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Snapper Washbourn picks up a gong

Retired press photographer Peter Washbourn was today proud to be going public on his big secret – that he’s been awarded the MBE.

He was nominated for the medal in the New Year Honours List for his services to the community.

His tireless work over the years has included the Lincoln Asthma Swimming Group, of which he is the founding chairman, the Lincoln Civic Trust, Lincoln Beevor band and The City School (Lincoln) Association, of which he is a senior vice-president.

Peter (right) still finds time to write columns for the Lincolnshire Echo twice a week, and his daughter Sarah is now a photographic assistant at the paper.

He said: “I’m delighted. It is a great honour – but I would like to say that without the backing of my wife Pat this would not have been possible.

“This has come out of the blue and was a lovely surprise when I learned about it. I am very grateful to the people who nominated me.

“I am looking forward immensely to going down to Buckingham Palace for the investiture and taking my family with me.

“I have taken photographs of the Queen and Prince Charles but you try and keep out of the way as much as possible so I am looking forward to finally meeting them.”

Peter, (66), worked for the Lincolnshire Echo for exactly 40 years, joining in March 1956 and retiring in March 1996.

Since his retirement he has produced specials and five books for the Echo on a bygones theme.

Each week he also produces two pages – Lincolnian’s Diary, a mixture of memories and items of local history, and Lincoln in the News, containing stories taken from the Echo’s archives.

Echo editor Michael Sassi said: “Everyone at the Echo is delighted for Peter. He has been a fantastic servant to his newspaper both as a photographer and a writer.

“He has incredible respected right across the county for his great knowledge and understanding of Lincolnshire history.

“Peter is a very proud Lincolnian and he also just happens to be a very nice and likeable. I believe there can be few more deserving recipients of this honour.”

Find out more about Peter’s career in his own words here.

And read about his latest book of bygone images of Lincoln here.

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E-mail pastill@nep.co.uk