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Swindon am dram queen collects New Year's Honour
12:30pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A WOMAN named in the New Year’s Honours List has been to collect her medal.
Daphne Breakspear was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to amateur drama in Swindon.
Daphne went to Bo-wood House, on Monday and was presented with her medal by the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah Troughton.
“It was a lovely day and I was thrilled to be there,” said Daphne, of Wroughton.
“There were three others receiving the award as well so it was a fairly quiet event.
“It was a great honour to be part of the occasion.”
The awards were hosted by Lord and Lady Lansdowne, who own Bowood House.
“After the award ceremony we went through to the private library and had a delightful afternoon tea prepared by Mrs Lansdowne.
“We were able to mix with other winners as well as the Lord-Lieu-tenant.”
Daphne said thatreceiving the award and the subsequent presentation had been a great experience.
“I’m just so happy with the recognition. It was a fantastic day and I’m very grateful for the medal.”
Daphne, a former pupil at Pinehurst Primary School, has been involved with the performing arts since the age of eight when she joined the Great Western Railway Children’s Choir.
In 1957 she took her first steps into amateur dramatics and joined the Poetry Circle Players.
They changed their name to the Phoenix Players in 1960 and several years later she became secretary.
Since then Daphne has directed more than 180 plays for the group as well as appearing in several productions.
She is still working hard to produce professional standard plays and in January directed the comedy Queen Elizabeth Slept Here at the Arts Centre.
On top of her work for the Phoenix Players, Daphne has also been involved with Swindon Amateur Light Operatic Society, appearing in a number of musicals.
Daphne was also given the Swindon Does Arts Hero Award in June for her services to the amateur dramatics scene.
“I have a passion for drama. I enjoy being involved in all parts of the production of plays” said Daphne.
On top of her work for amateur dramatics Daphne has raised more than £30,000 for many local charities including Prospect Hospice, Help for Heroes and Prostate Cancer UK.