Steam railway volunteers get Royal approval

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Glyn Cornish, chairman of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust and Bob Mackintosh, who has fulfilled a range of voluntary occupations which currently include train guard, signalman and accountant, had previously celebrated the award at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in the presence of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh earlier this summer.

Glyn and Bob have between them, amassed almost half-a-century as volunteers on the line.

The GWR is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award.

Other recipients locally were abuse charity Safeline, which is based in Warwick, and Stratford charity Lifespace Trust, which helps over 340 young people individually each year, all of whom are facing difficulty and distress.

The Queen’s Award was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2nd June — the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Mr Cornish said: “If it wasn’t for the determination of those first volunteers back in 1980 who wanted to ensure that the much-loved Honeybourne Line, between Cheltenham and Stratford, didn’t fade from both memory and the landscape, after closure by British Railways, we wouldn’t be here today.

“Since then countless volunteers have replaced track, buildings and infrastructure; restored carriages and locomotives; and operate train services to the highest standards of safety and professionalism over an ever-increasing length of our line.

“This award is for every single volunteer, past and present — every one of them, no matter how large or small their contribution, should feel equally proud of this amazing achievement.”