A Bedingfield resident of more than 60 years is to be given a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to agriculture, economy and the community in Suffolk.
Leonard Tuckwell, 87, who has lived in Bedingfield since 1952, has been nominated for the prestigious award in this year’s New Year’s honours list.
“I was shocked to the core,” he said. “It is a big honour for me.”
Mr Tuckwell founded Worlingworth Contracts in 1954 to contract spray farms, before the company moved into machinery sales.
It secured a big break in 1965 when he was approached by John Deere to become one of the first four UK dealers.
The company currently trades as L.E. Tuckwell, involved in farming, contract farming, haulage and fertiliser, while Mr Tuckwell’s son, Paul, formed P Tuckwell Limited in 1975, and looks after all machinery sales.
One of the L.E. Tuckwell’s greatest successes came in 1978, becoming the first UK dealer to sell more than £1 million worth of John Deere products.
He was also a trustee of Worlingworth Trust Fund for 43 years, including 22 of those as chairman, and served in the army, including a three-year stint in the Far East, returning to Suffolk in 1947.
Mr Tuckwell’s grandson, James, who is managing director at P Tuckwell Limited, said he is “very proud” of his grandfather.
“It is a great honour and very well deserved for someone who has worked very hard and put a lot of effort into the community and the industry.
“He has worked with the right ethos his whole life. I am very proud indeed.
“It is one of the major drives in life to carry on the name, and everything he has built, and what it stands for.”