Grantham teacher named in New Year Honours list

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A retired Grantham music teacher and organist at St John’s church for almost 53 years has been named in the New Year Honours list.

Geoffrey Winter of Hill Avenue in Grantham is to receive the British Empire Medal in recognition of his services to music in the Grantham area.

Geoffrey Winter was named in the New Year's Honours list.

Geoffrey Winter was named in the New Year's Honours list.

Mr Winter said: “It really is an honour.

“I never suspected anything like that at all. It really came as a surprise.”

Mr Winter taught music for more than 30 years at St Wulfram’s and St Hugh’s. He was also musical director of Grantham Singers, co-founder of Grantham Operatic Society and co-founder of Grantham Music Festival.

He has performed as the organist at St John’s church in Grantham for almost 53 years and has lost none of his passion for music over the last half a century.

Mr Winter said: “I enjoy every minute of it. I get pleasure out of giving pleasure to other people.

“That’s a good reward - although it’s the only reward there is in being a church organist...apart from this one from the Queen, bless her!”

Mr Winter will receive his award from the Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Tony Worth. He will also be invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in the summer.

Mr Winter said: “I’m not a person who likes the limelight very much but it will be great to meet other people who have had the same kind of honour.

“Most of the work I am being recognised for has really been with other people so none of this glory is mine, it’s the people I work with.”

Mr Winter took up the piano from a very early age.

He said: “I was born just round the corner at Gorse Rise into a house with a piano. My mum was able to pick out a tune by ear and I think she passed that on to me.

“She used to tell me I could play pretty much anything I heard by ear by the age of two-and-a-half.

“I remember playing the hymns in the school assembly from a young age - I think they must have thought I was better than the teacher - and I played the assembly all the time I was at King’s.”

For the past 23 years since retiring from teaching, Mr Winter taught music privately until stopping last year.