A PENSIONER who loves where she lives has been recognised with a British Empire Medal for her community work going back decades.

Etty Thompson, 81, of Saughall Road, who received the BEM for services to Blacon, can’t do as much as she used to following a serious illness which almost claimed her life two years ago.

But Etty, who was vice chairwoman of Blacon Community Trust for years, still goes down to the office every week for a chat with ‘the girls’ over tea and cake.

She said: “I feel overwhelmed. I’ve never had so many phone calls in my life. I can’t get over it. I’ve had cards and people have been ringing me up crying.”

Etty was brought up in Steven Street, Boughton, where she was immersed in a thriving community atmosphere which was what she loved when she moved to Blacon with her husband Raymond in 1958.

Etty had met him at dance at Saighton Camp where he had been based with the forces. He later became rounds manager for Express Dairies in Saughall Road but died aged just 48.

It was his connection with the services that led Etty to become involved with the British Legion. She became chairperson of the British Legion Ladies Section in Blacon and was a standard bearer for 16 years. She used to hold a fundraising draw every week and sold poppies for 30 years.

She has been involved in numerous projects including the youth film ‘The State of Blacon’. She has also met the Queen and Prince Charles through her voluntary work.

Etty, who was twice nominated for Cheshire Woman of the Year, will be forever grateful to the Countess of Chester Hospital who saved her life two years ago.

Etty, who has a daughter Julie and three grown-up grandchildren, said: “I love Blacon. When I came out of hospital my daughter said about me going to live with her but I said ‘you’re not taking me from Blacon!’”

The late Joe Rose, a fellow Blacon stalwart, once said of his friend: “She is an excellent example of a community volunteer. She will always help or offer to assist anyone who is in trouble.”

The British Empire Medal received by Etty was brought out of abeyance by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.