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A patron is a celebrity or public figure who is willing to become a figurehead for a particular charity or cause. This is usually an ongoing relationship and the celebrity and organisation build up a working relationship.
Their purpose is to lend their credibility and high profile support to the organisation. This should be of help with fundraising, campaigning and public relations.
Patrons may help a charity by:
• being named on group literature / publicity material
• being interviewed in the media
• generating media coverage
• hosting or attending fundraising or other events
• raising funds by encouraging contributions and sponsorship
• contributing to the public image of the organisation
• attracting new supporters

We are pleased to have 5 great patrons for our group as follows:-

Sir Michael Parkinson CBE

Sir Michael Parkinson

Michael Parkinson, or "Parky" as he is known, was born in the coal mining village of Cudworth in the South Yorkshire Coalfield, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The son of a miner, he was educated at Barnsley Grammar School. He was a club cricketer, and both he and his opening partner at Barnsley Cricket Club, Dickie Bird, had trials for Yorkshire together with Geoffrey Boycott. Michael began as a journalist on local newspapers, and his Yorkshire background and accent remain part of his appeal. He worked as a reporter on the Manchester Guardian and later on the Daily Express in London.

During the 1960s, Parkinson moved into television, working on current affairs programmes for the BBC and Manchester-based Granada Television. His most famous show, the interview format, ran from 1971 until 1982 and from 1998 until December 2007, leaving the BBC for ITV1 partway through the second run. By his own reckoning, Michael Parkinson interviewed 2,000 of the world's most famous people.

On radio, Michael took over BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in 1985, after the death of its creator, Roy Plomley and stayed for three years until handing over to Sue Lawley. Between 1994 and 1996 he hosted Parkinson on Sport on BBC Radio Five Live. Between 1996 and 2007, he presented a morning show on BBC Radio 2 called Parkinson's Sunday Supplement.   

In September 2008 Michael launched his website, which includes online interviews with Nelson Mandela and British comedian Rory Bremner. The site also includes a blog, giving Michael's views on news events, plus information about his compilation album, Michael Parkinson: My Life In Music, featuring favourite songs performed by Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Dionne Warwick and others.

More details can be found on Wikipedia HERE and on Michael's own website HERE

Geoffrey Howse


Geoffrey Howse was born in Sheffield in 1955) and is the well known author of the Around Hoyland series of books and many others.  He has also done acting and theatrical management.
The son of Herbert and Doreen Howse, he grew up at Ebenezer Place in Elsecar.  Geoffrey was educated at Elsecar Church of England Infants School and Elsecar Church of England Junior School. In 1965 the Howse family moved up the hill to Hoyland. Geoffrey attended Kirk Balk School from 1967–1973 and was also tutored privately. Between 1973-75 he attended Barnsley School of Art and from 1975-1978 studied acting at Mountview Theatre School, which included a stint at the National Film School.

Geoffrey's acting career was overshadowed by his involvement in theatrical production and thanks to Barrie Stacey he 'cut his teeth' booking many well known acts of the 1970s and 80's, such as Frankie Vaughan, Semprini, The Bachelors, Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse and Don MacLean. Between the occasional acting engagement Geoffrey ventured into the production of comedies, farces, musicals and pantomimes, touring to theatres throughout the United Kingdom, principally through Cavalcade Productions and Scorpio Productions. Between 1992 and 1994 he worked as a feature writer and critic for the internationally renowned theatrical magazine Plays & Players.

Granville 'Danny' Clarke FRSA

Danny Clarke

Granville Daniel Clarke was born in Keighley and raised in Barnsley, Yorkshire, and studied at the art college there. He has always had an eclectic approach to the arts - viewing them as being interelative with a career as an artist, poet, singer/songwriter, musician, author and actor.

He pioneered the British contemporary Folk scene with the renowned "Foggy Dew-O", being a major recording artist with Decca Records, and has already made over 500 TV and Radio appearances. 

He appeared as the artist in residence on Channel 4's "Watercolour Challenge" - 36 half hour appearances - as a commentator/host with Hannah Gordon.

He has many One-Man exhibitions in the UK. To his credit, and his work is in private collections world-wide.

Danny is a great supporter and recently attended our first Christmas Fayre and did the raffle draw.

You can read more info about Danny and his work at his own webiste HERE.

Sue Kohler BSc dipLD. PhD, LittD, MBE

Dr Sue Kohler

Sue Kohler helped form the Friends of the Botanical Gardens in 1984 with former council recreation director Arroll Winning and curator Don Williams, becoming chair of the group 10 years later.  She is currently chair of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust (the charity organisation formed by the Friends in 1996)and is chair of the Friends of teh Botanical Gardens.

For nearly 25 years Sue Kohler has been rolling up her sleeves to help return the Botanical Gardens to their former glory. 
She was one of the key volunteers who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the dream of a lottery-financed revamp became a reality.

Brought up on a smallholding in Kent, she has always been interested in horticulture. She came to the city in 1968 to work in Sheffield University's landscape department.

For most of the Eighties and Nineties she opened the garden of her home in Millhouses, once a year to raise money for the Northern Horticultural Society and local charities for handicapped children.

But it is at the Botanical Gardens where she has made her main mark, and received an MBE in 2003 for her efforts.

Dickie Bird OBE


Harold Dennis Bird, MBE, commonly known as "Dickie" Bird (born April 19, 1933 in Barnsley, Yorkshire) is a retired English international cricket umpire. The son of a miner, he gained the nickname 'Dickie' at school. He resides in the South Yorkshire village of Staincross.  When a knee injury put paid to playing football professionally, he followed his second love, cricket. In his early career in Barnsley, he played club cricket in the same team as Geoff Boycott, and journalist and chat show host Michael Parkinson, who became a lifelong friend. In 1956, Bird signed up with his home county, Yorkshire. Bird played First Class cricket as a batsman for Yorkshire and Leicestershire in the English County Championship. After his county career, he coached and played league cricket before becoming a very successful umpire both in the UK and internationally.  Bird umpired in 66 Test matches (at the time a world record) and 69 One Day Internationals including 3 World Cup Finals.  At the beginning of his 66th and final Test in 1996, the two teams – India and England – formed a "guard of honour" as he came out, and he received a standing ovation from the crowd. Bird, an emotional man, was in tears. Two years later, in 1998, he stood in his last county match.  Following retirememnt, Dickie Bird went on to write his autobiography simply titled My Autobiography (with a foreword by Michael Parkinson), which sold more than a million copies. Bird set up the Dickie Bird Foundation to help disadvantaged under 18s achieve their potential in sport.
He received an MBE from the Queen in 1986 and has also received honorary doctorates from Huddersfield,Leeds and Sheffield Hallam Universities and was given the Freedom of Barnsley. He is also a Patron for the Barnsley Multiple Sclerosis Society.
A six foot statue of bachelor Dickie has been erected in Barnsley in his honour near the place of his birth and was unveiled on 30 June 2009.


© Copyright 2013 - The Hoyland Lowe Stand Trust

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