The founder of one of the north-east’s most successful manufacturing firms has been appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Banffshire.
Valerie Cheyne, a former pupil of Buckie High School, has lived in Banffshire for most of her life. And, along with her husband Alfie, Mrs Cheyne founded Alfred Cheyne Engineering Ltd to design and manufacture marine deck machinery.
The company later diversified into the oil and gas sector and began trading as Ace Winches which has won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise and the Scottish Offshore Achievement Awards for Exports.
Last year, Mrs Cheyne joined the board of tourism body Visit Aberdeenshire and is a long-standing supporter of the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy.
During her career, she also trained as a business studies and economics teacher and taught at both Summerhill Academy in Aberdeen and her old school in Buckie.
Mrs Cheyne has been joined in the Deputy Lieutenancy post by another former teacher, Andrew Simpson.
He studied in Aberdeen and took up a post as teacher of religious and moral education at Turriff Academy, where he later became head of department.
Following roles at Mintlaw Academy and Keith Grammar School, Mr Simpson accepted the role of head teacher at Elgin High School where he remained until his retirement last year.
Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, Clare Russell, was on hand to present the pair with their commissions during a special ceremony at Pitchory Lodge.
Mrs Russell said: “I am delighted that Valerie and Andrew have joined the Banffshire Lieutenancy team and look forward very much to working with them. They will be a huge asset to the county.”
The Lord Lieutenant of a county is the British monarch’s personal representative in every area of the UK.
Historically, they were responsible for organising local militia, but today the role is largely ceremonial and awarded to notable local figures.
Current Lord Lieutenant Mrs Russell, who was appointed 15 years ago is the Lady Laird of Ballindalloch Castle.