New Year honours recognise inspirational Farsley community stalwart John Procter

Honours: Farsley's John Procter (BEM)

By John Baron

A Farsley man who has spent much of his life supporting his village has been recognised for his hard work and dedication in the New Year honours bestowed by King Charles III.

John Procter, 76, has been made a medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for his ‘services to the community in Farsley’ by King Charles III as part of the first list of his reign.

Mr Procter is involved in a long list of community initiatives, which include being one of the organisers of the annual Farsley Christmas lights switch on, secretary of Calverley Rotary Club, organising the annual Aston Martin parade in Farsley, organising street festivals, an officer at Farsley Community Church and being president at Farsley Cricket Club.

He is also the only admin of the Farsley Community What’s On Facebook page.

“It came completely out of the blue, I had no idea,” said Mr Procter of his BEM honour. “I couldn’t event tell my family until a couple of days ago as I had to keep it a secret. I don’t even know who nominated me.”

Mr Procter said he loved organising things for the community to do. “These things need organising and somebody’s got to do it,” he said.

“My mother and father were always very active in the community and I’ve followed in their footsteps. I just want to be a part of my community and organise things for people to enjoy, that’s what it’s all about.”

One of Mr Procter’s biggest jobs is being one of the organisers of the annual Christmas lights event and parade. “It’s a bigger job than people think – people don’t realise it costs £1,300 for a street closure and £1,000 for the fireworks alone. All that money has to be raised each year from somewhere,” he told WLD.

As for 2023, Mr Procter is taking a lead in organising a street party on Farsley Town Street to mark the coronation of King Charles III.

Mr Procter was one of 17 people recognised by the King in his New Year honours list. They include:

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Dr Peter Winston Belfield. Lately Medical Director for Invited Service Reviews, Royal College of Physicians and Lately Chair, St Gemma’s Hospice. For services to patient safety and care.
  • Richard Burns. Customer Compliance Group, Customs and International Trade, HM Revenue and Customs. For Public Service. 
  • Stuart James Clarke. Festival Director, Leeds Digital Festival. For services to the Technology Sector.
  • Elizabeth Mary Deignan. For services to Cycling. 
  • Sarah Johal. Strategic Leader, Regional Adoption Agencies. For services to Adoption and Fostering.
  • Edward Fletcher Lynch. Co-Founder, RJC Dance. For services to Dance.
  • Dr Shaid Mahmood. Chair of Governors, Leeds City College Group. For services to Further Education in Leeds.
  • Keranjeet Kaur Virdee. Chief Executive and Artistic Director, South Asian Arts UK. For services to the Arts, particularly South Asian Music and Dance.
  • Jonathan Gerard Wakeman. Founder and Artistic Director, East Street Arts. For services to the arts.
  • Karen Watson. Founder and Artistic Director, East Street Arts. For services to the Arts.
  • Kathleen Winnifred Williams. Co-Founder and Director, RJC Dance. For services to Dance

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

  • Angela Gabriel. Community champion, Leeds in Bloom and lately Beeston & Holbeck councillor and alderwoman on Leeds City Council. For services to the community in Leeds.
  • John Martin Procter. For services to the community in Farsley.


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