Huddersfield ‘perfume alchemist’ and Halifax pub boss named in New Year Honours list

A perfume expert from Huddersfield is among the great and the good recognised in the New Year Honours List.

This year’s list includes a ‘perfume alchemist’ who founded her own brand, and a Yorkshire pub landlady who had to escape ‘modern slavery’ before she became a music and pub entrepreneur. The Honours List includes a total of 1,227 recipients, 48% of whom are women, and 13.8% come from an ethnic minority background.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “The New Year’s Honours List recognises the exceptional achievements of people across the country and those who have shown the highest commitment to selflessness and compassion.

Read more: Life in ‘picture postcard’ Yorkshire village that’s ‘just like living in Emmerdale’

“To all honourees, you are the pride of this country and an inspiration to us all.” The following people from across Kirklees and Calderdale have been honoured in this year’s list.

The list includes successful business people and those who have shone in fields from education and theatre to social care and banking.

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Jayne Louise Clarke. Executive Principal, Pinnacle Learning Trust. For services to Further Education. (Holmfirth, West Yorkshire).

Jayne, who lives in Holmfirth, has been executive principal for the Pinnacle Learning Trust since 2017 and principal at Oldham Sixth Form College since 2010. She is a former psychology teacher.

She is a member of the Sixth Form Colleges Association Council and Chair of their Funding Committee, along with chairing the North West SFC Principals Group.

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Tajinder Kaur Banwait. Founder, Urban Apothecary London. For services to Business and to the Beauty Industry. (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)

Tajinder, a beauty entrepreneur, began a love affair with perfume at an early age, according to Urban Apothecary London which she founded in 2012 on her ‘kitchen table’.

Urban Apothecary makes candles and body scents. The company website describes its founder as a ‘perfumer-alchemist’.

Tajinder Banwait
(Image: Urban Apothecary London)

Tajinder said she felt ‘honoured’ by the award, adding: “When I think back to Urban Apothecary’s humble beginnings at my kitchen table over ten years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined receiving such recognition for the positive impact of my work.

“I consider myself fortunate to be doing what I love, from creating fragrances and hand- pouring candles in my Leicestershire factory to championing export, supporting British manufacturing, promoting female entrepreneurs and leading the way for South Asian businesses to thrive.”

Robert Duncan Beaumont. Lately Governor, Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College, Halifax. For services to School Governance and to Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs. (Brighouse, West Yorkshire)

Professor Rachel Elizabeth Cowgill. Professor of Music, University of York. For services to Culture, to Education and to the Arts. (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)

Professor Cowgill joined York University in 2019 following professorships at Huddersfield University, Cardiff and Liverpool. She is an author and a musicologist, a scholar of music who looks at the relations between music and other subjects from politics to history.

David James Connelly Graham. National Director, Care Leavers Association. For services to Care Leavers. (Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire) David Graham joined the Care Leavers Association in 2010. He has worked with care leavers through a long career in the voluntary sector.

Melanie Sharon John-Ross. Lately Service Director, Children’s Social Care and Safeguarding. For services to Children and Families in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. (Holmfirth, West Yorkshire) Melanie John-Ross retired from Barnsley Council last year where she was director of children’s services.

Jayne Anne Law. Lately Head of Honours and the Kings Award for Voluntary Service, Department for Culture, Media and Sport. For Public Service. (Mirfield, West Yorkshire)

Kathryn Julia Marshall. Senior Manager, Lloyds Banking Group, Halifax. For services to Further Education and Skills. (Halifax, West Yorkshire)

Carol Stump. Lately, President, Libraries Connected. For services to Public Libraries. (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)

Carol Stump pictured in 2018 when she was Kirklees Council’s chief librarian

Carol Stump is former chief librarian at Kirklees. The Huddersfield Town fan began her career at Huddersfield Library, as a library assistant, in 1977. She left school “with only three O-levels” and later became the first librarian in Kirklees without a professional qualification, she told the Arts Council.

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Richard Stansfield Isaac. Community and Sustainability Manager, Northern Trains. For services to Inclusion in the Rail Industry. (Halifax, West Yorkshire)

Mubarak Hussain Mahmed. Well-Being and Engagement Co-ordinator, First Bus North and West Yorkshire. For services to Mental Health. (Batley, West Yorkshire)

Mubarak is known as ‘Mubs’ to his colleagues.

Mubarak ‘Mubs’ Mahmed of First Bus
(Image: First Bus)

Andy Cullen, managing director of First Bus in North & West Yorkshire, said: “We’re hugely proud of Mubs and the recognition he has received for his outstanding contribution to watching over the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues during a critical time.

“Mubs not only helped our drivers and others to cope with the pressures of the pandemic, his ideas have shaped a new way we approach support for mental health. Our team leaders are better equipped to identify the signs that someone might be struggling and we have introduced fresh processes to manage their recovery.

“He is a champion of workplace wellbeing in First Bus and Mubs is bringing this passion to help build our equality, diversity and inclusion practices across the business.”

Matthanee Nilavongse. For services to the community in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. (Todmorden, West Yorkshire)

Matthanee 'Gig' Nilavongse, landlady of the Golden Lion, Todmorden
Matthanee ‘Gig’ Nilavongse, landlady of the Golden Lion, Todmorden
(Image: Dave Himelfield)

Matthanee – known as Gig – is known in Todmorden for transforming the Golden Lion into a high-profile music venue. She was born in Thailand and later moved to Italy where she experienced racism and later moved to London as an undocumented migrant where she found herself working for £1 an hour cooking 70 hours a week, effectively a ‘modern slave’. She also recently took over The Cross Inn, Heptonstall.


RSC boss Gregory Doran
RSC boss Gregory Doran

Gregory Doran. Lately Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company. For services to the Arts. (London) Born in Huddersfield

Greg Doran was born in Huddersfield and grew up in Preston before he went to Bristol University. He has been called “the greatest Shakespearean of his generation”.

Doran has directed 50 productions for the RSC.

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