Our very own Gordon Reed has been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement award at the Rail Staff Awards this year. Many of you will not know Gordon but he is the Railway’s honorary boilersmith and has devoted over 25 years of service to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and the National Railway Museum in York. Gordon has been described as having an unwavering devotion for the railways and holds a true passion for them, having been in the industry for over 66 years.
Now in his 81st year, Gordon is known as one of life’s gentlemen. He started life on the Railways as an apprentice boilersmith at Darlington 1948-51 and then from 1954 to 1956 served with the Royal Engineers on the Marchwood Military Railway at Southampton. Leaving the army in 1956 he returned to the north-east to West Auckland shed, 51F and remained there until 1964 and the end of steam in south-west Durham. 1964 saw Gordon transferred to Civil Engineers rail welding depot at Dinsdale, near Darlington and worked his way through various related posts until 1999, when he came as volunteer boilersmith to KWVR.
During the past 25 years Gordon has provided much valuable help, guidance and impetus to the loco department volunteers, giving them the confidence to take on bigger and more extensive boiler work than previously carried out; the boilers from USATC S160 2-8-0 5820 and TVR 0-6-2T 85 being cases in point. Most Thursdays he takes the train to Keighley and spends quite a bit of his time inside fireboxes checking for broken stays etc. currently carrying out firebox inspections on a regular basis …. quite remarkable for one of his advanced years!
In recognition of the service that he has given, Gordon has now been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement award to give him the true recognition that his years of devotion so richly deserves. Click HERE for more details of the Rail Staff Awards and for the nomination made by the National Railway Museum in support of their recommendation. There can be no more a deserving recipient of such an award and the Railway wish Gordon every success in the award process.