Princess Anne marks 50th anniversary of Severn Valley Railway
Britain’s Princess Anne has marked the 50th anniversary of Severn Valley Railway.
The 64-year-old royal unveiled a commemorative plaque on Kidderminster station and met with staff and volunteers before taking over the controls of a vintage locomotive yesterday (14.04.15).
Over 200 people including flag-waving pupils from the nearby Comberton Primary School greeted Princess Anne – who is the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II – as she arrived at Kidderminster after boarding the train at Bewdley Station.
During her visit the princess praised the hard work of everyone involved in saving and maintain the railway after it fell victim to Beeching’s axe – the reduction of route network and restructuring of the Railways in Great Britain – in the 60s and said the organisation had “quite rightly” won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for their efforts.
After unveiling the plaque Anne signed the visitor’s book and thanked staff for allowing her to ride on the footplate.
She wrote: “It was a real treat.”
Chairman of the Severn Valley Railway, Nick Paul presented the royal with a billycan and whistle as a memento.
He told the Express & Star newspaper: “The visit was a huge success. The princess was impressed by the huge input of the volunteers. She was extremely enthusiastic and it was nice to see how knowledgeable she was about the railway.”