Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, was guest of honour as the winners in this year’s competition were announced in a virtual ceremony, reflecting the fact that restrictions on the holding of public gatherings as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis meant that the usual annual ceremony held at Merchant Taylors’ Hall had had to be cancelled.
The Hendy & Pendle Trust Volunteers Award was made to the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways for the restoration of the Gweithdy at Minffordd, a project that owed much to the direction of this scheme of a long standing F&WHR stalwart – Eileen Clayton MBE – who sadly died before the work was completed having maintained her enthusiasm for and involvement in the railway whilst battling Multiple Sclerosis.
Alan Norton, Project Manager says:
It is pleasing to receive this national award, recognising the efforts of so many people, mainly volunteers but with support from local contractors. Most of the work was repairs, but the finishing has allowed us to set high standards to make the space more comfortable and more useful. It was a lot of work, but very satisfying and enjoyable working as a team.
During the project, neighbours confirmed that the building was used by the Urdd, and hopefully in 2021, we will be able to invite the local community in to see what we have done, and to remember activities from their youth.