A Suffolk businessman has spoken of his 'delight and amazement' at receiving the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the King's New Year Honours List.

Bill Bulstrode, who has been trading in Framlingham for 53 years, has received the BEM for services to the community, but said the announcement of the honour had taken him by surprise and he was not aware of who had put his name forward to receive the gong.

He said: "When the letter arrived a few weeks ago, I was amazed. I am delighted. I am a Framlingham boy, born and bred.

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"I have lived and worked in the town all my life. I have done a lot for the town and I still do a lot for the town."

He started working for food and drink business Carley & Webb in the town before starting his own flooring company, which he now runs as part of his Bulstrodes and Framlingham Toy Shop in Bridge Street.

But aside from his business interests, Mr Bulstrode has also helped with some big events in the town, including the Diamond Jubilee for the late Queen Elizabeth II in February 2012 and celebrations for the opening of the Olympic Games in London in the same year.

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He has also helped with late night shopping events and Christmas trees, as well as putting out flags and bunting in Framlingham town centre, which he regularly cleans and tidies.

Following the flooding in Framlingham from Storm Babet in October, Mr Bulstrode has also provided a new home at his shop for the town's Post Office, which was flooded out of its Riverside premises.

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Mr Bulstrode, who attended Framlingham College, said he would collect the award in memory of his late wife Teresa, who died two years ago, adding that he was 'chuffed to bits' to have been nominated, but did not expect rewards for his efforts.

"Helping the town just gives me huge satisfaction. I hit 70 back in June so I don't climb the ladders as much as I used to, but I still do a lot of things and I am here to help the town as much as I can," he added.

READ MORE: Suffolk news