The Norwich people named in the New Year's honours list

David Thompson, who has been made an MBE.

David Thompson, who has been made an MBE. - Credit: Submitted

A stalwart of the county which became his home 25 years ago has been recognised for his contribution in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.  

The honours list was published on Wednesday night, and nationally included names such as actress Sheila Hancock and Formula One's Lewis Hamilton.

In Norwich, it also included professor Kristian Bowles, consultant haematologist and associate medical director of research and innovation at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, who was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to the NHS during Covid-19.

And Elizabeth Armstrong was given a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to archaeology and to the community in Norwich.

David Thompson, 68, of Costessey, Norwich, has been made an MBE for services to architecture and to the community in Norfolk.  

David Thompson meeting Sir David Attenborough at the opening of the Cley Visitor Centre expansion.

David Thompson meeting Sir David Attenborough at the opening of the Cley Visitor Centre expansion. - Credit: Andi Sapey

He is most notably known by many for his involvement in the Cley Visitor Centre project, in north Norfolk, and has also made an exceptional commitment to other ventures in the region.  


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The married father-of-two said: “When I found out, it was out of the blue and completely unexpected. But it did give me a very warm feeling.”  

Mr Thompson, who retired almost seven years ago, said he has been busy the entire time and was grateful that he had been able to be involved in a number of projects.  

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“I’ve got to know different slices of society,” he added.  

“Working in various interests, I've come across all sorts of people who are doing very dedicated things, year after year. It's humbling to be awarded this when I know of so many people who do valiant things too.  

“Norfolk has given me a terrific platform to further my ambition to enhance communities.”  

After Cambridge, where Mr Thompson studied, his career was divided between BDP, with a three year secondment in Paris, and LSI Architects, where he joined as a partner in 1995.   

In 2005, as a senior partner, he successfully tendered to provide architectural services for the design and development of a new visitor centre at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s (NWT) Cley Marshes Nature Reserve. He provided all the initial design work and advice needed for the funding and planning application stage, free-of-charge.  

He retired at the end of 2014 and went on to serve as a churchwarden of St Stephen's Church, in Norwich, and chaired the St Stephen's Church Trust Estates.  

He was also a trustee and chair of NWT in 2014 before retiring from the role and board in 2019.

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