The David Clarke Railway Trust team are celebrating after a key restoration project picked up a national award. Biffa Award funded the renovation and interpretation of the station yard at Quorn and Woodhouse station, and has now declared it the top ‘Cultural Facility’ project.
The Coventry Transport museum was the setting for this year’s Biffa Award ceremony. The Biffa Award team were joined by nearly 80 people to help celebrate the incredible work projects across the country have done in ‘Building communities. Transforming lives.’
More than 240 eligible projects were whittled down to a shortlist of just 20 across the five categories: Community Buildings, Recreation, Small Grants, Cultural Facilities and Rebuilding Biodiversity, as well as an overall winner.

The restoration project at the Great Central Railway’s Quorn & Woodhouse Station won the Cultural Facilities prize.

Thanks to the grant of £46,416 from Biffa Award, Quorn & Woodhouse Goods Yard has been transformed to include features which recreate some of the facilities which would have been found in the days when the GCR was a Main Railway running to London Marylebone.
The project aimed to enhance the visitor experience, particularly for the younger generations, many of whom would never have seen a working goods yard in a typical rural railway station. A timber goods platform has been built which incorporates a cattle dock, where animals would have been kept prior to transportation and coal staithes erected to show how coal would have been stored ready to be loaded onto the tenders behind the locomotives.

The station stairs and roof have been authentically repaired and refurbished to address structural problems. A corrugated tin clad building (The Tin Shed) which dates from the opening of the railway in 1899 has been rescued from its dilapidated state, re-clad and refurbished to create a community meeting room.

The project was managed by two of the Great Central Railway’s long serving volunteers, Brian Screaton and Tom Chaplin who attended the award ceremony at Coventry Transport Museum on Thursday 1st October.

Bill Ford, Chairman of the David Clarke Railway Trust said, “We are delighted with this award which is a fitting tribute to the hard work of everyone who took part in the project. From the grant application, to the design, to managing the contractors who undertook the work it has been a real team effort. As we continue to develop the railway, unlocking the secrets of how and why the railways were built and how they served communities is really important and we are thrilled Biffa Award have funded and now recognised the work.”

The Great Central Railway is planning to build a new heritage railway museum at its Leicester North terminus and was recently granted a first round pass by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The improved facilities at Quorn and Woodhouse station yard will contribute to the concept of a working museum; whereby the railway and its out stations will demonstrate the everyday activities of a typical Victorian Railway