Royal seal of approval for Swanage success

More than 40 years of achievements have been officially recognised by Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester presenting the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service to the Swanage Railway.

A first cousin to the Queen and a patron of the Severn Valley Railway, the duke visited the heritage line on Friday, June 8, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell.

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (left) and the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell, the Queen’s representative in the county, on the footplate of SR U 2-6-0 No. 31806. ANDREW PM WRIGHT

During his visit, the duke also unveiled a plaque in the booking hall of Swanage station, marking the Peter Manisty Award presented by the Heritage Railway Association earlier this year, in recognition of the railway relaunching ‘real’ passenger services between Swanage and Wareham after a 45-year gap during a 60-day trial in the summer of 2017.

The duke was welcomed by Swanage Railway Trust chairman Gavin Johns and Swanage Railway Company chairman Trevor Parsons, as well as the town mayors of Swanage and Wareham and the chairman of Purbeck District Council, who is also the chairman of the Purbeck Community Rail Partnership.

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