AN AUTHOR from Finstall has been awarded a British Empire Medal in recognition of services to the community in Bromsgrove.

Jennie McGregor-Smith, who turns 80 this week, has been named as one of the recipients in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour list.

Ms McGregor-Smith has held a number of roles in the community over the years.

She helped start Bromsgrove Junior Concert Club in 1995 and was one of the prime movers, along with architect Alfie Woods, in founding the Bromsgrove Society in 1980.

She was joint secretary of Bromsgrove Concerts between 1976-1989 and again between 1998-2009, and was a leading member of the Housman Society.

While with Bromsgrove Arts Association, which has since become Bromsgrove Arts Alive, she led the campaign to build an arts centre in Bromsgrove, which was achieved in 2005 with the creation of the Artrix.

She was also chairman of National Federation of Music Societies, which became Making Music in 2001, and chairman of the West Midlands Music Societies for over 20 years.

Additionally, she was co-founder of Bromsgrove literary organisation WORDS and organised a series of recitals called Celebrating English Song for 13 years.

Also a local history author, she has written books on Bromsgrove architect John Cotton, the origins of Aston Fields and the Victorian development of Bromsgrove, and is currently working on a book on Finstall which is due for release at the end of the year.

She said: “I was very shocked as one does not do these things in order to get an award.

“It is wonderful and very nice to receive this.

“It is a great way to start the year.”