Royal accolade bestowed on Leighton Buzzard Railway

Volunteers at the Leighton Buzzard Railway received their prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service from the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis on Friday, July 28.

The award, given in the 50th anniversary year of heritage operations, was accepted by one of the railway’s longest serving members, Peter Hodges, and one of its youngest, Jamie Randall. After the presentation guests and members enjoyed a ride to Stonehenge Works and back hauled by recently restored Orenstein & Koppel 0-6-0WT No. 10808 of 1924 Pedemoura.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, meets Leighton Buzzard Railway officials after presenting the line with the coveted Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. LBR

The Lord-Lieutenant cited the 2ft gauge former sand-carrying line as ‘one of the jewels’ of Bedfordshire’s crown of tourist attractions, praising its all-volunteer status and its example of how volunteering can make an impact on the lives of people.

She also presented a gift to Mervyn Leah, one of the railway’s long-serving volunteers who has recently stepped down as the line’s marketing manager after 20 years in the role. After 48 years of service, he continues to act as one of the railway’s duty managers and as a guard.

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