Proud dad welcomes Game of Thrones star home to Crich museum

Game of Thrones actress Elizabeth Webster returns to the Crich Tramway where she volunteered as a child
Game of Thrones actress Elizabeth Webster returns to the Crich Tramway where she volunteered as a child

Her Game of Thrones character was a descendent of wicked Walder Frey, and she met a grizzly fate in the latest series - but to her real life dad, Elizabeth Webster is the girl who grew up at Crich Tramway Village.

Elizabeth returned to Crich as guest of honour for last week’s Starlight Spectacular, delighting her father Roger and long-serving staff.

Proud dad Roger Webster.

Proud dad Roger Webster.

Roger, 73, said: “It was a great day, and a real testament to the relationships which underpin the museum. It is like a family.

“They all remember Elizabeth as a baby, tottering around with a teddy, but not everyone realised she grew up to be a television star.”

Elizabeth, 35, was last seen by Thrones fans as Walda Bolton, trapped in a cage with a pack of starving dogs and a crying baby by her stepson, arch villain Ramsay.

That memorable moment provoked a rush for autographs at the museum, which Elizabeth happily exchanged for donations to support the heritage work.

Roger and wife Wendy moved from Kent to Swanwick in 1974 to be near the National Tramway Museum.

He said: “My father was a tram driver on the South London network, so I grew up with a real love for them. As a boy, I would ride all over London - not always with permission, as the police sometimes discovered.

“I was nine when they closed the network, and I was heartbroken, so I jumped at the opportunity to come up here and work as a volunteer.”

Roger climbed the ranks at the museum alongside a regular career which took him from the Royal Navy into computer system sales, market research, then his own warehousing businesses.

On retirement, he devoted himself full-time to Crich, using all his experience of management and business systems to train a new generation of volunteers.

Roger said: “It’s a difficult skill to deal with people who aren’t being paid, lining their interests up to those of the organisation, but I think I made friends with most of them.

“Whenever I go back, I still get that childlike excitement at the trams, and people coming from all over the world to see what we’ve done - but I mostly enjoy the friendships.”

Roger’s work was recognised as he joined the museum board, then became a trustee, before being made honorary president in 2003, a moment he lists among the proudest of his life.

Since stepping away from Crich in 2010 due to ill health, Roger has put his energies to use as a director at Alfreton Town Football Club, in the community of St Martin of Tours church, travelling the world with Wendy, and closely following the careers of Elizabeth and her brother Andrew.

He works with children who have special educational needs, while she went from Roger’s warehouses to a career in banking as she trained as an actor then sought stage and screen parts in London.

Roger said: “I love watching her work, and she’s held her own alongside the likes of Alan Ford, Honor Blackman and Richard Briers.

“Game of Thrones has changed her life, she gets recognised in public and mobbed at fan conventions - but I think my favourite moment came in a play, Madness in Valencia, when I realised just how much her talent had developed.”

How did it feel to see his daughter fed to the hounds?

“I’ve been a big science fiction fan since I was on board ships, so I’ve read all the books. When Elizabeth told me she had an audition I knew instantly what part they would want her for, and all about her sticky end.

“There were a lot of letters from upset viewers, which proves it was brilliantly done. So much of her acting is in her eyes and they captured that perfectly - but I wanted to slap Ramsay. I was extremely pleased to see him get his comeuppance in the end.”