A MARLOW man who took a leading role in promoting rowing in the public’s imagination has been praised by his former organisation after being honoured by the Queen.

Paul Mainds, who until last year was the chief executive and trustee at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley, was awarded an the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Mr Mainds, who retired after 14 years at the helm, helped drive the museum forward to welcoming record numbers, with 100,000 visitors through the door last year.

His successor in the role, Ludo Keston, praised his work, which has resulted in the museum becoming a world renowned exhibition space and education centre.

He said: ""The Trustees and staff of the River & Rowing Museum were delighted to hear that Paul Mainds contribution to Heritage Education has been recognised through the awarding of the British Empire Medal and would like to add their congratulations to the news.

"The Museum is dedicated to bringing History & the Arts to life and like Paul, we share our passion for Heritage with new audiences.

"In the last year we welcomed more than 100,00 visitors including 20,000 children through our doors."