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Honours for rail heroes

A welcome host at Warwick Parkway station, the man who designed the InterCity 125 nose cone and a legendary rail manager in the west country were among railway staff who received new year’s honours.

In London, Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy CBE (pictured right), received a knighthood for services to transport. London Underground’s Chief Operating Officer, Howard Collins received an OBE for services to the London 2012 Games.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said, ‘Congratulations too to Howard Collins for his OBE and (bus controller) Nana Nyarko for his MBE. I am sure Sir Peter will be the first to join me in paying tribute to them and to the thousands of London’s transport workers, whose hard work every day is also recognised through these honours.’

Judith Biggs has been awarded a BEM, British Empire Medal, for her services to railway passengers at Warwick Parkway station.

Says Judith, ‘This is something I will never forget. I never imagined I would ever get this kind of award. I just never expected it. I love my job and talking to the passengers, they are like my extended family.’

First Great Western’s regional manager Julian Crow, received the MBE. Says Mr Crow, 61, ‘It is a lovely thing to happen towards the end of a long career. My wife is thrilled and deserves at least half of it. Having spent so long in the rail industry you just keep your head down and get on with it.’

Julian Crow joined British Rail as a trainee and rose through the ranks. Under his stewardship passenger numbers have soared on branch lines in the south west.

This is a significant award and I am very appreciative. But as I have said many times before, the reason I do this is to put a smile on children’s faces. That is reward enough for me.

Les Hoey

Kenneth Grange, 83, (pictured left) who designed the nose cone of the British Rail InterCity 125 high speed train, received a knighthood. He described himself as chuffed to bits and says he has always been a monarchist and a fan of Prince Philip.

British Rail’s former general manager of the Eastern Region based in York, Frank Paterson, 82, has been made an MBE for services to museums. Mr Paterson has chaired the Friends of the National Railway Museum for ten years and until earlier this year had been on the museum’s advisory board since 1978.

Les Hoey, 51, (pictured above & right) who works for Network Rail in Motherwell, was awarded the MBE for his phenomenal efforts at charity fund raising. Over the last 20 years Mr Hoey has helped hundreds of children with life threatening illnesses.

It all started when his daughter Shelley, aged 12, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 1992. Realising the depth of the problems children and parents faced, Les set about raising tickets and funds for concerts, shows, football matches and pantomimes. Examples of his work are legendary.

Colin McLaren, as a very ill 14 year old, was terrified at the prospect of undergoing a transplant. Colin was surprised to receive a telephone call just before the op. On the line was Les and the Scotland football team, who had joined together and called Colin up to wish him well.

Les Hoey said, ‘This is a significant award and I am very appreciative. But as I have said many times before, the reason I do this is to put a smile on children’s faces. That is reward enough for me.’

Les Hoey’s daughter, Shelley, survived her illness and is now a fit healthy 32 year old working as a care assistant.


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