Volunteers at the Railworld Wildlife Haven are celebrating this week after they were presented with the prestigious Queen’s Award for volunteering.
News of the award was announced in June, but the presentation by the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence, took place on September 11 in Railworld’s Globe Hall. It was a very proud moment for all the volunteers present and for Brian Pearce MBE who’s been the driving force behind the project.
It was 25 years ago that he had a vision to transform the old derelict Peterborough power station site bought by Rev Richard Paten on one side of the River Nene, and the old railway coal yard on the other, into a city centre oasis of natural beauty and a visitor attraction for all to enjoy.
Twenty-five years later, the Haven has become a mecca for volunteers and its learning centre and model railway, welcomes schools and organisations from across the area.
When the time came for the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire to present the award in the Globe Hall, Brian said – “I think it would be absolutely lovely to present it to Doreen Foster, because Doreen was one of our major, major volunteers many years ago and has done so much for us year after year. She must’ve helped the Nene Valley (railway) for 20 years before helping us at Railworld for the last 25 years. Even now at the age of 85 she’s still helping. When I rang to invite her she said ‘I’ll bring some sausage rolls and cakes for the buffet after’.”
Dignitaries from Peterborough City Council were also present to congratulate volunteers along with representatives from a number of local firms who have contributed to the project.
See www.railworld.net for more information on opening days for September and October 2018.
Photos courtesy of www.railworld.net