14 June 2014
We are delighted to be able to report that Roy Watts is appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Her Majesty's 2014 Birthday Honours List in recognition of his services to the Heritage Railway movement and preservation.
Well known in the Heritage Railway arena for his work with the Bluebell Railway where he has been a member since 1968 and Chairman of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society since 1999 his enthusiasm, commitment and support has gone beyond this Sussex based railway. His many years of experience have enabled him to offer help and guidance to other preserved railways on a wide range of issues including organisational structure, rules, grant applications and capital projects. He even arranged for a Somerset and Dorset 7F locomotive to spend a day in its former home station but now a Sainsbury's car park in Bath (Green Park)!
Speaking from his home in Coulsdon, Surrey, Roy said that he was both overwhelmed and humbled by the recognition that he had received for his contribution. Balancing his commitment to the voluntary work in the Heritage Railway sector with family life and a full time job at J Sainsbury Plc is a task that he says does not get any easier with time - but he wouldn't change a bit of it. He went on to say that his involvement with 3 cherished former London Transport buses (RM811, RML2731 and RT3775) also finds slots in his diary - just.
Dick Fearn, Chairman of the Bluebell Railway Plc, said that he was absolutely delighted that Roy had received such an acknowledgement for his tireless contribution, not just to the Bluebell but other players in the Heritage Sector, and knows that he can speak for the other members of the Bluebell Railway in saying "what stunning recognition for such a deserving person".
Derek Hayward's photo above shows Roy Watts as Station Master at East Grinstead during an open day, on 5 September 2010.
Deborah Salmon's photo on the left shows Roy, also at East Grinstead, with sleeves rolled up in preparation for another open day, in September 2011.
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