Lighting expert given Freedom of London

Peter McVeigh is awarded the Freedom of London
Peter McVeigh is awarded the Freedom of London

A Cleckheaton businessman has the right to drive sheep and cattle over London Bridge, after being awarded Freedom of the City of London.

Peter McVeigh, owner of Status International Limited, was handed the honour in recognition of his 50 years of work in the lighting industry.

Birstall-born Mr McVeigh was granted the award at an intimate ceremony in the Guildhall on Friday October 18.

He said: “It was a very moving ceremony.

“When signing the register, I had a quick look back and saw Michael Caine and Len Goodman had both signed it. It was very humbling.”

Mr McVeigh, who is a freemason at St John’s Lodge in Dewsbury, formed his first company De La Mer, in 1975.

He sold the firm 13 years later and founded his current business with his son, Nicholas, in 1991.

The company is now a multi-million sales firm, selling lighting products to many major retailers in the country.

Mr McVeigh sits on the technical committee for the whole lighting industry and is director and council member of the Lighting Industry Assocation.

He is also an ex-professional rugby league player, having played for Batley Bulldogs, Hull FC and Leeds Rhinos.

The freedom of the City dates back to 1237 and is offered to individuals to celebrate a significant achievement.

Among the other traditions the honour allows, Mr McVeigh can carry a sword in public and, if found drunk and incapable by police, will be sent home in a taxi rather than be arrested.

Other recent recipients of the honour include author JK Rowling, Sir Bob Geldof and London 2012 Paralympian David Weir.