Dedicated volunteers Anne and Chris Deeth have been honoured by the Prime Minister for their service to Ripley’s historical treasure – the Midland Railway Trust.
The Deeths are the latest recipients of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
They have been committed volunteers for 34 years at the Midland Railway Trust.
And when the attraction was left without a manager they immediately stepped up and took it upon themselves to ensure the tourist attraction could still continue, allowing hundreds of local people and tourists to enjoy the museum and railway.
Upon receiving the award, Chris and Anne said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this award. The fact that it is a joint award is particularly pleasing as it reflects the way in which we work. Volunteering in railway preservation is an integral part of our lives and helping to celebrate our local and national heritage gives us a great deal of pleasure.”
Over the years they have turned their hands to almost every activity: dressing in period costumes for guided tours, wrestling with the trust’s budget, organising events, chairing committees, developing the museum and many more.
The Midland Railway Trust at Butterley Station is a unique tourist attraction, featuring preserved steam and diesel hauled passenger trains and a popular museum. The Deeths have had a wide ranging involvement across the three decades they have volunteered, both being trustees since the early 1990s, with Chris being Chairman from 1994 to 2014.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Great British historical attractions like the Midland Railway Trust need commitment and enthusiasm if they are to continue to entertain and delight families and communities. Anne and Chris Deeth have shown those qualities in spades, and I am very pleased to be able to recognise their service by making them both Points of Light.”