Ford’s James Mole recognised in New Year Honours List

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A retired gardener from Ford has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

James Mole, former head gardener at Ford and Etal Estates, was named on the new year’s honours list for services to the community.

The 73-year-old of Linthaugh Farm Cottages, Cornhill-On-Tweed has worked for Lord and Lady Joicey for nearly 51 years, over 30 of them as head gardener.

His wife Margaret said: “He is very pleased but he was quite taken aback. He was very humble about it and said ‘why me, lots of other people have done lots of good things?’”

The keen gardener, known to friends as Jimmy, stepped down from his role as head gardener when he officially retired aged 65, but he has continued part time as one of the estates’ team of five gardeners, and his son Neil took over as head gardener.

The estates gardeners cut roadsides and grass in the villages of Ford and Etal and at Ford Castle and Ford school, as well as look after the Manor gardens which include a walled and a woodland garden. Mr Mole also helps look after the estates’ small flock of Hebridean sheep.

Outside his role at the estate, Mr Mole used to show vegetables and flowers before becoming a horticultural show judge and he is church warden of Ford and Etal Church.

Mrs Mole said: “He just loves working for the Joicey family - he’s worked for three Joicey Lords.”

There were also honours for Coldstream’s Andrew Douglas-Home (OBE), north east MEP Fiona Hall (MBE) and East Lothian Council’s George Fairgrieve (OBE), a Berwick Bandits director.

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