New Years Honours: Funny Girls owner Basil Newby honoured

Basil Newby
Image caption Basil Newby opened his first nightclub in Blackpool in 1979

A Blackpool nightclub owner has been appointed MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Basil Newby, who owns clubs in the resort including show bar Funny Girls, received the honour for services to business and the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender community.

Mr Newby, from Poulton-le-Fylde, said he was humbled by his MBE although he found keeping it secret challenging.

He said trying to "keep it zipped" had "just been horrendous".

Mr Newby opened his first gay club Flamingo in Blackpool in 1979. He launched the cabaret show bar Funny Girls in 1994.

He said: "I kind of feel like this is for Blackpool as well as for me because I'm a Sandgrownun: I was born and bred in Blackpool.

"The businesses I've been [running] now for 35 years and it's just lovely after all that time that something that is part of Blackpool gets recognition."

'Absolutely gobsmacked'

Other MBE appointments in the honours list include Denise Hartley for voluntary services in the Ingol area of Preston and Sgt Peter Sculpher, from Blackburn, for services to policing.

Mr Sculpher, who has been in the police force for 26 years, is also a community volunteer with more than 20 years' service to the scouting movement and has made 10 charity trips to Romania.

He said he was "absolutely gobsmacked" when he received the news and thought it was "a wind-up".

Image caption Brian Dickinson said getting this recognition was "absolutely fantastic"

Brian Dickinson, president of the British Disabled Fencing Association, was also appointed MBE for services to wheelchair fencing.

Mr Dickinson, from Blackpool, said he was shocked because he had been retired from the sport for 10 years.

"It's a minority sport to start with and to get this recognition is absolutely fantastic," he said.

Mark Crabtree, managing director of AMS Neve in Burnley, has been appointed OBE for services to advanced manufacturing and creative industries.

Carol Kristina Holden, from Leyland, who is chief executive of the Northwest Automotive Alliance, was also recipient of the OBE honour for services to the automotive industry.

Other honours include a Queen's Fire Service Medal for Christopher Kenny, the chief fire officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and a British Empire Medal for William David Honeywell for services to charity and to the community in Clitheroe.

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