Royal recognition for Didcot and Swanage volunteers

BOTH the Great Western Society (GWS) and the Swanage Railway Trust have received top Royal honours.

The pair have been given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of the work carried out by volunteers at both Didcot Railway Centre and in reviving the Swanage branch.

Just some of the Great Western Society’s accomplishments in one view, from the restoration and operation of No. 5051 Drysllwyn Castle and the ‘impossible’ rebuild of No. 6023 King Edward II, to the former GWR running shed behind and rolling stock to the right. GARY BOYD-HOPE Inset: Swanage Railway volunteers show off their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service badges. ANDREW P M WRIGHT

The award, which is generally regarded as the MBE for voluntary groups, is given in recognition of excellence in voluntary activities by community groups.

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For the GWS it comes as the society celebrates 50 years since it took over the former GWR shed at Didcot; the site has undergone continual development, growth and preservation over the past half-century.

Today, Didcot is a globally recognised centre of excellence in railway preservation, earning a deserved reputation for the quality of the restoration work carried out on its many locomotives, carriages, wagons and buildings, all sourced from across the original Great Western Railway network.

Read more in the July 2017 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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