Fencing ace honoured in Queen’s New Year awards

Brian Dickinson has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to disabled fencing

Brian Dickinson has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to disabled fencing

A medal-winning disabled fencer and a leading Blackpool detective are among Fylde coast recipients in the New Year Honours list.

Basil Newby is joined by three community stalwarts who have also been awarded MBEs.

Brian Dickinson, 75, of Preston New Road, Marton, has been recognised for services to wheelchair fencing - an activity which has grown into a global sport under Brian’s stewardship.

He said: “I was very suprised when I got the letter. It is a great honour.

“I first started fencing when I saw it in 1962 in Australia at the wheelchair Commonwealth Games.

“In those days there were five or six, mostly European, countries participating but today it has grown to 20 to 30 countries and is a worldwide sport.”

Brian has been a prime mover in disability fencing for over 50 years.

He competed as both a swimmer and wheelchair fencer, representing Great Britain in four Paralympic Games (1964, 1968, 1984 and 1992), winning gold medals at national, Commonwealth and World Wheelchair Fencing Championships.

Since his retirement from active sport he has coached other disabled fencers including Blackpool’s David Heaton

Mr Dickinson served as general secretary of the International Wheelchair Fencing Executive Committee from 1984-2005, and since 2006 has been president of the British Disabled Fencing Association.

Jean Wolstenholme, who lives in Poulton has been awarded an MBE for services to children and young people in Lancashire, while Moya Foster, who is a senior service manager for Families in Need at Blackpool Council has been awarded the accolade for services to children and families.

There are also honours for members of the emergency services including a detective who helped set up a key team in Blackpool.

Det Sgt Neil Fowler, who retired in August after 30 years service, has been awarded The Queen’s Police Medal (QPM).

He was a founder member of the Awaken team in Blackpool, one of the first multi-agency teams set up to tackle child sexual exploitation.

Under his guidance the team has secured more than 100 convictions for sexual offences against young people.

Mr Fowler said: “I was surprised to get the letter but very pleased. Throughout my career I never considered I was doing anything other than my job.”

He was among three Lancashire officers to receive honours, the others being Deputy Chief Constable Chris Weigh who was also awarded the Queen’s Police Medal, and Sgt Pete Sculpher who has been awarded an MBE for services to policing and the community.

Meanwhile Lancashire’s chief fire officer Chris Kenny has been awarded the Queens Fire Service Medal for distinguished service.

He said: “I have been fortunate to work with some fantastic people over my 35 years in the fire and rescue service, and this honour recognises their efforts as much as my own.

“There has never been a more challenging time to lead Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service but I remain committed to providing the best service in the country with the decreasing resources at my disposal and the support of my highly professional staff.”




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