Published: 00:00, 20 June 2002
VETERAN Kentish Express writer Barbara Butcher has been awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday honours for her outstanding services to the community.
For Miss Butcher, from Wye, it comes after 57 unbroken years of filing stories for the newspaper. Her official retirement from the staff came many years ago but she still contributed weekly both as a valued community correspondent, and with numerous stories from the groups and causes she has campaigned for and with over the decades.
The award came as a pleasant shock to the modest wordsmith.
"It proves the pen is mightier than the sword. I still have my stamina and health and will continue to campaign as I have for more than half a century, and have no intention of ceasing my story chasing," she says.
Barbara joined the Kentish Express in 1945. Her first story was the fire that destroyed Folkestone pier. She quickly made a name for herself, producing swift and crisp stories and was soon elevated to Chief Reporter.
When the company moved to a new headquarters in South Ashford she became Editor of the Tuesday Express and news editor of the Kentish Express.