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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2008, 13:46 GMT
Cemetery champion awarded the MBE
Joyce Smith with her MBE
Arnos Vale was awarded 4.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund
One of the key figures behind the rescue of Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol has been awarded the MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Joyce Smith has worked for Arnos Vale since 1987, when plans were revealed to build houses on part of the site.

The 63-year-old is one of the founder members of APAC, the volunteer organisation which later became the Friends of Arnos Vale Cemetery.

"It's a tremendous honour to be awarded the MBE," she said.

Mrs Smith, whose parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are all buried at Arnos Vale was accompanied to the ceremony by her husband Richard who was chairman of the cemetery trust until recently, and was himself made an MBE two years ago.

'Beavering away'

She said: "I think it's probably quite rare for the same project to be honoured twice like this.

"Richard's MBE was for his leadership of the campaign to save the cemetery and his work as Chairman of the Trust, whereas I am pleased to accept mine on behalf of the Friends of Arnos Vale Cemetery.

"It's for the back room people really, we just kept beavering away and supporting those with a higher profile," she added.

FAVC worked to set up the Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust, which was formed in 2001 and now runs Arnos Vale. It was also instrumental in lobbying Bristol City Council to buy the cemetery.

In December 2005, Arnos Vale was awarded a 4.8m Heritage Lottery Fund for the restoration of the cemetery.

Arnos Vale in new protection plan
08 Apr 04 |  Bristol/Somerset
Historic cemetery in trusted hands
07 Aug 03 |  Bristol/Somerset
Cemetery saved from developers
02 Apr 03 |  England

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