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Loyd Grossman CBE FSA

Doctor of Letters

With a lifelong interest in history and an enthusiasm for the arts and heritage, Loyd Grossman OBE has been involved in a number of organisations both regionally and nationally. He has had special responsibility within English Heritage for the North West, and was Chairman of the Museums Advisory Committee and the Blue Plaques Panel.

Locally, he is also a Trustee of St Deiniol’s Library (Hawarden), Chairman of Culture Northwest, and Chairman of National Museums Liverpool. One of the country’s cultural champions, Loyd Grossman was a member of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, and was a founding member of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. He is the founder and Chairman of the Campaign for Museums, a former Chairman of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, and he was appointed Chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust by Prime Minister at the time, Gordon Brown.

Born in Boston in 1950, Loyd Grossman was educated locally before attending Boston University where he studied history. In 1975, he came to the UK to study at the London School of Economics. After graduating he pursued a career as a journalist with Harpers & Queen and The Sunday Times, before moving into television where he has been involved in a wide range of programmes including Through the Keyhole,MasterChef, Behind the Headlines, and A History of British Sculpture. His culinary interests led him to create his own brand in 1995, which became one of Britain’s most successful new premium food label.

From 2001 to 2006 he advised the Department of Health on the need to improve hospital food. Loyd Grossman is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Society of Medicine, and the Royal Society of Arts, and was appointed OBE in 2003. He was later awarded a CBE in 2015 for his services to heritage.

Rt Hon Baroness Bakewell of Stockport DBE

Doctor of Letters

Joan Bakewell was born in Stockport, Cheshire, in 1933, and attended Stockport High School for Girls before reading History and Economics at Newnham College, Cambridge. For nearly 50 years, Joan Bakewell has had a most distinguished career as broadcaster, journalist and writer.

She has devised, written and presented numerous programmes on a broad range of subjects for radio and television, including Late Night Line-Up and the award-winning The Heart of the Matter. More recently, her broadcasting work has included One Foot in the Past, My Generation, and Taboo.

For several years she was BBC TV’s Arts Correspondent, winning in 1994 the Richard Dimbleby BAFTA Award for Television Journalism. As a journalist, Joan Bakewell has written columns for The Manchester Evening News, Punch and the leading broadsheets. She has several books to her name, including the autobiographical The Centre of the Bed and last year’s The View from Here: Life after Seventy. She has also written several plays for radio and is a prolific writer of short stories.

Joan Bakewell has served on several national committees, and lent her valuable support to many worthwhile causes. In 1984, she founded the National Campaign for the Arts. The Aldeburgh Festival, the Tate Gallery, the British Film Institute, and the Royal National Theatre have all benefited from Joan Bakewell’s leadership. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and was appointed CBE in 1999.

Bill Roach MBE

Doctor of Letters

Bill Roache MBE was born in 1932 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, and went to school in Ilkeston and Colwyn Bay. At 18, he joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and was selected for officer training at Eaton Hall. As Second Lieutenant, he went on to serve in Jamaica, British Guyana, Bermuda and Germany, before being seconded to the Foreign Office and promoted to Captain, and serving for two years in the Gulf. Having completed his army service at the age of 25, Bill Roache decided to pursue his childhood ambition of becoming an actor.

At first he worked in repertory theatre in Clacton, Nottingham and Oldham. Television parts soon began to come his way (including Biggles, Knight Errant, and Ivanhoe), and film roles followed (including The Queen’s Guards, and The Bulldog Breed). His professional life was transformed in 1960 when he was given the part of Ken Barlow in Coronation Street - a part he has played ever since, and one from which he has no intention of retiring.

As Ken Barlow, he has become a popular and instantly recognisable figure, both in Wilmslow (where he has made his home), and throughout the UK and beyond. Bill Roache is director of the company which produces The Lancashire Magazine, and patron of Ilkeston-based production company, Sustained Magic Ltd., which exists to encourage the development of the arts (including new actors) in the region. For almost half a century, he has acted with distinction, and in 2000 was appointed MBE for his services to television.

The Late Rt Hon the Lord Wade of Chorlton KT LLD

Doctor of Letters

During the 1970s, Oulton Wade was an elected member of Cheshire County Council, and a Cheshire magistrate for 15 years. In 1982 he was knighted for services to the North West, and was made a life peer in 1990, taking the title Baron Wade of Chorlton. Since this time he has been an active and assiduous member of the House of Lords, sitting on numerous select committees and all-party parliamentary groups.

Lord Wade is Chairman or non-executive Director of a number of businesses and commercial organisations in the food industry, finance, and technology. He is actively involved in a range of charitable ventures in the voluntary sector, and is Trustee of several societies, foundations and other cultural bodies.

The Late John Platt OBE DL FRAg

Doctor of Science

John Platt OBE, DL, FRAgS was born in 1930 in Winsford, Cheshire. His family has farmed in and around Lach Dennis, Vale Royal, for some 500 years.

For more than half a century he has been a major figure in the Cheshire Young Farmers’ Clubs and in local branches of the National Farmers’ Union, and has also been Chairman of the Cheshire County Council Rural Strategy Advisory Committee. In 1973 he helped to revive the Cheshire Farm, Crops and Livestock competitions, and for nearly 30 years has chaired the Cheshire Agricultural Society, and co-ordinated the Cheshire County Show.

Under his leadership this has become one of the major agricultural shows in the UK. John Platt is President of the Mid-Cheshire Sheltered Workshop for the Disabled, and since 1996 has been Chairman of Governors at Reaseheath College of Further Education. In 1989 he was appointed OBE for services to Cheshire agriculture, and in 1995 he was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire. He was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 2005.

Ian Dunn

Master of Letters

Ian Dunn was born in 1948 and brought up in South-East Cheshire. He went to school in Newcastle-under-Lyme before studying English at Queen Mary College, London in 1967. He took a postgraduate qualification in archive administration at University College London, and this led to his appointment as Assistant Archivist by Norwich City Council, before becoming Principal Assistant Archivist for Norfolk.

In 1975, he moved to Cheshire as Deputy County Archivist, and later became County Archivist for Cheshire and Chester Diocesan Archivist, overseeing the creation of a new, single County Record Office in Chester. By the mid-1990s he became successively Senior Policy Advisor, then County Secretary, to Cheshire County Council before being appointed Head of Libraries, Archives, Arts and Museums for the County in 1997.

During the next nine years, Ian expanded and modernised these important cultural and heritage services, and since 2002, has been Director for Regional Affairs and Local Government Review at Cheshire County Council. Ian has been President of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, and is an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. For 17 years he chaired the Chester Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, and is Chairman of the Cathedral Council, and Custos (curator of its historical artefacts and archives).

To coincide with the granting of University Status in 2005, Ian Dunn compiled a comprehensive history of the institution, entitled The Bright Star in the Present Prospect: The University of Chester 1839-2005 and released a later, updated edition of the book in 2015.