No chance of passing on the baton

Conductor Martin Binks with his OBE. Photo: Yui Mok/PA
Conductor Martin Binks with his OBE. Photo: Yui Mok/PA
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A CONDUCTOR who is celebrating 45 years at the helm of the Leeds Symphony Orchestra (LSO) believes that his job is the secret to good health.

Martin Binks, 74, is the longest serving conductor in the LSO’s 125-year history and has “absolutely no plans” to retire because he is enjoying the work too much.

After collecting his MBE at Buckingham Palace, he said: “I am absolutely still enjoying it and I never think of retiring. I have had my old age pension for 10 years or so but there is going to be no retiring – not until infirmity creeps up.

“Conductors are long-lived. A friend of mine, a surgeon, says that is because we are exercising the upper body where your heart and your organs are. It is a physical job, so I will keep going as long as I keep physically fit and mentally fit.

Binks, of Horsforth, conducted his 300th LSO concert last year.

A Muslim survivor of the 7/7 London bombings said she is “saddened” about three schoolgirls feared to have joined “Islamic State”.

Sajda Mughal said people had underestimated the power of the internet to radicalise vulnerable youngsters, but “now wider society is picking upon that”. Mrs Mughal was a 22-year-old City high flier who was lucky to escape serious injury in the July 2005 bombings.

Mrs Mughal quit her 
job as head of recruitment 
at an investment bank to 
work closely with her community.

Now she works with women, largely from ethnic minorities, to help them integrate into society, but also to combat online extremism.

Mrs Mughal received an OBE for services to community cohesion and inter-faith dialogue.