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Duke of Kent to help with Keighley and Worth Valley railway celebrations
The Duke of Kent will ride on the footplate of a heritage railway engine when he joins the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
His Royal Highness became patron of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (KWVR) Preservation Society following a visit to the railway in July 2008 and will return on Wednesday.
As well as the anniversary celebrations, the royal visit will be to mark the centenary of the newly-restored Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Club Carriage, which was previously used as a cricket pavilion before being brought back into use.
Matt Stroh, KWVR chairman, said: “We know that His Royal Highness is a keen railway enthusiast and we are honoured that he graciously agreed to accept this role, which we feel reflects the high standards that the railway sets itself. We are delighted that he will be helping us to mark our 50th anniversary and the carriage’s centenary.”
Eric Rawcliffe, from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust, said the Duke had agreed to unveil a commemorative plaque to recognise the return of the Railway Club Carriage.
The 1912 carriage was purpose-built to be used exclusively by Manchester businessmen who chose to live in the Fylde coastal resorts of Blackpool, Lytham and St Anne’s. Destined for scrapping in 1951, it instead found use as a sports pavilion, a role it retained until 1993.
It was rescued from its site, which was due for housing development, and members of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust spent 18 years restoring it to its former glory.