A LONG-STANDING member of 1st Spen Valley Scout Group has been honoured at Windsor Castle for his years of service and dedication to scouting.

Alan Holmes was recognised in the St George’s Day Parade of Queens Scouts. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, president of the Scout Association was joined by chief scout Bear Grylls, who congratulated Alan, of Birkenshaw, on his award.

Alan said: “It was an amazing experience, to be honoured by the Scouting Association in the presence of the Duke of Kent and Bear Grylls.”

He received one of the highest awards given out to volunteer helpers. The Silver Acorn was introduced in 1933 in recognition of specially distinguished service over many years of commitment to the movement. “I’m very proud, yet humbled to have been nominated for doing something I love and hold dear to my heart," he says.

The award is given out in recognition of dedicated services to the Scout Movement over many years. Alan joined 1st Spen Valley Scout Group in 1953 as a Wolf Cub, and went on through the group as a Scout and Senior Scout before accepting his first warrant at the age of 17. In 1963 Alan held a warrant to run the Wolf Cub Pack (now Cub Scouts). He went on to hold warrants as Assistant Scout Leader and Group Scout Leader. More latterly he has been instrumental in serving on the Scout Group Executive Committee and as treasurer of the group.

Alan comes from a family steeped in Birkenshaw scouting - his late father Charles, Charlie to all who knew him, and brothers Brian, David and late brother Keith, all having been connected with the group over many years.

In 1970 he married fellow cub leader Hilary.