A village writer has bagged an award for his monthly magazine.
Markyate parish councillor Richard Peterson beat 890 others to be crowned best editor of a parish council magazine in the National Parish Magazine Awards.
The paid-for publication – The Markyate Monthly – also bagged second place in the best parish council magazine category. It claimed the top slot in 2011.
The modest writer was congratulated by Dacorum Mayor Bert Chapman and MP Mike Penning when they paid him a surprise visit while he was enjoying a leisurely cuppa at the village cafe.
Mr Chapman, who also lives in the village, knew it was the only way they would be able to formally congratulate the magazine editor of nine years.
“Through the deputy editor and his wife we got him down to the village cafe sitting there having a coffee and the MP and myself walked in on him and gave him the shock if his life and congratulated him,” said Mr Chapman.
“It is quite a big thing but he is a very shy person.
“He does all the work and just goes unheralded. ”
Retired Richard, who used to work in the printing industry, said: “I have never had a surprise like that. I just couldn’t believe it.”
He paid tribute to the team of villagers who make the publication possible. “Without the team there wouldn’t be a magazine,” he said.