Whalley ‘duchess’ collects MBE

Coun Joyce Holgate with Nigel Evans
Coun Joyce Holgate with Nigel Evans
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A VETERAN community worker, Ribble Valley councillor and former borough Mayor celebrated collecting her MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Coun. Joyce Holgate, a familiar face to many in Whalley, was recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to local government in the Ribble Valley.

Coun. Holgate ran the Abbey Candy Store in King Street, Whalley, for years and founded the village’s thriving Chamber of Trade.

She has been heavily involved in Whalley’s annual Pickwick Night celebrations and has held voluntary roles at Carers Link, Calderstones NHS Trust and Whalley Primary School. She has also represented the village on Ribble Valley Borough Council for 16 years and was elected Mayor for 2002-2003.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans was one of the first to congratulate Coun. Holgate. He said: “I am delighted for Joyce. She has been a tireless campaigner for and representative of the people of Whalley for the 16 years she has been a councillor. She served with distinction as Mayor and her service has been duly recognised.

“Joyce is affectionately known in Whalley as ‘the Duchess’ so highly is she thought of. People have very fond memories of her sweet shop and I have never heard a bad word said about her.

“Today has been a fantastic day for Joyce and her family and it is all richly deserved.

“I was so pleased to be able to celebrate with her at Westminster.”