Every February, the Heritage Railway Association holds an Awards Dinner at which members that have performed particularly well over the year are recognised by both the HRA and Editors of the four leading railway magazines.
This year, the awards ceremony was held at the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham on 10 February. In the company of some 200 attendees from the heritage railway sector in the UK and Ireland, representatives of Glenfinnan Station Museum learnt to their amazement that they were the winners of the Annual Award for Small Groups. The judging panel had visited Glenfinnan on 1 April of last year and liked what they saw.
The award is a replica brass panel from a coach provided for Queen Victoria by the Great Western railway company. It was won by Glenfinnan Station Museum for its unique and hands-on introduction to West Highland railway heritage.
The other nominees in the group were the Bahamas Locomotive Society Learning Coach at Ingrow station; West Lancashire Railway for their 50th Anniversary celebrations; Rother Valley for the new connection at Robertsbridge; Telford Steam Railway for their Polar Express event.
Accepting the award on behalf of the museum were John Barnes, museum founder, Hege Hernæs, museum curator, and Nick Jones, volunteer signalman and creator of the museum’s pioneering “virtual signalling experience”.
The Heritage Railway Association is an umbrella organisation representing the majority of the heritage and tourist railways, railway museums, steam centres and railway preservation groups in the UK and Ireland. The association represents its members’ interest to Government and provides professional advice to its members.
HRA Chairman Brian Simpson handing over the award to John Barnes & Hege Hernæs, both of Glenfinnan, and Nick Jones, Caol.