Geoff enjoys his day at the palace

Geoff and Jacquie Stevens, after he received his MBE.
Geoff and Jacquie Stevens, after he received his MBE.

A MATLOCK stalwart rubbed shoulders with royalty after heading to Buckingham Palace to collect his MBE.

Cllr Geoff Stevens has spent 40 years tirelessly working for the community and was named in the 2012 New Year honours list.

He was invited to the capital with his wife Jacquie, son Dominic and daughter-in-law Gill, for the ceremony last week, receiving the prestigious accolade from the Queen.

He followed in the footsteps of his late father, Eric, who was also a councillor, and who was awarded an MBE in 1962.

Geoff received his for services to the community including his efforts as compere at Matlock Bath Illuminations, which he has done for 44 years.

Speaking after his visit to London: “It was a fantastic day, there was 92 of us in total, and with me being ‘S’ I was about fourth from the end so I had to wait a while!

“The Queen asked me what I was involved in, and when I mentioned the illuminations in Matlock Bath and how they were first held to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, her face really lit up.”

Geoff has served on the Derbyshire Dales District Council since 1975 and is currently deputy leader and chairman. As a founder member of Matlock Town Council, he has served as the town mayor twice, is chairman of the Derwent and Dove Scouts, governor and past chairman of All Saints’ Junior School and an active member of All Saints’ Church. He serves on board at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, and the East Midlands Development Agency.