A NORTH-EAST businessman and community campaigner has been given a Remembrance Day honour in recognition of his “outstanding years of service”.

Alasdair MacConachie was presented with a silver statue of a unicorn’s head by the 50 (Northern) Signal Squadron following Sunday’s remembrance parade and service in Darlington.

The presentation was made by Honorary Colonel Brigadier Paul Baker OBE, alongside Major Ian Flannery, in recognition of Alasdair’s years of service to the local community and the armed forces.

Alasdair, a director of Sherwoods motor company, is a former Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham. He has also served as chairman of St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington College, and Darlington Partnership, as well as being Honorary Chairman of The Friends of Darlington Memorial Hospital, and President of Darlington Rotary.

His father, Allan Dunn MacConachie, was the highly decorated Commanding Officer of the Gurkha Regiment in the British Army, and Alasdair’s wide-ranging support of the armed forces included being chairman of the Independent Advisory Panel for the School of Infantry, at Catterick.

The unicorn has been adopted by the squadron, and dates back to World War One when it was the personal crest of General Sir Percival Wilkinson, Colonel of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

Mr MacConachie said: “It is a real honour to receive something so terribly special. I had no idea that the presentation was going to be made but I am extremely grateful.”

Another presentation was made after the remembrance service by the Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Cyndi Hughes, to Pat Stoddart in recognition of her many years of service to the Poppy Appeal in Darlington.