Former Barry girl gets OBE - and is listed next to Gary Barlow!
A FORMER Barry schoolgirl can boast of being a neighbour of Take That star Gary Barlow - after appearing next to him in the Queen's Birthday Honours List!
Edith Jane Beaver, known as Jane and by maiden name Tanner in South Wales, was delighted to be honoured in last week's list with an OBE for her services to the Department for Work & Pensions.
But the 55-year-old district manager for the Mercia District, Jobcentre Plus, was also thrilled to discover her alphabetical listing had placed her directly under singer, X-Factor judge and Diamond Jubilee concert organiser Barlow.
And she could be awarded her medal straight after the star, when he takes his for services to the entertainment industry and charity, in a ceremony in the autumn.
Jane, who attended Barry Grammar School from 1967 to 1974, has been honoured for 37 years of helping people find work - using many of her innovative ideas.
Originally from St Nicholas, but now of Worcester, she went to work for the DWP after leaving school and her career has taken her to Cardiff, Bridgend, Birmingham, Coventry, Hereford and Worcester.
On getting the royal seal of approval, she said: "I'm absolutely thrilled, and I've been overwhelmed by the response I have had, with people at work saying how well deserved it is.
"It is humbling," she added, crediting her team for all their efforts.
Jane, who has led a scouting and Beaver group for 25 years and is a team captain at Northwick Tennis club, initially had to keep the news a secret from family and friends - but rang up a huge phone bill, while on holiday in Turkey, when the news became public.
"When I got to the airport my mobile just went ping," she said.
"I started getting texts saying 'you'll never guess what? You're under Gary Barlow!'"
She is now looking forward to shopping for an outfit for her big day at the Palace. Proud dad Clifford, 92, will stay home in the Vale, but Jane plans to take her mum Vera, 82, partner Paul, 47, and sister Sharon, 56, to London for the occasion.
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