Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Lifetime Achievement Award for Former GWS Chairman, Richard Croucher

Members and volunteers of the Great Western Society, the Charity that operates Didcot Railway Centre, are celebrating following the announcement that former Chairman, Richard Croucher, is to receive The Railway Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award for services to Railway Preservation.

The Award will be presented at the annual Heritage Railway Association Awards on Saturday 8 February and recognises Richard’s work spearheading many projects at the 21-acre living museum over the past four decades.

He has been instrumental in raising funds and coordinating projects including the restoration of flagship express passenger locomotive No. 6023 "King Edward II” from scrapyard condition, the recreation of “Saint” Class locomotive No. 2999 “Lady of Legend” which entered service in 2019 and the renovation of the Centre’s unique Great Western steam railmotor No 93.

He also served as GWS Chairman for 18 years and led protracted negotiations with the British Rail Property Board, then Railtrack and finally Network Rail to secure a long-term lease on the Railway Centre site with its original 1932 engine shed and working coal stage.

Richard was also an integral part of the team that repatriated the iconic locomotive, No 4079 “Pendennis Castle” from Australia.  The engine is currently being returned to working order in the Centre's workshops.

Commenting on the announcement, current Chairman, Richard Preston said “This accolade is richly deserved, and we look forward to celebrating with Richard at the HRA awards dinner next month.

“His efforts have allowed us to achieve so much and we’re delighted that 6023, 2999 and No 93 are all scheduled to be in action this year helping us to tell the story of the Great Western Railway to visitors young and old alike" he added.

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