Volunteers at the Leighton Buzzard Railway are celebrating the award of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The honour, publicly announced today, is the equivalent to the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement, Queen’s Award for Technology or, for an individual, the MBE.
The award, following a nomination by past Mayor of Leighton Buzzard Councillor Amanda Dodwell, comes as the Society prepares to celebrate its 50 th anniversary later this year and follows hard on the heels of the Railway receiving the Heritage Railway Association’s Premier Award in February.
The award citation was made for ‘Fifty years of conserving England’s industrial railway heritage, inBedfordshire’.
The Leighton Buzzard Railway is run, managed and operated entirely by volunteers drawn from all walks of life and from across the community.
“We are thrilled, honoured but above all humbled to have received this award,” said chairman Terry Bendall.
“Our team today still includes a number of members who helped to get us off the ground back in 1967, truly they have given a lifetime of commitment. And we are proud to have an active number of junior volunteers, eager to learn from them, thereby ensuring the survival of the traditional skills and trades upon which our future as aheritage railway depends.”
The award was notified to the railway following a visit by a Committee of Deputies to the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, late last year.
The Lord Lieutenant will formally present the award to the railway on Friday, July 28.
The Leighton Buzzard Railway is an accredited museum with a history linked with the sand quarrying industry around the town. In addition to equipment from that era, the railway has built up a significant collection of Great War vintage narrow gauge equipment, including the Greensand Railway Museum Tust’s Baldwin 4-6- 0T WDLR No. 778.
The Leighton Buzzard Railway is based at Page’s Park, Leighton Buzzard, and the line runs to Stonehenge Works adjacent to the sand quarries which the original industrial railway was built to serve. For further information visit http://www.buzzrail.co.uk.