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British Empire Medal awarded to Coniston Cold woman Ethne Bannister
11:15am Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
Coniston Cold woman Ethne Bannister has been honoured for her services to the community.
Mrs Bannister was presented with the British Empire Medal by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Lord Crathorne, at a special ceremony at County Hall, Northallerton.
She received the accolade for “services to the community in Coniston Cold”.
She said it was a great honour and she was thrilled.
“I was amazed when I got the news - it came completely out of the blue. I got a letter from the Cabinet Office saying I was to receive it and must keep it secret until it was announced, which I did, of course.
“It is very encouraging. It is the last thing you ever think about. It is something that happens to others so it is thrilling to receive it. I have loved everything I have done in the community.”
The British Empire Medal was established in 1922, but had been held in abeyance for nearly 20 years until it was revived in June to recognise “the dedication and hard work so many provide to their communities”.
Mrs Bannister was born in Gargrave and, after boarding school, went to college in London before marrying Michael Bannister in 1956.
In 1969, they bought the 1,800-acre Coniston Estate and built the new hall in classical style, which then became the focal point for the development of the estate and The Coniston Hotel.
After bringing up her four children, Mrs Bannister gave her time to a wide range of educational, religious and charitable bodies.
She is or has been a governor of Skipton Girls’ High School, Malsis School at Glusburn and Stowe School, Buckingham-shire, church warden of St Peter’s, Coniston Cold, president of local sections of the Royal British Legion and Age Concern, and currently serves as the president of the North Craven Heritage Trust.
As a recipient of the BEM, Mrs Bannister will be invited to a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace next year.