Calls for Queen to honour charity champion Arthur

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A RETIRED charity king should be recognised in the honours, community leaders said today.

Arthur Stone, 86, of Cross Lane, Billinge, stepped down from charity work last month after raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.

It is estimated that he had raised more than £100,000 for Wigan and Leigh Hospice alone.

And now members of the Wigan public, including council chiefs, are calling for Mr Stone to be recognised by the Queen.

The campaign is being fronted by Elaine Baldwin, of Kelvin Road, Marus Bridge.

She said: “I just think it would be a shame if he retires and doesn’t get any real commendation.

“Surely he must be as deserving as many entertainers who work for their own gratification and get recognition in the Queen’s Honours List?

“I do hope there is someone he has worked with in the past who will put his name forward.

“This man had done so much for the community when he has been an old man himself.”

Christine Charnock-Jones, Principal Committee Services Officer for Wigan Council, Business Support Services, Legal and Democratic Division reckons that Mr Stone should be given high recognition for his efforts over the years.

She said: “I support Mrs Baldwin on her view that Arthur should be nominated for an honour.

“During my time as mayoral secretary at Wigan Council, Arthur supported the various Mayor’s Charity Appeals by organising many fund-raising concerts.

“Well done and all the best to you Arthur, you deserve to put your feet up.”

Mr Stone volunteered for more than 50 years at the Old Folk’s club in Ince.

And when they were stuck for a singer after Arthur had retired, he couldn’t help himself.

“They rang me and told me they were stuck so I had to help!” Laughed Arthur.

“It’s so nice what everybody has been saying about me but at the end of the day I wouldn’t have done it had I not enjoyed it.”

In his working days Mr Stone was a bricklayer before retiring 20 years ago. He had always done lots of charity work but upon retiring, he became a well known charity king in Wigan.

A performer himself, he raised hundreds of thousands of pounds organising events across the town.