The day I was honoured at Buckingham Palace - by North Yorkshire firefighter

A North Yorkshire firefighter came face-to-face with Prince William at Buckingham Palace - but there was no emergency.

Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 12:38 pm
Firefighter Bruce Reid with his MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Bruce Reid, who is married with four children and two grandchildren and lives in Knaresborough, received the MBE from The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William at the same ceremony as rugby union great Jonny Wilkinson.

Bruce said getting a royal seal of approval for the work the firefighters do had been unbelievable. “It would have been an honour just to be nominated never mind actually receiving the MBE.

“To be there in Buckingham Palace was something you couldn’t imagine.”

Bruce had been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list earlier in the year for services to the Fire Fighters Charity and the community.

Last week’s investiture took place in the grand ballroom, the largest single room at Buckingham Palace.

Bruce, who lives on the Aspin estate, had arrived at the palace with his wife, son, daughter and 94-year old-grandmother in a taxi.

He said the destination surprised the driver who told him he’d never had a fare for that address before.

Bruce said the period from the initial announcement in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list to the actual ceremony had been been surreal.

But the investiture itself had required him to turn diplomat.

Bruce said: “Guest tickets for the ceremony were limited to three and my wife and I have four children between us.

“I wasn’t able to get the two extra tickets needed to take all the children but I did manage to one extra ticket.

"But that just created an even bigger conundrum. It was a difficult task in itself deciding who to take.”

Stationed at Acomb fire station in York, Bruce has done much to help the Fire Fighters Charity over the years.

For the past 11 years Bruce has been responsible for helping to ensure North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s annual Christmas Concert is such as success.

To be held at Harrogate International Centre on Sunday, December 20, this year’s spectacular musical extravaganza looks like being the best one to date since it was first launched 49 years ago.

This festive evening of traditional and modern performances combines performances from the firefighters bands, local choirs and special guest stars.

On the bill this year will be singer and BBC Songs of Praise presenter Aled Jones, talented classical soprano Laura Wright, the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Band, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Pipe Band and The Fisher Singers and Freedom Performing Arts.

Tickets for The Firefighters Christmas Concert are available by calling 01423 502116 or visit

• We apologise that owing to a technical error, a previous version of this story appeared in an incomplete form.