Ex-head gets MBE for voluntary work

FORMER Lytham headteacher Julian Wilde has been awarded the MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list – for voluntary service to young people.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 7th January 2010, 8:45 am

Mr Wilde, 64, is secretary of Oakley Holidays, a registered charity which organises residential activity holidays for young people from all over the country, currently at Bilton Grange in Warwickshire.

He first attended an Oakley Holiday 50 years ago whilst at school in Bristol and has since been on over 120 of the holiday weeks, becoming one of the two chief organisers for the past two decades.

"Since I was notified about my award in mid-November it's been a difficult secret to keep," Mr. Wilde said, "especially from my mum Olivia, 93, who lives in St Annes.

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"I have been delighted to tell her the news at last and of course am looking forward to going to the investiture at Buckingham Palace in the summer."

Young people from around 75 families in the Fylde have attended the Oakley Holidays since 1993 and Mr Wilde, who lives in Lytham, believes that the award is a tribute to the enthusiasm and talents they have brought to the residential holidays.

"My work is made enjoyable and rewarding by the splendid commitment which the boys and girls attending bring to each holiday week," he said.

" Many of those from here on the Fylde are now first-class leaders at the Holidays which have celebrated their 90th anniversary during 2009. "

Following teaching posts in Manchester and Oxfordshire and nine years as the head of The City School in Lincoln, Mr Wilde returned to his native Lancashire as the Headmaster of King Edward VII School, Lytham from 1993 to 1999.

He then became the first principal of the amalgamated co-educational King Edward and Queen Mary School until his retirement from teaching in 2003.

Since then he has worked as an Independent Schools' Inspector, with Eton College as one of the schools he has visited.

Mr Wilde who is a regular contributor of theatre reviews for the Lytham St Annes Express and has recently completed a solo charity bike ride from Prague to Vienna through which he has raised over 5000 for three charities including the Blackpool and Fylde Talking Newspaper.