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Queen opens new £900 million Reading station

The Queen was in Reading today to officially open the town's new railway station. £900 million has been spent on a major revamp which includes five new platforms, two entrances, a new link bridge and retail outlets.

Despite radical cuts to public spending after the last election the massive upgrade at Reading was given the go-ahead.

That's because the station is one of the most important hubs in the country with links to London, Gatwick, the south coast and the Thames Valley.

It's is also one of the most congested.

Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse was there for the Royal opening. and spoke to Robbie Burns from Network Rail, Mark Hopwood the Managin Director at First Great Western, and Reading East MP Rob Wilson.

Queen to open new £850 million Reading railway station

The Queen will open Reading railway station today following its redevelopment.

Network Rail has spent £850 million improving the station which now has new platforms and new entrances.

It will be the second time the Queen has carried out an opening ceremony at the station.

The Queen will officially open the redeveloped Reading railway staion Credit: Paul Hackett/PA Wire

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OBE for University of Southampton Professor

Professor Michael Kelly OBE Credit: University of Southampton

Michael Kelly, Professor of French and currently Head of Modern Languages at the University of Southampton, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2014.

Professor Kelly has been recognised for services to higher education and European cooperation.

“I am delighted to receive this honour. It recognises my contribution to cultural exchanges between Britain and France and the work I have done to promote the study of languages in this country.

Britain's oldest boxing coach honoured in Queen's list

At 90 Jack Bishop is Britain's oldest boxing coach. Affectionately known as Mr Boxing, Jack of Fareham, Hampshire has been honoured with a British Empire Medal.

Involved with the sport for 80 years, Jack has worked tirelessly to promote local fighters in Portsmouth and Southampton.

He first took up boxing as a 10 year old before joining the Royal Marines. In 1963 he became a professional manager where his reputation quickly grew before going on to become one of the most respectable boxing promoters.

During his five decades in the sport, his boxing stable has seen many boxers at various stages of their careers.

A hugely respected and well liked figure in the local area, he has given many generations of boxers their chance to shine.

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Cancer charity founder awarded MBE for her work

Joanna Barker MBE Credit: Target Ovarian Cancer

Despite the fact that Joanna Barker's mother was already being treated for ovarian cancer, when sister Sarah began to show symptoms no-one realised it was the same disease.

They died within six weeks of each other and to fight her grief Joanna, of Bray, Berkshire, founded the charity Target Ovarian Cancer, to raise awareness of the disease. Joanna has been awarded an MBE for her services to people with cancer

In the first three years of its existence, the charity has already trained several thousand GPs to spot early signs of the disease and has established an all-party parliamentary group in the House of Commons.

The initial findings of Target Ovarian Cancer's 'Pathfinder Study' demonstrate that the UK has among the worst survival rates for the disease in Europe, which has not changed in 30 years.

The study was intended to benchmark progress on fighting ovarian cancer with that achieved in other forms of cancer and to raise awareness of the disease.

Extraordinary people celebrated in Birthday Honours

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List is published in recognition of the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom, from the Isles of Scilly up to the Scottish Highlands.

The Queen's Birthday Honours list is announced today Credit: Press Association

More than 1100 people have been recognised and while there are some famous names, the majority are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities.

There are roughly equal numbers of women and men on this Honours List (49% female) following New Year 2014, the first time ever that there had been more women on the list than men.

Among them are Joanna Barker, of Bray Berkshire, honoured for services to people with cancer, she founded the charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

Also honoured are Robin Aitken and Thomas Cairns, of Oxfordshire for their work as Co-Directors of Oxford Food Bank for services to Vulnerable People.

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