A man who has lived in Marlow for nearly four decades has been named on this year’s New Year’s Honours list for services to the local community.

John Chapman, who is originally from Newport Pagnell, has played a huge part in making Marlow the town you see today.

Mr Chapman played an important role in the town getting their annual late-night Christmas shopping event at the start of December, as well as being the president of the town’s Rowing Club, which helped Sir Steve Redgrave make his mane.

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Speaking to the Bucks Free Press, Mr Chapman said: “I am extremely delighted for this honour as it reflects on the people who live in the town.

“But you don’t try and do these things for the honours.

“My late wife and I have always wanted to help the people who live in the town and the community, so it feels strange getting the recognition because I’ve just been getting on with trying to help Marlow.

Bucks Free Press:

John Chapman (photo by Anita Ross Marshall)

“But I am very honoured.”

Since moving to the town, Mr Chapman has seen himself be a governor at Great Marlow School, be president of the Chamber of Trade which helped many shops flourish against national supermarkets, whilst also being a trustee of and fundraiser for the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance.

Mr Chapman was also a church treasurer, the president of the Marlow Branch of the Marlow Royal British Legion which supports local ex-service personnel, as well as being a founder member of the Chilterns Prostate Cancer Support Group, which helps newly diagnosed men and their loved ones to come to terms with the disease.

He is also a trustee and regular helper at Marlow Age Concern, which provides much-needed fellowship, activities and meals for dozens of elderly folk each week.

And Mike Basnett, who nominated John for the honour, believes the recognition is long overdue.

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He said: “For decades, John Chapman has been at the very heart of many of the voluntary organizations that are the lifeblood of help and support for the people of Marlow-on-Thames.

“He is a popular and well-known figure in the town.

“His infectious enthusiasm, as well as his cheerful and charming manner, are an inspiration and example to all who meet and know him.

“Although he has taken the lead in so many voluntary organizations, he is very modest about his own considerable contributions and achievements, preferring to encourage and praise others for their efforts.”