Respected historian and naturalist receives MBE

Local historian Ken Spencer is awarded the MBE at Burnley Library
Local historian Ken Spencer is awarded the MBE at Burnley Library

Burnley’s highly-respected historian and naturalist received his MBE in one of his favourite locations – Burnley Central Library.

Mr Ken Spencer, awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, has written several books on birdlife, natural history and local history over the decades.

Local historian Ken Spencer is awarded the MBE at Burnley Library.  He is pictured with Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire Colonel Alan Jolley OBE TD DL and mayor Jeff Sumner.

Local historian Ken Spencer is awarded the MBE at Burnley Library. He is pictured with Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire Colonel Alan Jolley OBE TD DL and mayor Jeff Sumner.

He said: “I can only repeat what I said on winning a County Pride Award as a volunteer a couple of years ago.

“That is, whatever I may have achieved is due to my grandparents, my parents, my late brother Philip and my late partner Barbara Bailey.

“I have been very fortunate in my family and friends. Now, in 2016, I particularly thank my nominee, especially Dr S.D. Ward of Arnside and Julie Dawson at Burnley Library.”

Mr Spencer attended Sunny Bank Primary School and Burnley Grammar School.

He later taught English language and literature at Burnley College.

The 87-year-old, who is a familiar face in Burnley Library, still walks most days with his binoculars keeping a close eye out for his beloved lapwing, the subject of his first book in 1953.

Mr Spencer, who has contributed to the Burnley Express over the decades, wrote his first letter to the paper in 1944 after hearing the song of a skylark.