MALCOLM MIME WRITES: The New Year’s Honours List is always full of people in the public eye whom the government have deemed to have done something special, but the Isle of Wight has many of its own inhabitants whose greatness goes unnoticed by the masses.

Let me take this opportunity to give recognition to some of those Island inhabitants, in this inaugural presentation of the MMAs — the Malcolm Mime Awards.


There were a number of times in 2018 when I wrote about the poor Ofsted results on the Island but my annoyance was aimed not at the teaching staff, but at the false promises made by our council. Conservative leader, Cllr Dave Stewart, still refuses to admit his pledge of 2017 to get 25 per cent of Island schools to a rating of ‘outstanding’ was nothing other than blatant electioneering, but although not one single school has been given an outstanding rating in the 19 months since the Tories came to power, there are some very good results being achieved by some of our schools, none more so than at Cowes Enterprise College.

In the face of adversity, the Cowes Enterprise College this year had the best GCSE results on the Island and drew praise from Ofsted director, Chris Russell, who stated in the Ofsted annual report the school had ‘turned themselves around’. The school is actually an independently run academy as opposed to a school run by the IW Council, and so the MMA for Education goes to headteacher at Cowes Enterprise,  Rachel Kitley, herein known as Rachel Kitley MMA.


The Island is known worldwide for its tourism, royal connections, yachting and festivals, but what it isn’t particularly well known for is its manufacturing. However, there is a company on the industrial estate in Lake called The Meeting Pod Company, which makes composite workplace pods.

Although the company has only been in existence for three years, it is successfully selling pods all over the UK and continues to go from strength to strength. The company is the brainchild of talented former footballer, Tom Dunford, who was once on the books of Southampton. Tom quit football at the age of just 24 to concentrate on making pods and his dedication is paying off. The MMA for Industry goes to Tom Dunford. (


Although the aforementioned Meeting Pod Company was the brainchild of Tom Dunford, the person who invested the money to get it off the ground was local entrepreneur Mike Dalloz. Mike’s first start-up business was the lettings company, Deacons, which he opened in Newport in the late 1980s. Following a couple of takeovers and mergers, Deacons became Island Lettings, these days one of the IW’s biggest letting agencies.

But, aside from Island Lettings and The Meeting Pod Company, Mr Dalloz’s biggest success to date is another Island-based company, Performance In People, which he started in 2000.

This customer service consultancy business now employs 90 people in its headquarters in Ryde, so if you add those people to those employed at Island Lettings and The Meeting Pod Company, it makes Mike Dalloz an unsung hero of employment on the Island and he, therefore, thoroughly deserves his MMA.


The Island has lost many great pubs over the years and we saw a number close their doors in 2018, so anyone who makes a pub work in these challenging times should be applauded. Someone who makes multiple pubs work should not just be applauded but should receive an MMA, and that is exactly why publican Martin Bullock is receiving one.

Not content with successfully running The Fishbourne, The Boathouse in Seaview and The Spinnaker in Bembridge, this year Martin, together with his wife Lisa, opened Artisan (formerly Joe Daflo’s) in Union Street, Ryde.