A retired south Norfolk farmer who has served his industry and village for decades has been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Peter Reeder, 80, of Lime Tree Farm, South Lopham, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services.
“I was totally surprised,” he said. “I feel very honoured actually. It came out of the blue.”
A pupil at Thetford Grammar School, he left as a 14-year-old and soon took over running of the farm from his father, Leslie, after his retirement in 1966, specialising in breeding pigs.
“I could not wait to leave school to get on the land,” he explained. “It was a passion I had and it was everything I wanted to do.”
Mr Reeder was born in the village and has lived there ever since.
“I have had a wonderful time in South Lopham and it is a wonderful village to live in.”
He lives with his wife of 56 years, Monica, adding: “Everything I have done could not have been done without her help and support.”
He served on the parish council and the Fen Trust for 30 years, has been involved with the South Lopham Estates charity for 52 years and has been churchwarden of St Andrew’s Church for 40 years .
Admitting he has always had an interest in judging at shows, he has been on the Large Black and Welsh pigs panel and the All Breeds panel for almost 50 years.
He was a member, club leader and chairman of Diss Young Farmers, involved with the National Farmers’ Union, and also joined the Harling branch of the farmers union for a short spell.
He has three sons , Michael, Robert and David, two grandsons and one granddaughter.
He will be formally honoured at a later date, to be confirmed.