VOTE: Do more local people deserve recognition in the New Year Honours list?

KEEPING the Bognor Regis Birdmen flying has brought recognition from the Queen for one of the town’s residents.

Jenny Jones was awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours list.

Her citation mentions her services to keeping the Birdmen in the air.

She was also recognised for her general community work which stretches back decades.

Mrs Jones, 75, of Victoria Drive, said: “I’m amazed and pleased to receive the OBE as well as being honoured.

“It means Bognor, and the Birdmen, have been recognised.

“We need events like that to keep the town alive. They bring thousands of people in and they spend money in the shops and cafés and stay in the local hotels.”

Mrs Jones has been involved with the world-famous flying contest from the town’s pier of the International Birdman since 2004. She is the organising committee’s secretary –her husband, Barry, is its chairman – and also arranges the seafront entertainment during the weekend.

But she and Mr Jones have become even greater friends of the town in the past three years by spending some half a million pounds on community buildings.

They bought the former Berkeley Arms pub, in West Street, and donated it to the local history society for a new museum.

This was followed last year by the purchase of the empty United Reformed Church on Linden Road. This has become the Jeneses arts centre and has begun to attract a series of occupiers.

Mr and Mrs Jones have lived in Bognor for 14 years.

Mrs Jones was involved with the Red Cross in Surrey and the PTA at her children’s school. The couple also used their former home in Alton as a fundraising centre for various charities.

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