The Isle of Wight Steam Railway received the ‘Outstanding Visitor Attraction’ accolade for large groups at the Heritage Railway Association annual awards evening held on Saturday 9th February at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham amid tough competition from around the country. Also nominated in the same category were the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway and the Talyllyn Railway.
The Railway was also nominated for awards in two other categories. Our four restored LBSCR 10T Opens were competing with entries from the Chasewater and Ffestiniog Railways in the award for wagon projects, whilst in the Morgan Award for Outstanding Achievement IWR Composite No 10, the first Oldbury Carriage to be restored at Havenstreet, was trumped by Seaton Tramway for its impressive new terminus building.
With award nominations in three categories, the Railway was well-represented. Our delegation included Chairman Peter Conway, General Manager Peter Vail, Commercial Manager Richard Hale and Pete Jardine, who has been at the forefront of our four-wheeled carriage restoration project for since its inception.
The evening’s formal proceedings were introduced by Steve Oates the Heritage Railway Association Chief Executive, and the awards were presented by its Vice President Brian Simpson OBE and music inpresario and steam enthusiast Pete Waterman OBE.
On receipt of the award, Peter Conway, Chairman of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway said “We are delighted to have been awarded the title of Outstanding Visitor Attraction especially against worthy nominations from our colleagues at heritage railways around the country. The dedicated staff and volunteers at Havenstreet work incredibly hard to achieve the reputation that the Railway deservedly holds. We are thrilled to have received this accolade as testament to their hard work and commitment.”