A large turnout attended the unveiling of the 2022 Translink-sponsored National Railway Heritage Award for Structures on Monday 26 June 2023. The award was won by Greenways and Cycleroutes for their restoration of Tidenham Tunnel as part of the Wye Valley Greenway. The plaque was unveiled by Mark Harper, MP for The Forest of Dean, and also Secretary of State for Transport (and, as he pointed out, hence the owner of the tunnel). Other guests included Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change in the Welsh Assembly Government, Helene Rossiter, head of the DfT’s Historic Railways Estate, David Pemberton of Railway Paths Ltd, and Andy Savage, Chairman of the NRHA. The event was hosted by Jeremy Cowen, Caroline Levett and John Grimshow, all part of the Greenways and Cycleroutes team that drove the project through.
The Secretary of State unveiled the plaque at the south end of the tunnel, after which the party walked and cycled to the north end, where various guests made speeches, and the hosts produced excellent – and much welcomed – cakes for everyone’s enjoyment.
Mark Harper MP, Secretary of State for Transport, with the unveiled plaque at Tidenham Tunnel.
The plaque, following its official unveiling, recording the success of Greenways and Cycleroutes in the 2022 National Railway Heritage Awards.
The interior of Tidenham Tunnel, once part of the GWR line from Chepstow to Monmouth, following its conversion to form part of a cycleway. Note the low level lighting; this was required to provide illumination for users whilst not adversely affecting the resident bat population – an essential element of this very successful project.