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Book shortlisted for award

A book written by John Pritchard, a founder member of the Friends of Whaley Bridge Station, was short listed for a prestigious railway award.

The entry was included in the Small Projects Award category in the 2017 Association of Community Rail Partnerships community rail awards.

The winners were revealed at the awards gala dinner and presentation evening held at The Roundhouse in Derby at which Mr Pritchard and his wife Barbara were guests.

The awards, which are now in their 13th year, recognise the important but often unsung work carried out by community rail partnerships and station adoption groups who provide a welcome social and economic contribution with their activities to their communities.

John Pritchard

Although the book didn't scoop the Small Projects Award - the winner was Mytholmroyd Station - Mr Pritchard and fellow `Friends' were delighted that the book made it on to the short list.

Mr Pritchard said: "I set up the Friends of Whaley Bridge Station over 10 years ago and decided to write the book ‘A Railway Journey: Oxford to Whaley Bridge’ to mark the 10th anniversary. The first edition was published in March last year and a second and third edition have since been printed and on sale locally. It was an honour to be nominated for the award.''

He has given away a number of copies to fellow rail enthusiasts but copies of the book are on sale in local bookshops. The book recalls some ‘railway-related’ reminiscences on the author’s journey from Oxford to Whaley Bridge. During the Second World War, he lived with his grandfather who worked at Oxford Station. 

In particular, it describes why and how the Whaley Bridge friends group was formed, what it hopes to achieve and what the group did achieve along the road to Station Restoration Day. The book provides a record for posterity and makes invaluable reading for other friends groups.

The book covers a wide variety of other railway subjects including anti-social behaviour, liaison between Derbyshire Police and the British Transport Police, restoration projects and awards. It also includes a series of photographs.

As well as being an author, Mr Pritchard is also well known in the local area for his work with High Peak Borough Council and the former Whaley Bridge Urban District Council. He is currently serving on Whaley Bridge Town Council as a parish councillor for the Yeardsley Ward and has been council chairman five times.