Jim’s just reward in Queen’s birthday list

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.

Sunday, 9th June 2019, 09:04 am
Updated Sunday, 9th June 2019, 13:32 pm
Linda and Jim Thompson, from Abbeyfield Extra Care in Alnwick, pictured at this week's volunteers and carers garden party hosted by the Duchess of Northumberland at The Alnwick Garden. Picture by Jane Coltman

Jim Thompson, 74, has had a varied career, firstly as an agricultural engineer 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.

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In 1976, Jim helped set up Alnwick International Music Festival and spent 26 years booking groups from around the world.

Jim was a member and past chairman of Alnwick Round Table , a founding member of Alnwick Lions and has been a member of the town’s Rotary Club 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 to recognise his community work. 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.”