RNLI volunteer in Honours List

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A QUEENSFERRY woman has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for her voluntary work.

Miss Rose Ritchie (81) has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her dedication to the RNLI shop in Queensferry.

Rose has opened the Queensferry shop almost every day over the last 15 years, helping to turn it into one of the most successful RNLI shops in Scotland.

During the summer months, she can be found trading for 12 hours per day when demand from tourists is high and her shop becomes more than a place to buy souvenirs – it’s an information point for visitors and a stopping point for locals to have a chat.

She joined the RNLI Queensferry Ladies’ Guild in 1984 and has been involved with the shop at the Hawes Pier since 1996 and has been in charge since 2000.

During this period, Rose and her fellow volunteers operated outside the old station in all weathers until the new lifeboat station opened a few weeks ago featuring a custom built shop.

Rose, who stays in the 
Castle Rock housing complex on Shore Road, this week played down the honour saying: “It’s very much an honour but I could not have run such a successful shop without the tremendous help from my fellow lady volunteers and the members of the RNLI Queensferry lifeboat crew.”

Originally from Fife, Rose moved to Queensferry in 1983 to be closer to Hewlett Packard where she worked in accounts.

Upon her retiral, Rose looked for something to occupy her time so she joined the local RNLI’s ladies guild and began work in the shop.

Rose works most days of the week and even at the grand old age of 81, she still loves every minute of it,
saying: “I really enjoy working at the shop as you get the chance to meet so many nice people.”

Tom Robertson, operations manager at Queensferry RNLI, said of colleague Rose: “The honour is well deserved in recognition of her loyal service over the years.

‘‘I remember two years ago, when we had one of the coldest winters on record, Rose missed only two days at the shop and that was when it was open to the elements.”

*The British Empire Medal, recently revived by David Cameron after being phased out during John Major’s term in office, is awarded to people for work in their local community. The re-introduction of the medal is to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.