Derbyshire achievements recognised as University of Derby awards honorary degrees

Mervyn Allcock MBE will be named an Honorary Master of the University.
Mervyn Allcock MBE will be named an Honorary Master of the University.

Mervyn will join an expert on one of Derby's most celebrated historic figures, a prolific author and journalist and the man who oversaw the opening of the Royal Derby Hospital

Champions of Derbyshire’s 'proud industrial heritage' are among those receiving honorary degrees from the University of Derby on 21 November.

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Mervyn Allcock MBE will be named an Honorary Master of the University at the ceremony which takes place at Derby Arena, in recognition of his achievement in re-opening and developing Barrow Hill Roundhouse and the ‘national impact of his lifelong commitment to railways’.

Mervyn led the rescue of the Roundhouse, near Chesterfield, in the early 1990s. He secured an ‘eleventh-hour preservation order to prevent its demolition’, and in 1998 the Roundhouse reopened and has enjoyed a ‘new lease of life as a highly successful commercial railway depot, museum and event venue’.

Alongside Mervyn, Dr Desong King-Hele a space scientist, poet and historian will be made an Honorary Doctor of Letters in recognition of ‘his scholarly work and research’ into Dr Erasmus Darwin, ‘whose own activities set in motion the creation of the institutions linked to the origins of the University of Derby.

Journalist, author and parliamentary sketch-writer Ann Treneman will be named as an Honorary Doctor of Letters after working for The Times for the last two decades. Her honorary doctorate recognises Ann’s ‘outstanding career as a journalist, sketch artist and theatre critic and her contribution to the British media’.

John Rivers CBE DL will be made an Honorary Doctor of the University after his recent retirement as the Chair of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation - following more than ten years of NHS service. John is recognised for ‘his impact on the region through the development of the NHS Foundation Trust and his commitment to the Florence Nightingale legacy in Derbyshire’.

Adrian Farmer BEM was confirmed as an Honorary Master of the University at an earlier awards ceremony in Buxton in recognition of his contribution to ‘significantly raising’ the profile of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and ‘bringing communities together in the region’.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating the achievements of our new honorands and recognising the positive impact they and their work has had on our county and our region.

“Our honorands provide genuine inspiration for the thousands of our graduating students who will be at the ceremonies, and about to embark on their careers or further academic study. Hopefully, they too will aspire to leave similar legacies which will enhance knowledge and understanding for many years to come.”