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Queen’s Birthday Honours: Tunnock’s Teacake inventor ‘deeply honoured’ to be knighted

© Barrie Marshall / DCT MediaBoyd Tunnock
Boyd Tunnock

The man who invented the Tunnock’s Teacake said he is “deeply honoured” as he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Boyd Tunnock, 86, head of the Uddingston-based confectionery firm, is recognised for services to business and to charity.

He invented the Tunnock’s Teacake in 1956 following the success of the firm’s other sweet treats such as the Caramel Wafer and Snowball.

The teacake has since become so popular that giant dancing teacakes featured in the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, while in October 2017 scientists in Renfrewshire launched a Tunnock’s Teacake “into space” attached to a weather balloon, which reached an altitude of 121,414ft (37,007m).

Sir Boyd said: “When you get to my age, very few things surprise you but this certainly did and I am deeply honoured and grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.

“Our primary purpose in life is to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves. Our country is full of very worthwhile causes that we can all make a contribution to in some way.

“Often just a little of your time is more valuable than money.

“This is a wonderful honour and I feel that I share it with my family and the Tunnock’s workforce.

“I’ll just have to make sure I live long enough to get used to it.”

Thomas Tunnock first established his bakery in Uddingston in December 1890 and it has grown into a firm with global reach.

The 250,000 sq ft factory, which employs 550 people, is now located in Old Mill Road in the South Lanarkshire town, around 100 yards away from where Thomas Tunnock opened his first shop more than a century ago.

Mr Tunnock is also known for his charity work and has long been a supporter of the RNLI and Salvation Army as well as Malin Court Housing Association, which runs a home for the elderly in Turnberry, Ayrshire.

In recent years he donated £250,000 to help purchase a new St Abbs lifeboat after the RNLI closed the station, and attended the launch of the new boat, named the Thomas Tunnock, in 2016.

In 2004 he was awarded a CBE for services to charity in Scotland.

A Tunnock’s spokesman said: “Everyone connected with the company is absolutely delighted that Mr Boyd Tunnock’s contribution to our country has been recognised in this way.

“Throughout his life Boyd has taken the view that we are here to help others, particularly those less fortunate than ourselves, and he puts that into practice every day.

“Boyd has always taken a keen interest in the welfare of his employees and that is reflected in the respect and affection towards him throughout the factory.

“He has consistently shared his success as a businessman and does not seek praise for his actions. This honour could not be given to a more deserving individual.”