AN INSPIRATIONAL conductor, teacher and orchestra founder has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to music.
Peter Craddock, 78, of West Street, Havant, has held head of music positions across the area, including at the former Havant Grammar School, Portsmouth Polytechnic and, before he retired almost 20 years ago, South Downs College.
But the father-of-three is perhaps most well known as being the founder of Havant Symphony Orchestra and Havant Chamber Orchestra.
Both have been going for 50 years.
Mr Craddock has a neurological condition which means he is now unable to conduct but he was the driving force behind the huge success of the orchestras until he retired from the voluntary position December 2012.
Modest Mr Craddock said: ‘I was very surprised to find out about the honour.
‘I’m most delighted that the orchestra is continuing and marching forward.
‘The highlights for me have been working with some top class soloists such as Nigel Kennedy and Julian Lloyd Webber – which is a real achievement for an amateur orchestra.’
Mr Craddock’s passion for music began playing the piano as a child. But, aged 15, he had to make a decision on where his future lay – in music, cricket or tennis. Music won.