Dedicated heritage centre volunteer nominated for posthumous award

Marston Vale volunteer Harry Maughan who has been nominated for a posthumous award.

Marston Vale volunteer Harry Maughan who has been nominated for a posthumous award.

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A dedicated volunteer at Ridgmont Heritage Centre has been nominated for a posthumous award.

Harry Maughan, who died recently aged 79, has been nominated in the Going the Extra Mile category at the inaugural SHARE Volunteer Awards for Museums in the East for his outstanding effort at the award winning centre.

Harry was an enthusiastic volunteer, visiting at least twice a week to meet trains arriving at Ridgmont, serving in the gift shop and conducting guided tours of the restored booking office. He was well known to rail passengers and London Midland staff alike.

He would also keep busy cleaning windows and window sills, moving gravel to create the station garden, watering plants, clearing litter and weeds. Visitors enjoyed his guided tours of the Heritage Centre and hearing about the exciting future of the Marston Vale Line (Bedford –Bletchley) with the restoration of through services to Oxford as part of East West Rail (services will call at Ridgmont). The inaugural awards received an impressive 87 nominations from 46 different museums around the Eastern region.

Nominations were received from museums of all sizes as the awards scheme seeks to recognise the valuable contribution that volunteers make to museums and their communities. The winners are due to be announced at a celebration and awards evening on June 4 at the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds.

Stephen Sleight, transport team leader at Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity said: “Harry made an exceptional contribution to the Heritage Centre and played a major part in the building’s success in the National Community Rail Awards and National Rail Heritage Awards. He has truly gone the ‘extra mile’ and is much missed.

Simon Floyd of SHARE Museums East said, “These awards are an ideal chance to celebrate the importance of volunteers to museums, showcase the range of roles that volunteers undertake, and demonstrate the diversity of the people who offer their time as volunteers. Through these awards, SHARE can highlight best practice in both volunteering and volunteer management.”

Further information and a full list of those nominated can be found at http://sharemuseumseast.org.uk/volunteer-awards

Visit www.marstonvalecommunityrail.org.uk