9 February 2019

Attended the Heritage Railway Association annual awards dinner where a new award which I had sponsored for Young Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Matthew Wilson from the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.

The image shows the short-listed nominees, with winner Matthew Wilson second from the left.

In a short speech I said that I had been prompted to establish the award following the report produced by the All-Party Group on Heritage Rail into Engaging the Next Generation - Young People and Heritage Railways.

Published in July 2018, this report lays out the important role of heritage railways in education and the training of young people, not just in the technical aspects of railways, but in life skills as well.