Kimpton stalwart ‘shocked’ to receive New Year’s honour

Juliet with husband Andrew Morton. Picture: Supplied

Juliet with husband Andrew Morton. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

A Kimpton grandfather was “shocked” to receive a British Empire Medal for his services to the community.

The honour has been bestowed upon Andrew Morton as part of the New Year’s honours.

He told this newspaper: “I feel rather shocked really.

“Kimpton is such a friendly place with so much going on.

“There are so many people who deserve this medal just as much, if not more than I do.

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“I just think of myself as a representative of all that goes on in the village and just feel incredibly proud that I can represent the village in that way.”

During his working years, Mr Morton was a secondary school teacher at Onslow St Audrey’s in Hatfield, Townsend in St Albans and Heathcote in Stevenage.

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His BEM however, is in recognition for his dedication to Kimpton Primary School and the village.

In his previous role as governor, now associate governor, he was the chairman of the curriculum and community committee.

He also supported the headteacher on the recruitment and the interview panel.

He is a lay reader and formerly a lay minister for the Church of Kimpton and he has also led the whole school celebrations for harvest festival.

The 69-year-old set up a Kimpton Food Box, which the school donated to each month, to support the families in the parish.

This took place over the course of a year.

Aware of many village residents feeling isolated, Mr Morton initiated a community lunch to bring people together.

It attracted 34 participants and was further enriched by his organising schoolchildren’s visits, helping to create inter-generational dialogue and understanding.

When a major flood struck Kimpton in February 2001, the father-of-one coordinated sandbag volunteers, attended multi-agency meetings on behalf of those threatened, and produced a newsletter.

He was integral to the Noise Project, held each July, when up to 50 volunteers from across the parish, undertake gardening, hedging, fencing, painting, grass-cutting and any other DIY tasks.

This work is completed on behalf of those less able to undertake them.

Mr Morton, who has lived in Kimpton since 1977, said: “Kimpton is a lovely place to live.

“It’s so friendly and welcoming.”

For many years, Mr Morton has also run the very successful Kimpton Yacht Club.

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