Over recent years a number of Scottish projects have triumphed in the National Railway Heritage awards and, in both 2019 and 2020, this number was added to. Unfortunately, as a result of restrictions over the past 18 months, it has not been possible to unveil the plaques officially. However, over Tuesday and Wednesday 29 and 30 June representatives of the NRHA led by Chairman Theo Steel travelled round east and central Scotland to mark the success of four schemes recognised in the competition.
The first to be unveiled, on the Tuesday morning, was in Aberdeen where the success of the Ferryhill Railway Heritage Trust in restoring the turntable at Aberdeen Ferryhill shed was recognised. This project had been awarded the Stagecoach Volunteers Award at the 2109 award ceremony held at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London on 4 December 2019.
The second unveiling took place at Ballater station where the Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Bill Howatson, officiated. The restored station, which had been severely damaged by fire and which had been entered by Aberdeenshire Council, received the Southeastern Commercial Restoration Award at the 2019 ceremony. Its triumph at the time drew some personal comments from that year’s guest of honour – HRH The Princess Royal – as Ballater had been the station most convenient for Balmoral until its closure in the 1960s.
The third plaque to be unveiled on the 29th was at Montrose, where the restoration of the South Esk viaduct by Network Rail and Taziker Industrial had been awarded the Costain Structures Award again in the 2019 competition.
Wednesday 30 June witnessed the unveiling of the plaque at Stirling. The work here, which encompassed a number of projects in recent years, had seen the traditional canopies and footbridges restored. The work, which was awarded the London Underground Operational Enhancement Award in the virtual award ceremony held on Wednesday 3 December 2020, was particularly impressive in the way that the historical structure had been carefully integrated with the work required on the installation of the 25kV overhead line equipment.

The first plaque to be unveiled on 29 June 2021 was that to mark the restoration of the turntable at Aberdeen Ferryhill. The newly-installed plaque is seen here with, on the left, Dr Jon Tyler, Chairman of the Ferryhill Railway Heritage Trust and, on the right, Theo Steel, Chairman of the National Railway Heritage Awards.

The Ransomes & Rapier turntable at Aberdeen Ferryhill following its restoration by the Ferryhill Railway Heritage Trust. The success of the project was marked by the presentation of the Stagecoach Volunteers Award at the 2019 award ceremony in London on 4 December 2019. The ceremony, which marked the 40th anniversary of the awards, was held at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London with HHR The Princess Royal as guest of honour.

The Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Bill Howatson, and Theo Steel with the newly-unveiled plaque at the restored Ballater station on 29 June 2021

The former royal station at Ballater, well-known to the HRH The Princess Royal who was guest of honour at the 2019 award ceremony, was constructed in wood and largely destroyed by fire in May 2015. Its painstaking restoration, undertaken by Aberdeenshire Council, was rewarded by the Southeastern Commercial Restoration Award at the 2019 award ceremony.

The plaque on the viaduct at Montrose after its official unveiling with, from left to right, Michael McArthur, Network Rail Project Manager, Laura Craig, Network Rail Scheme Project Manager, Theo Steel and Rod Hendry, Network Rail Construction Manager.

Work undertaken on the single-track South Esk viaduct at Montrose won Network Railway and Taziker Industrial the Costain Structures Award at the award ceremony on 4 December 2019.

The fourth of the plaques to be officially handed over was that made for the work completed at Stirling station. Here the plaque is being formally presented by Theo Steel (centre) to Alastair MacFarlane, Network Rail Head of Engineering and Asset Management. Maintaining a safe social distance three steps back are John MacArthur, Managing Director (Scotland) of Story Contracting, on the left and David Ray, the senior sponsor for rail projects for Transport Scotland, on the right.

The impressive work undertaken at Stirling station on the historic canopies and footbridges over recent years saw the project awarded the London Underground Operational Enhancement Award at the 2020 National Railway Heritage Awards.