A PARISH councillor took his family to Buckingham Palace after being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Roy Bentham, who moved to Downley 18 months ago to be closer to his family, has been honoured for his Services to Lincoln Cathedral.

During his 11 year tenure as chief executive of the famous cathedral, the now Downley Parish councillor helped turn around the fortunes of the historic building and his exploits did not go unnoticed by her majesty.

The 65-year-old told the BFP: “It was an incredible day and a delight to be part of such a wonderful occasion, and it was even more special to have my family there at the palace with me.

“The Queen told me how much she loved Lincoln Cathedral and recalled the occasion she saw the towers poking through the mist during a visit.

“I came into the cathedral when it was going through a troubled time, it was regularly in the news for the wrong reasons, and it really was an awful period in its history. But we managed to put it back on a stable footing.”

Cllr Bentham’s granddaughter Josephine, 6, wrote a story and drew pictures of her visit to the London landmark – which she proudly read out to her schoolmates.

Her mum Clara Bentham said: “She loved it, although she was a little disappointed the Queen wasn’t wearing her crown.

“But we are all extremely proud of dad. He still works extremely hard now, even though he is retired, with his volunteering. It’s well deserved.”