TWENTY-ONE of the Severn Valley Railway’s most dedicated volunteers have been presented with special awards by the line’s patron the Duke of Gloucester, to mark 50 years of service.
Having collectively clocked up more than 1000 years of service on the SVR, the group of loyal volunteers, ranging from drivers and station staff to carriage maintenance and restoration workers, met the duke – himself a steam enthusiast – at a special ceremony on Wednesday, June 14.
The duke arrived at Kidderminster Town where he was welcomed by SVR (Holdings) chairman Nick Paul and SVR company chairman David Williams, who helped found the heritage line in 1965.
He then boarded GWR 4-6-0
No. 7802 Bradley Manor for the journey to Highley and the Engine House Visitor Centre, which he officially opened on its completion in 2009.
There, he joined the group of invited volunteers for lunch in the venue’s Alveley Room, with panoramic views of the Severn Valley, before the event culminated with the presentation of awards.
One of the volunteers, Roger Hobson, who attended the first meeting of the group that founded the SVR, became a guard, senior guards inspector and a member of Bewdley station staff for many years – where he still works on a Sunday.
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