Proud Edgworth grandad gets MBE at Buckingham Palace

Richard Sutherland with granddaughters Ella, Sophie, Erin and Amabel

Richard Sutherland with granddaughters Ella, Sophie, Erin and Amabel

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

“IT’S bigger than Disney, grandad is King, but grandma is not Queen because they have already got one.”

So says proud five-year-old Amabel Sutherland, after she accompanied her 77-year-old grandfather Richard to Buckingham Palace when he was made an MBE.

Mr Sutherland, who was chairman of the board of trustees at Birtenshaw Special School for 20 years, received the award for services to education and the Bolton community.

Prince Charles bestowed the honour on Mr Sutherland, who lives in Edgworth.

Mr Sutherland said the “remarkable” experience would stay with him for the rest of his life.

He was joined in London by wife Wynn, son Mark, who lives in Hong Kong, daughter Elaine, from Bromley Cross, and his other granddaughters Erin, aged 18, Ella, aged 14, and three-year-old Sophie.

Mr Sutherland said: “It was a remarkable experience, everything was so well organised.

“You were made to feel important.

“Prince Charles was absolutely superb, the whole experience is something which will live with me for the rest of my life.

“He called me by my Christian name, which I thought was brilliant.”

Mr Sutherland, who also has associations with Bolton Hospice and Bolton YMCA, was joined afterwards by extended family at a lunch at the Oxford and Cambridge Club.

His involvement with Birtenshaw started after he retired as chief executive of the old Bolton District Health Authority.

During his time with Birtenshaw, Mr Sutherland, who was born in Suffolk, oversaw the move to its new multi-million pound site in Bromley Cross in September, 2012.

The school hall at the new building has been named after Mr Sutherland as a mark of his commitment to the school.

On his day out with family, Mr Sutherland added: “They were even able to come into the palace grounds and have a picture taken which was fantastic.”

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