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Arts For Rutland founder Peter Lawson receives his British Empire Medal at Oakham Castle



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A former high sheriff who dedicates much of his time to the arts has received a British Empire Medal.

Peter Lawson was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this summer, primarily for his work with Arts for Rutland, which he founded in 2010.

Among the organisation’s success stories are the popular Four Winds Festival at Rutland Water in 2011, which told the story of the ospreys migration, and a hippopotamus trail in 2010, which featured fibreglass sculptures dotted around the county. Peter also organised an event at Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Peter Lawson received a British Empire Medal from Dr Sarah Furness. Photo: Allan Grey
Peter Lawson received a British Empire Medal from Dr Sarah Furness. Photo: Allan Grey

He was presented with his medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Sarah Furness, during a ceremony and lunch at Oakham Castle on Tuesday.

Dr Furness said: “Peter has had enormous beneficial impact on the life and culture of our lovely county of Rutland. He has been awarded the British Empire Medal for the effect he has had upon two related fields, the arts and the community.

“Peter has vision, is a formidable organiser, is determined and he is charming. These are all the very characteristics that mean when Peter has an idea, it happens.

Peter Lawson BEM. Photo: Allan Grey
Peter Lawson BEM. Photo: Allan Grey

“He carries people with him and is good at building happy, co-operative small teams. Not only do Peter’s ideas tend to happen but they also tend to capture other peoples’ imaginations too.”

Peter, 79, has enjoyed a love of music since childhood.

He was also involved with Music in Lyddington and now living partly in Norwich, also leads the Norwich Chamber Music.

Joy Everitt, of Arts for Rutland, said: “With Peter we did exciting projects in Rutland. It was an innovative and creative time and I feel privileged to have been part of this with Peter.

The presentation took place at Oakham Castle. Photo: Allan Grey
The presentation took place at Oakham Castle. Photo: Allan Grey

“His leadership and ability to energise people and communicate to everyone was the key to the success of these performances.”

Aside from the arts, Peter has also served as chairman of the trustees at Oakham School.

Other interests includes the Peterborough Cathedral Development and Preservation Trust, and Rutland Historic Churches Preservation Trust.

Peter was joined at the presentation ceremony by many of the people he has worked with in the past 15 years, his wife Sally, and his four children.



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