A former editor and journalist of four decades has received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Peter Atkins, 70, former editor-in-chief and managing director of two Staffordshire titles has been honoured for his ”services to journalism and the community of Staffordshire.”
Joining the Staffordshire Newsletter in 1970, he went on to edit the title along with Staffordshire Life magazine for 25 years.
He then became managing director as well as a director of the Burton Daily Mail. He now writes a weekly column for the Stafford edition of the Express and Star.
Earlier in his career he worked as a reporter and sub editor in Tunbridge Wells, Plymouth, Carlisle, Leeds, Luton and also worked for the Daily Mirror and Sunday Express.
But a career in journalism wasn’t always on the cards for Middlesex-born Peter who joined the Merchant Navy as a navigating officer cadet after graduating from naval college. He went into journalism when he was diagnosed as colour blind three years later.
Said Peter: “It is a great honour to be recognised for my services to the community in which I have greatly enjoyed living for the past 40 years.
“To also be recognised for my contributions to journalism, which has been fulfilling, enjoyable and challenging career is very gratifying.”
During his time with the newsletter he helped launch many journalists careers and initiated a nationally recognised journalists training scheme in conjunction with Stafford College.
He was involved in national and regional newspaper trade and professional organisations and served on the council of the Newspaper Society, chairing its newspapers in education committee.
He was also a council member of the Guild of British Newspaper Editors and a member of its parliamentary and legal committee, as well as regional President of both organisations.
His community service includes helping to raise thousands of pounds for charities, including a centre in Stafford’s North End for handicapped and disabled people.
He was county chairman of the St John Ambulance council and is an Officer of the order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. Other strings to his bow have seen him a director of the Staffordshire Training and Enterprise Council and chair of its Rural Economic Forum.
He also took on the chairmanship of the Taste of Staffordshire competition and for a number of years was a member of the Local Review Committee at Stafford Prison.
Founder chairman of the Staffordshire Community Foundation, Peter remains a trustee of the police supported Partnership Assuring a Safer Staffordshire. He is also a neighbourhoodwatch coordinator and led a fundraising drive encouaraging readers to raise £14,000 for the commission of a bronze statue of Isaac Walton.