Queen honours VDA
Fix Auto Buckingham's vehicle damage assessor Graham Ayres has been named in the recent Queen's birthday honours.
The 64-year-old will receive the British Empire Medal from Northamptonshire's Lord Lieutenant this summer in recognition for his 43-year career as a retained firefighter. Graham has been recognised locally numerous times for his bravery and received commendations. He is also a prolific fund raiser for the service.
Graham, who is part of the three-man VDA team at Fix Auto Buckingham, said, 'It's been an incredible 43 years. I have lived the best of both worlds, working in the car repair industry and the fire service for practically my entire working life.
'To say I was totally shocked when I received the news I was being named in Her Majesty's birthday honours is an understatement. That shock instantly turned to pride. It's a huge honour.'
Being a retained firefighter means Graham works alongside full-time firefighters and is on call from Brackley Fire Station whenever he's not working at Fix Auto Buckingham. He first joined the service in 1976 and is believed to be one of the longest serving firefighters in the country. His son, Jonathan is also a retained firefighter and the two are often called out together.
Richard Taylor, who owns Fix Auto Buckingham said, 'Graham has been a huge asset to the business since the day he started eight years ago. He's a really humble guy. While we all know about his extra duties as a firefighter, it's not something he really shouts about. He just goes about his business helping to save lives whenever he's not here. Word instantly spread throughout the business that he'd been named in the recent birthday honours by the Queen and we all couldn't be happier for him. It really is deserved.'