Ironbridge historian becomes MBE

Ironbridge Mr Jones said the honour came as "a complete surprise"

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A man who has recorded Shropshire's history has been appointed MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Kenneth Jones, 88, of Telford, was honoured for services to the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage site.

The volunteer, an Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (IGMT) vice president, set up a scheme to record an oral history of the Coalbrookdale coalfield area.

The IGMT was set up to preserve and interpret the remains of the Industrial Revolution in the Ironbridge Gorge.

Mr Jones, from Little Wenlock, who established the project to record the memories of older residents in 1975, said he felt "very honoured".

Start Quote

The honour really is due to the people I've had the pleasure of working with, both staff and volunteers”

End Quote Kenneth Jones

He added: "It came as a complete surprise. I never expected anything like this.

"I wouldn't like to guess how many hours we have. We must have had 300 or 400 people that we've spoken to over the years - some for half an hour, some for two hours and three hours."

Mr Jones said the audio and transcripts of recordings, which ae stored at the museum's library, had links with the 1850s.

He said: "Some people were in their 80s and 90s - some speaking of memories of their father, grandfather and in some cases great-grandfather."

The IGMT was set up in 1967 and Mr Jones, who used to conduct guided tours in the area, first became involved in 1970.

Mr Jones said: "The honour really is due to the people I've had the pleasure of working with, both staff and volunteers, and the people recorded over the years."

Others appointed MBE from Shropshire included Terence James Connell, from Telford, in relation to the Ministry of Defence, and Pamela Mary Jennings, of Craven Arms, for services to the community in Aston on Clun.

Market Drayton man John William Rose, NHS Western Cheshire dental adviser, has also been appointed MBE.

Ludlow resident Barry Forrester, formerly principal recruitment policy adviser, Civil Service Commissioners, Cabinet Office, was appointed OBE.

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