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An East End philanthropist, who helped create the biggest city farm in London, has received the MBE at Buckingham Palace.

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Brendan Riney, 78, was presented with the Member of the most excellent order of the British Empire award from Prince Charles to honour his work setting up Mudchute City Farm, in Pier Street on the Isle of Dogs.

Mr Riney said: “I have helped out over the last 25 years in converting this wasteland into what it is today - a farm where coach-loads of kids come to visit from all over London.

“I’m a local contractor and I do a lot of work for Tower Hamlets Council. It’s only right and proper to give a little bit back to the community. I didn’t set out to get an honour - it was the last thing on my mind.”

His wife, Anne, and two of his five children – including one who flew in from Canada for the occasion – attended the ceremony last Thursday (October 25).

Mr Riney, chairman and managing director of JB Riney civil engineers, has also been a benefactor over several decades to the Repton Boxing Club, in Cheshire Street, Bethnal Green.

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