2023 Winners

BAM Nuttall Partnership Award St Blazey turntable (MPower Kernow Community Interest Co)
GWR Craft skills Award Cullybackey (Robert and Anne Christie)
Arch Company Urban Heritage Award Peckham Rye (Benedict O’Looney and BAM Nuttall)
Translink Structures Award Westfield Viaduct (National Highways)
Stirling Forth Bridge (Network Rail and Story Contracting)
London Underground Operational Enhancement Award Sydney Gardens, Bath (Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd)
Network Rail Conservation Award Leamington Spa (The Centenary Lounge Ltd)
Hendy & Pendle Trust Volunteers Award Crakehall (Wensleydale Railway)
Avanti West Coast Community Award Okehampton (Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership)
National Highways Award
Rowden Mill (Paul Kirwan and Cecilia Chavez-Brandon)
Southeastern Commercial Restoration Award Findlater’s Corner (The Arch Company and Benedict O’Looney)
Chairman’s Special Commendation Chamberlain’s Bridge (Leighton Buzzard Railway)
Greater Anglia Award for Best Overall Entry Folkestone Harbour (Folkestone Harbour Co Ltd)


Review of the Year

There were 50 entries this year from across all four nations of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland from community groups, private individuals and companies, as well as public authorities and train operators. They ranged in size and scope and were judged for the competition for the 11 award categories.

The entries included two turntables that have been restored and made operational: one at St Blazey near Par and the other, was relocated from Hither Green to the Rother Valley Railway at Robertsbridge. Two signal box restorations, neither operational, Caersws and at Pwllheli, a footbridge restoration at Chepstow, new railway fencing at Bath’s Sydney Gardens, repairs and redecoration of a railway/road bridge at Whaley Bridge, the restoration of the water tank at Didcot Railway Museum and at Frinton on Sea, the station canopy.

Smaller but equally important is a host of restoration schemes; these included two for station clocks at Ladybank and Lincoln, as well as new NER-style crossing gates at Crakehall (Wensleydale Railway). New heritage London Underground signage roundels at Bethnal Green, a therapy centre in restored platform buildings at Ladybank, wall mounted rails and a Paxton canopy at London’s Paddington Station, wall tile repairs at Coventry, the relocation of the Bristol Peoples’ Brunel Statue, and a row of railway cottages in Rosslare (Eire).

Edinburgh provided three schemes. The redevelopment of Granton Gasworks Station, a long derelict private station, into a function/office space, and The Engine Yard, a scheme creating residential units within the former Shrubhill tramway depot buildings off Leith Walk and the nearby Pilrig Muddle wheels, a project to conserve and
put on public display a unique survivor of Edinburgh’s Victorian cable-operated tram system.

Six viaduct schemes featured this year. Two are in operational use: Stirling’s Forth Viaduct and the iconic Border Bridge at Berwick-upon-Tweed. The former railway structures of Westfield Viaduct near Bathgate, which is currently isolated but should eventually form a vital section of railway path, and the Teviot Viaduct whose attached footbridge formed the entry. The other two were both imaginative elevated garden schemes, the Randalstown Viaduct (NI) by Tidy Randalstown, and the National Trust’s Reimagining Castlefield Viaduct that temporarily uses a section of the disused railway viaduct in central Manchester.

Community based station schemes at Eynsford, Hollingbourne, Okehampton and Shawford that provide new uses for redundant buildings on operational stations. Other improvement and restoration schemes undertaken at operational stations were received for Bishopstone, Carlisle, Ely, Holyhead, and March. An unusual entry involved the re-routing of the narrow gauge Leighton Buzzard Railway to allow a new housing development at Chamberlains Bridge which meant that the full length of this historic railway was kept rather than lost. Other new work was the instillation of a lift at Cockfosters Station as part of Transport for London’s desire to make access to stations step free.

Aberdeen Concourse and Morpeth Canopy are the culmination of ongoing projects or, as at Peckham Rye, form a vital part to the eventual total station scheme. This was also the case in bringing-back into use of the redundant Findlater’s Corner arches under the railway at London Bridge. Total regeneration was a feature of the renovation of Folkestone Harbour Station. At Cullybackey (NI) and Rowden Mill Station both now provide holiday accommodation; one situated next to an operational railway and the other on a long-closed line.

Sensitive conservation was a feature of two schemes: the refreshment room at Leamington Spa and some heritage furniture at Warwick. Two entries have been deferred, the York Goods Office, which now forms part of the National Railway Museum and some GWR-style Spear-top fencing around part of the Bath Spa’s station car park; we hope to see them at a future awards ceremony.