Page last updated at 00:08 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ringmaster and rockers honoured by Queen

Pru Poretta in the 1982 pageant
'Lady Godiva' Pru Poretta ready for the original pageant in 1982

A circus ringmaster and a modern day Lady Godiva feature alongside rock stars and sporting heavyweights in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Ringmaster Norman Barrett, 74, who spent 25 years at the Blackpool Tower Circus, becomes an MBE.

Pru Poretta, who has been Coventry's official Lady Godiva since 1982, has also been appointed MBE.

Veteran rockers Status Quo and Formula One world champion Jenson Button have also received honours.

Ms Poretta won a competition to recreate the role of Lady Godiva at Coventry Carnival 27 years ago, and has ridden a horse through the city centre every year since - raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

She said she was "shocked and humbled" to receive the honour, for services to the city's community and tourism services.

Norman Barrett
Norman Barrett spent 25 years working at the Blackpool Tower Circus

Zippo's Circus ringmaster Mr Barrett left school at the age of 12 to join his parents' circus, and shows no signs of hanging up his whip after more than 60 years in the business.

He becomes an MBE for services to entertainment.

Status Quo stalwarts Francis Rossi, 60, and Richard Parfitt, 61, have both been appointed OBE for their services to music and to charity, while Jenson Button, 29, becomes an MBE after being crowned Formula One world champion.

They are among a host of famous names to make the list, along with Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart, children's author Dick King-Smith and fashion designer Amanda Wakeley.

But the list also celebrates the achievements of local heroes, with headteachers, foster carers and community campaigners all receiving honours.

Camerawoman Rebecca Hosking, who spearheaded a campaign to make the Devon town of Modbury the first in Britain to ban plastic bags, becomes an MBE, while Anne Brannagan, complex trauma manager at the armed forces rehabilitation centre Headley Court, in Surrey, is appointed OBE.

Det Supt Kevin Flint of Nottinghamshire Police, who took over the investigation into the 1983 murder of schoolgirl Colette Aram in 2004, has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal.

Last month Paul Hutchinson, 51, of Stockgill Close, Gamston, Nottinghamshire, admitted murdering the 16-year-old 26 years ago.



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SEE ALSO
No plastic bags in town's shops
29 Apr 07 |  Devon
Living the life of Lady Godiva
16 Apr 07 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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