Shropshire Star journalist Shirley Tart has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Shirley, who is the paper’s royal correspondent, received the honour for services to the newspaper industry.
She is part of the original reporting team which launched the Shropshire Star in 1964, and has also worked for its sister paper, the Express & Star.
Shirley (pictured) said receiving the award was one of her proudest ever moments.
She said: “I still don’t think I can really believe it – I just feel so privileged and honoured.
“We all try to make a difference in some small way, and if I have managed to achieve this through my job, I can really ask no more.”
Shirley began her journalistic career in 1957 as a trainee on the Wellington Journal and was women’s editor at the Shropshire Star for 30 years.
In 1994 she moved to Wolverhampton to become assistant editor of the Express & Star, before returning to Shropshire three years ago as associate editor of Shropshire Magazine, and resuming her royal correspondent and feature writing duties.
She has met the Queen several times but she says that an audience with Her Majesty to collect the MBE will be magical.
Shirley said: “I still cannot really believe it, it’s so special.
“For me the greatest pride is that the citation is for services to the newspaper industry. I just consider myself ever so lucky to have been given the opportunity to tell the story of other people’s lives, and to have met such fascinating people.
“I’ve always thought of these honours as the sort of things you report on, not that you actually receive.”
Douglas Graham, chairman of the Midland News Association, said: “This is a marvellous award because the name Shirley Tart is synonymous with that of the Shropshire Star.”
And the Star’s editor Sarah-Jane Smith added to the tributes, saying: “Her commitment, service and dedication to our readers is unsurpassed and we are all extremely proud for her.”
Since Princess Anne married captain Mark Phillips in 1973, Shirley has attended the wedding of every one of the Queen’s children held in England – often as the only regional newspaper representative – and met the Queen during her golden jubilee year.
She is also a long-standing supporter of local charities, helping to launch the Hope House appeal ten years ago, as well as being a founding member of the Shropshire branch of the Leukaemia Research Fund, and the first female church warden of St Andrew’s in Shifnal.
John Page has been honoured for his outstanding work with bats since his retirement.
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