SCOTLAND’S biggest celebration of young people has honoured the Bo’ness-based Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s youth group.
It took home the Heritage Hero Award, sponsored by Historic Scotland, from the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards 2013 held last weekend at Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium.
The glittering bash, televised for the first time by STV, featured the nation’s brightest, best and most inspirational youngsters, rubbing shoulders with stars like Alesha Dixon, Chris Capaldi and the TOWIE cast.
Members of the youth group look after locomotives, carriages, fences and platforms at Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and Museum, as well as welcoming the public.
One of Scotland’s oldest steam railways, it has over 60,000 visitors a year.
Representing the group at the ceremony were Bo’ness father and son Paul and Aaron McKinnon, pictured with Waterloo Road cast members and a Historic Scotland representative, who have played a major part since it started less than two years ago. A short film showcased its great work.
Aaron said: “It is amazing to win and have our work noticed. We want to bring in more young people and make it an even bigger attraction.”
The SRPS youth group has 10 members and eight on a waiting list.
SRPS business development director Amanda Kilburn said: “They are the future of our railway and we thank them and founder Bob Batchelor for their hard work. We are glad to be able to support these young people and it is nice to see them enjoying themselves and at the same time learning some really important skills.”
Louise Macdonald, chief executive of Young Scot - the national youth information agency - said choosing the winners was a near impossible task.
“Scotland’s young people are amazing - their achievements are truly inspiring and these finalists and winners are great examples of the fantastic work we know young people are doing across communities in Scotland every day,” she said.
Visit www.bkrailway.co.uk or Twitter and Facebook for the latest from the railway. You can view the film clip at www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbx9cHT5c0Q