A WOMAN from Mere has been presented with a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours list for over 50 years of volunteering and service in the community.

Adrienne Howell, 80 who along with her late husband had a lot to do with the arts in the village of Mere.

The pair set up a youth band in the 1960's and taught children how to play brass instruments and performed in many carnivals and tours, bringing in many brass bands to the village.

Mrs Howell became the trustee of the parish council's link scheme in 1996 and became the chairman of the Mere Literary Festival in 1997 from which she will be stepping down this year.

She was also chairman of the Mere drama society for over 10 years which she is still very much involved in, as well as the Mere river group committee.

Mrs Howell also set up a literary group in the town and still has an active role today.

She said: "I found out about my award a few weeks ago now and I was very pleased. I have always lived in Mere with my family and done a lot in the village.

"I am very proud to have won the award and I will be sharing this award with my late husband Bernard and all the committees and other volunteers I have worked with, I couldn't have done all this on my own for the last 50 something years.

"I am looking forward to being able to tell people of the achievement and share it with others."

Other winners from Wiltshire include inventor Adrian Bowyer from Chippenham, Francis Wakeham from Devizes for services to victims of crime, Alan Coggins from Devizes for services to the community and skateboarder James Threlfall for services to young people.