Corby's Mandy and top county cop among Queen's birthday honors

Mandy Young, the woman who founded Adrenaline Alley after her son had his skateboard was stolen, has been awarded an MBE.

Mandy Young, MBE. Photo taken as part of the Corby Living Legends project by Laura Dicken.
Mandy Young, MBE. Photo taken as part of the Corby Living Legends project by Laura Dicken.

And former Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough police officer, Chief Superintendent Simon Blatchly, who recently served as police commissioner in Liberia, will be handed an OBE for services to the police.


Mandy, 54, started an outdoor skatepark at Rockingham Speedway Corby in 2003 after her son John had his beloved skateboard stolen.

Chf Supt Simon Blatchly, OBE, (pictured centre) in the United Nations General Assembly Chamber

She then went on to found Adrenaline Alley, building it into the biggest indoor skatepark in Europe. The much-loved park is a social enterprise with three large buildings, an educational space, training clubs, a shop and a cafe.

It has been used by 25,000 youngsters.

Sadly, John died in 2010.

Mandy was given an MBE for services to young people. She said: “I’m overwhelmed.

Lady Victoria Leatham with one of the wicker angels at Thorpe Hall Photo: Tim Sandall EMN-160915-171636001

“I got the call a couple of weeks ago and I’ve had to keep it a secret.

“It’s not been an easy journey and of course losing John along the way was very difficult.”

Mandy has always been incredibly humble about her enormous achievements.

She added: “My first reaction when I heard about the MBE was wow, look what Adrenaline Alley did, this is for the team. But my board told me that this isn’t about Adrenaline Alley, I have to own it. I’m trying to!

“It’s great that we’ve got this recognition and I’ve been told I can take Jodie and Paul (Mandy’s husband and daughter) to the palace.

“I know I’m the one that’s driven it but it doesn’t feel like that. The whole team has worked so hard and I feel like this is for everybody.”

This year Mandy was also named as the Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire.

Next for Adrenaline Alley is a new car park to cater for the thousand of new visitors that arrive every year, as well as an increase in competitions at the venue.


Simon Blatchly started his career as a PC in Corby during thirty years ago. He worked in Corby as a PC during the early 1990s, then his way up through the Northants force, working in Kettering CID, in Wellingborough, in homicide and major crime and in the training, firearms, public order, driver training and police dogs departments. He as also head of CID in Northampton and oversaw the force helicopter. Eventually, Chf Supt Blatchly was seconded to Baghdad to work for the United Nations, helping to ensure the smooth running of the Iraqi police force. He then worked in New York and, latterly, as United Nations Police Commissioner in Liberia for two years where he helped shape the police force responsible for maintaining order during the country’s democratic elections.

He is now back at force HQ at Wootton Hall for the next phase of his career.

He was given the OBE for services to the UK Police.

There will be a special report on Supt Blatchly’s time with the United Nations on our website next week.


Lady Leatham has been given an MBE for services to the community in Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire

She is a fundraiser for Thorpe Hall Hospice and has been Chatelaine of Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies for 25 years, which has so far raised £840,000 for Cancer Research UK. As President of Friends of Fotheringhay Church, she has advocated and fundraised for the restoration of the building. She is a major fundraiser for The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund (RPMF) which supports Britain’s most talented young athletes,