Dedicated volunteer Harry kept centre on track

Harry Maughan
Harry Maughan

A Linslade man has been posthumously nominated for his volunteering work at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre.

Harry Maughan, of Golden Riddy, died in March aged 79, and was well known about town as vice-chairman of the Leighton Buzzard Society.

But it is for his “enthusiastic and extremely dedicated” volunteering as a member of the Heritage Centre team that Harry was put forward in the Going The Extra Mile category at the inaugural SHARE Volunteer Awards for Museums in the East.

Harry, who was also chairman of the Bedfordshire Rural Transport Partnership Forum, volunteered at least twice a week, meeting trains arriving at Ridgmont, serving in the gift shop and conducting guided tours of the restored booking office.

In addition, Harry would frequently be found in and around the building at other times cleaning windows and window sills, moving gravel to create the station garden, watering plants, as well as clearing litter and weeds around the car park.

Visitors enjoyed his guided tours of the Heritage Centre and hearing about the exciting future of the Marston Vale Line (Bletchley – Bedford) with the restoration of through services to Oxford as part of East West Rail. He was well known to rail passengers and London Midland staff alike.

The inaugural awards received 87 nominations from 46 different museums around the Eastern region.

Nominations were received from museums of all sizes as the awards scheme seeks to recognise the valuable contribution that volunteers make to museums and their communities.

The winners will be announced at a celebration and awards evening this month at Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds. 

Stephen Sleight, transport team leader at Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity said: “Harry made an exceptional contribution to the Heritage Centre and played a major part in the building’s success in the National Community Rail Awards and National Rail Heritage Awards. He has truly gone the ‘extra mile’ and is much missed.

Simon Floyd of SHARE Museums East said, “These Awards are an ideal chance to celebrate the importance of volunteers to museums, showcase the range of roles that volunteers undertake, and demonstrate the diversity of the people who offer their time as volunteers.  In addition, through these awards, SHARE can highlight best practice in both volunteering and volunteer management.”