Youths go full steam ahead at rail museum

Youth Group graduates (L-R) guard Liam McCallum, fireman Andrew Fowler and station master Fraser Preston
Youth Group graduates (L-R) guard Liam McCallum, fireman Andrew Fowler and station master Fraser Preston

One of the district’s most popular attractions is calling on budding youngsters to get on board with a programme to give them valuable skills.

The Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS), operators of the award-winning heritage railway and museum in Bo’ness, is offering young people a fantastic opportunity to work on preserving historic trains and equipment.

The attraction runs a youth group which contributes to the sustainability of the venue through a workshop on the grounds where participants get hands-on experience in the refurbishment of railway locomotives, carriages, wagons, equipment and artefacts.

The workshop runs every fortnight on Saturdays and is open to boys and girls aged between 12 and 13. The youth group also needs parents to get involved in a supervisory role as well as providing an opportunity for them to also learn some new skills.

Amanda Kilburn, the museum’s business development director, said: “Our original batch has just graduated so we are looking for new recruits. The group has its own small workshop to enable it to tackle small refurbishment tasks and has a portable cabin for meetings.

“The young people work under supervision around the site at Bo’ness carrying out routine maintenance and cleaning tasks. The group also actively participate in customer facing tasks particularly at Day Out With Thomas and gala events so it’s a brilliant chance for young people to learn new job skills.”

She added: “For parents, this opportunity gives them the happiness engendered by watching their own children, plus others in the group, gain self-esteem and self-confidence which grows as they learn new practical and customer interaction skills.”

Formal health and safety training is provided by the museum and a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check will be carried out free of charge.

For more information contact Youth Group leader Linda Batchelor at youthgroup@srps.org.uk or at the SRPS 
office on 01506 825855.