Mid Wales

Rhayader's Barbara Lawrence dies weeks before collecting MBE

Barbara Lawrence
Image caption Barbara Lawrence was recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours list

A woman awarded an MBE for services to her community has died just weeks before she had the chance to collect it from Buckingham Palace.

Barbara Lawrence, 66, from Rhayader, was recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.

Tributes have been paid to the retired guesthouse owner who was named town citizen of the year in 2009, and was involved with voluntary organisations.

Her friend Phil Rogers said she had worked "tirelessly" for Rhayader.

Mr Rogers, who has a pottery in the town, said he had known Mrs Lawrence and her husband for more than 30 years.

'Force of nature'

He said she "never sought the limelight" and just "wanted to help people".

He added: "She worked tirelessly for various organisations and literally a few days before her death she was concerned about them and was advising her husband about what he should do to help them.

"She was something of a force of nature. I can't remember a day when she was glum or depressed.

"She was determined and loved the town and its people."

Rhayader's deputy mayor Clare Evans said people in the town were devastated by Mrs Lawrence's death.

"Along with her husband Brian, Barbara was a town stalwart and a fantastic ambassador for Rhayader," she added.

"The town council was delighted when Barbara was awarded her MBE, and it's so cruel that she won't be able to collect it."