South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society, Alston, are proud recipients of The Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2017.
It is over 40 years since the birth of the Society the aim of which was, and is, to reconnect the often-isolated communities which were (until 1976) served by the Haltwhistle to Alston branch railway line.
Over the intervening years much hard work and commitment has been put into achieving that aim. The newly refurbished Slaggyford station, line extension and extensive works at Alston are the next achievements being delivered at a private invitation only event on the 24th July 2017 after which the extension is open to the general public.
General Manager, Heather Palmer said “Much has changed since those early days and these days as well as rescuing and managing heritage assets, we employ staff, champion educational and environmental initiatives and contribute widely to our local economy. However, our most cherished assets are our volunteers. Some of them hark back to those early times and it is fascinating to hear the stories about what went before. We are rightly proud of our volunteering roots and all of our volunteers both new and old, and the QAVS is an exciting accolade for the present-day Society which only exists because of those first volunteers and all others who have and do come since”
Chairman, Richard Graham adds; “We are delighted that the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society has been selected as a recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This award, founded in 2002 in celebration of Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee, is the equivalent of an MBE. It recognizes not only the work of today’s volunteers, but the dedication and determination of the founding volunteers of the mid 1970’s, many of whom are no longer with us and cannot share in this accolade, but without whose vision and hard work would not have made the Society the major player that it is in the local community and economy. It also recognizes those who have passed on their skills and experiences to new generations of volunteers in the intervening years, who help keep alive the heritage of Britain’s railways.”