An Alnwick man has received a British Empire Medal in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List after being recognised for his sterling community work in the town.
Jim Thompson, 74, has had a varied career, firstly as an engineer in the agricultural sector before a distinguished career with the Fire Service.
He retired from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service as Area Commander for the north of Northumberland. During that time, he worked with other organisations to ensure the safety of residents and was instrumental in creating a community fire station at Wooler.
During his career, Jim voluntarily ran an exchange with the German fire service for more than 30 years and received the German Fire Service Medal for his work, one of the few people to be awarded outside Germany.
His community work within Alnwick began in the 1960s when he brought karate to the town. He also became involved in a wedding car business providing high-quality transport at a reasonable price for brides and grooms throughout the area.
In 1976, Jim helped set up Alnwick International Music Festival and spent 26 years booking groups from around the world.
Jim was a member of Alnwick Round Table and is a past chairman, he was a founding member of Lions and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Alnwick for a number of years. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and Past President of Rotary – he takes on the presidency again in 2020.
In 2017, Jim received a Civic Award from the Mayor of Alnwick in recognition of his work in the community. He is also a keen Freemason and is a member of a number of lodges within the town.
He is involved on a voluntary basis as chairman of the executive committee of Abbeyfield House in Alnwick, a residential home for the elderly, and is passionate about the care provided to the residents.
Jim is married to Linda and they have two daughters and five grandchildren.
A delighted Jim said: “I would like to thank all of the people I’ve worked with over the years that have helped in the variety of activities that I’ve enjoyed. I couldn’t have done this without the support and assistance of my wife and family.”