Royal honour for K’bro man

Mike Baker CBE after receiving his honour at Buckingham Palace and, below, with the Queen. (s)

Mike Baker CBE after receiving his honour at Buckingham Palace and, below, with the Queen. (s)

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A Knaresborough man has spoken of his delight at being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Mike Baker was made a CBE in the honours list announced in June this year, and travelled to London to receive his honour from HM The Queen on November 16.

He said: “It was fabulous. I was looking forward to going to the Palace, but it was humbling to walk through the main gates, across the quadrangle and through the entrance the Royals go through.

“It was incredibly special.”

Mr Baker travelled to London with his wife Bernie and son Charlie, 16, and found out on the morning of the investiture that he would be receiving his honour from the Queen.

“The Queen was lovely. We just chatted about what I did and she was pleasant to talk to and very charming,” he added.

Mr Baker works as a director in the Department of Work and Pensions, until recently leading 20,000 staff. “I am a life long civil servant and it’s fantastic to lead that many staff and serve people in need,” he said.

He believes his honour came as a result of his work and his commitment to volunteering at Scotton Scorchers football club, Mr Baker said.

“I joined the club in its first year, 10 years ago, when we had 20 kids running round a field. Now we have 300 boys and girls .

“I have been chairman for most of that period, and we have just opened our new pavilion which we raised £75,000 to build.”

Mr Baker, who moved to Knaresborough 13 years ago, received congratulations on his honour from The Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, and Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Lord Crathorne.