Much-loved Malcolm honoured by the Queen

Much-loved Malcolm honoured by the Queen

A VETERAN journalist from Batley has been honoured by the Queen for his community work.

Malcolm Haigh, of Soothill, received the British Empire Medal (BEM) in Her Majesty's birthday honours last week.

He helped raise £25,000 for the cancer clinic at Dewsbury District Hospital as vice-president of Batley Rotary Club in the late 1980s.

He has chronicled the town's history in four books and on many radio and TV programmes.

He was the first secretary of the Batley and Birstall Civic Society in 1972 and helped launch the Batley Cemetery Support Group.

Malcolm even founded the Batley Conservation Group in 1977 to stop the historic Market Place being covered in asphalt.

He has spent 25 years running local history classes and is chairman of the Batley History group.

Malcolm was also elected president of Dewsbury and District Ramblers in 2011 and is now leading the group through their centenary year.

More recently Malcolm led the campaign to stop the proposed closure of Batley's Carnegie Library.

Other activities include the Soothill Forum and being warden of St Mary’s Church in Woodkirk from 2001 to 2006.

He worked at the Batley News, Halifax Evening Courier and Yorkshire Evening Post in a distinguished journalism career.

Life-long Batley Bulldogs fan Malcolm, though retired, still covers the club's matches for the media.

He was also on the club's centenary committee in 1981 and arranged for the issue of commemorative pottery.

The BEM was brought back last year to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, having been axed in 1992.

Malcolm said: “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits, not just for me but for everyone who is involved with all these different groups.

“It’s an award for them and all their hard work too.”

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