Tangmere youth worker receives British Empire Medal

John and Betty Rudkin at home in Bognor Regis. John received a British Empire Medal in June 2013
John and Betty Rudkin at home in Bognor Regis. John received a British Empire Medal in June 2013

DELIGHT and admiration has greeted the announcement of a birthday honour for a Tangmere youth worker.

John Rudkin, 76, of Campbell Road, Bognor Regis, helped form the Tangmere Youth Club 37 years ago and remains treasurer to this day.

He was nominated for the British Empire Medal by chairman of the youth club Jayne Sansby.

“Without him the youth club would have closed,” said Jayne. “He’s done everything.

“He’s a very unassuming bloke. He just gets out there and does it.

“We’re really really happy for him.”

John is still treasurer and over the years has turned his hand to virtually everything at the club.

Jayne added he ran it almost single-handedly at times.

Also there at the beginning was John’s wife Betty, also 76, who was secretary. The couple have two children.

“We did a lot of work together. We work as a team,” said Betty.

“We still work together,” added John.

The pair were on holiday when the letter telling him about the honour arrived and he said he could not believe it, but was very pleased.

He also spoke of when the club was formed for the young people of Tangmere.

“It was way back in the days when they had no community centre at all,” he said.

He added a letter had been sent round the village asking for people to volunteer for various ventures and he and a few others came up with the idea of the club.

To this day, John still volunteers at the Tangmere Aviation Museum.

Before he retired, he worked for 43 years with Covers, in Chichester.

The couple lived in The Glebe, in Tangmere, for 46 years, before moving to Bognor Regis in February.

The Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex has informed John the medals are being made and he awaits the day sometime soon when 
he will receive the reward for all his hard work over the years.

As well as being nominated by Jayne, chairman of the parish council Andrew Irwin wrote a letter of reference for the nomination.

In it, he wrote he was very happy to recommend John for the award and highlighted a number of other contributions he made to the village.