NEARLY three decades of hard graft, not only to save Britain’s last rail-connected roundhouse but to convince people it could become a major attraction in its own right, have reaped more dividends for Barrow Hill.
At the Heritage Railway Association’s annual awards committee meeting in Birmingham on October 7, major honours were bestowed on Barrow Hill and Mervyn Allcock, the visionary who set up the movement to save it.
The venue carried off the HRA Heritage Railway Interpretation Award (sponsored by this magazine), while The Railway Magazine Award for Services to Preservation, sponsored by our sister title, went to Mervyn, founder in 1989 of the Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society with the intention of saving the roundhouse from demolition on the site of the soon-to-be-closed BR shed.
The Interpretation Award was made “for the conservation and restoration of a once-common but now unique key part of Britain’s railway heritage and its accessibility to the general public through interpretation.
The HRA Rail Express Modern Traction Award, sponsored by another of our sister titles, went to the 21-year restoration of the sole-surviving two-car Cravens Class 105 DMU at the East Lancashire Railway.
Although a single car also exists at the Llangollen Railway, this is the only complete set of its type from an original fleet of more than 300 vehicles used across the country.
The unit has been meticulously rebuilt from a shell, both inside and out, and has been finished in a BR green livery. Class 105s are authentic for the ELR, as they were used on services through to Bacup and elsewhere in the Manchester area.
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