Jun 29 2011 by Judith Tonner, Airdrie & Coatbridge
AN Airdrie woman has been appointed OBE in recognition of her decades of dedicated service to the court system.
Sheila Hindes was included in the Queen’s birthday honours list thanks to her work as sheriffdom business manager for south Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway.
Based at Airdrie Sheriff Court, she oversees almost 200 staff at sheriff and justice of the peace courts in an area stretching from Monklands to Kirkcudbright and Stranraer.
The Brownsburn woman has worked her way up through the ranks of the Scottish Court Service since beginning her career as a clerk 38 years ago.
She said of her honour: “It was totally out of the blue – I was very surprised when I got the letter and my family were gobsmacked when I could finally tell them!
“I’ve had lots of nice emails from people as they’ve found out about it, and my colleagues gave me a lovely cake to celebrate.
“The honour is for services to the courts in Scotland so it’s wide-ranging and reflects my work in different courts over the years.
“I’m delighted although a bit shellshocked to receive this honour, but it’s very motivating and will hopefully be quite encouraging for my colleagues.
Sheila began her career as a clerk at Hamilton Sheriff Court after leaving Coatbridge High, has worked as a sheriff clerk and has been in her current post at the Graham Street court for nine years.
Now she is responsible for issues including court programmes, staff and budgets – and as a result of her work, is now relishing the chance to pick up her award from the Queen.
She said: “When I left school, I never thought I’d work anywhere for this long, but it’s a very interesting job and a great career.
“You come into contact with people from all walks of life, and I travel all over the sheriffdom and work with police and the procurators fiscal.
“We do everything that’s needed to support the judiciary, and it’s been really good to have been able to work up through the ranks to my current post.
“It’s a fantastic honour and I can’t wait for the presentation; I’ve been told it will take place within six months, and it will be a wonderful experience.”