discovered he’d been made a Member of the British Empire – read the full story of his achievement, and why the day he found out was a very emotional one.
The 76-year-old from Knowle has been performing music since he was nine, and now, at the age of 76, he has been made a Member of the British Empire for services to music and charity.
His performing career began at that tender age, playing a movement of Haydn concerto with the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra at a series of concerts for school children. A few months later he made a sensational debut as a soloist in a Mozart concerto with the Halle Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli.
As a teenager, he made his first appearance at the BBC Promenade Concerts and the Edinburgh Festival. He studied music under Fanny Waterman the founder of the Leeds Piano Competition. Following two years with Denis Matthews, he became the first British pianist to win a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatoire where he attended the class of Professor Victor Merzhanov. He has played with every major UK orchestra.
He has toured the USA, former Soviet Union and Europe. He was once described by the Guardian as the ‘Ideal Mozart Pianist’ and his fame brought him invitations to Salzburg and Cape Town to take part in the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death. He is unique for having played both privately for Her Majesty the Queen and for having been conducted by a former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.
Now in his 70s he continues to inspire and enrich the musical lives of many young people, teaching specialist lessons for children at schools/colleges in the UK, one of his students gaining a music scholarship to Oxford University as a result.
He has regularly given free recitals to schools in all the Channel Islands, and has given his time to help and advice at the Opera House, Jersey. He has been involved with Piano Master Classes for young people and he has worked at many local schools to teach music. He has supported many good causes and charities over the years, including Brace, Bristol Old Vic Theatre, British Red Cross, The Salvation Army.
Walk around Bristol city centre, and Peter Floyd has had a hand in how much of it looks.
An architect and town planner, he headed Bristol City Council‘s urban planning department in the 1960s and 1970s – a period of huge transformation as the devastated, bombed-out city centre was developed, largely into the controversial post-modern environment it is today.
In 2015, he wrote about how the design of the Bearpit came about – and how it ended up not really working.
Now living in Old Down, he has worn many hats in the service of Bristol over the years. He was chairman of the steering committee that set up the Watershed, was president of Bristol Zoo for seven years and is now heavily involved in the transformation and refurbishment of St Mary Redcliffe Church.
“I am very honoured to be asked to be a Member of the British Empire,” he told Bristol Live.
Dr Habib Naqvi
(Image: Dr Habib Naqvi/Twitter)
The 41-year-old from Knowle has been made a Member of the British Empire for services to equality and diversity in the NHS.
He led on the development of the Equality Delivery System for the NHS – a tool that supports all NHS organisations in England to meet the diverse needs of their staff and patients.
He leads on the national policy for the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard – an initiative that closes the inequality gaps between black, asian and minority ethnic and white staff across the NHS in England.
In 2015, these two equality improvement tools were mandated in the NHS Standard Contract. This was the first time, since the inception of the NHS in 1948, that ‘equality’ was explicitly mandated for the NHS by the NHS.
Over the last decade, Dr Naqvi has been the proponent of the transformational change seen in equality field across the NHS, resulting in improvements in the quality of care that patients from diverse backgrounds receive in the NHS and increases in BAME staff in senior roles in parts of the NHS. Between 2013 and 2016, there was an increase of over 1,700 BAME nurses and midwives in senior NHS grades.
The Engine Shed has become an important part of Bristol’s reputation nationwide as one of the leading cities in Europe for digital economy and innovation – and the man who set it up has been awarded an MBE.
Nick Sturge, the director of the Engine Shed, is receiving the awarded for service to the digital economy.
The enterprise hub, in Brunel’s original train station at Bristol Temple Meads, is a collaboration between the University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.
As the former director of Bristol SETsquared Centre, Nick conceived the idea of Engine Shed and brought it to fruition from concept to opening in nine months.
Since it opened in December 2013, Nick has overseen Engine Shed’s growth and it’s now a vital part of the city’s business ecosystem, driving inclusive economic activity across a wide range of sectors.
In its first five years, the enterprise hub received an estimated 150,000 visitors including members of the Royal Family, Ministers of State, school children, and international delegations.
During his time as Centre Director of SETsquared Bristol, from May 2005 to February 2016, it was voted the best university business incubator in the world for its outstanding contribution to developing the next generation of UK tech entrepreneurs.
He was also South West Regional Chairman for the Institute of Directors (IoD) from January 2016 to December 2018, and before that he co-founded Motion Media Technology.
Nick said: “I am honoured to have been recognised for the work I’ve had privilege of being able to do in the city that I care passionately about, the South West, and the wider UK economy. Only someone with a very vivid imagination could have predicted how the local tech sector has progressed over the last ten years.
“The University of Bristol has been very far-sighted in providing freedom to experiment with collaboration, partnerships, and a new model of economic development in Bristol and Bath, and I am proud to have been able to convene such a rich variety of partners to help make our city region a better place.
“This is not only a personal accolade but one for the University of Bristol and the team behind our work,” he added.