SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY WINS Bronze at the Visit Devon 2014 Awards
|the Bronze Visit Devon Award 2014||Photo © 2014|
The scenic South Devon Railway (SDR) hit some high notes last night (Wed 19 November) by winning a Bronze in one of the top ‘Blue Riband’ prizes in the 2014 Devon Tourism Awards for the “Best Large Visitor Attraction of the Year” category at a special gala awards dinner in North Devon.
The railway was one of four finalists on the night to be crowned with a Devon Tourism award in the large visitor attraction category which is one of the most prestigious tourism accolades in the county.
Gold winner was the World of Country Life in Exmouth; Silver went to ‘The Big Sheep’ in North Devon, and joint Bronze went to the National Trust’s Coleton Fishacre property in South Devon.
And, tonight (20th November) at the Western Morning News Business Awards in Exeter, the SDR won another ‘gong’ as “Best Tourism Business” – this is on top of the six award accolades which it7rsquo;s now already received in 2014, see: Western Morning News Judges votes.
With seven awards now possible in just one season, staff, volunteers and supporters of the seven-mile, steam operated heritage railway are hoping it will be a clean sweep and thereby set a new record year for the charity which also carried its two millionth passenger in June.
The railway’s first award in 2014 came in the form of a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in June, followed quickly by a Bronze medal for the railway’s Refreshment Rooms from ‘Taste of the West’ in July.
Next, in September, came an RHS & Britain in Bloom ‘It’s your Neighbourhood’ Level 4 award which described the extensive landscaped gardens at Buckfastleigh as ‘Thriving’ – the first time the SDR had entered the competition.
And then, the SDR won not one, but two more top medal awards in October for the Herald Express (English Riviera & South Devon) Tourism & Hospitality awards with a Silver for the railway in the best visitor attraction category, plus a Bronze for the ‘Taste of South Devon café/tearoom category’.
Delighted SDR Railway Manager Chris Williams comments: “Winning so many awards in just one year is a very creditable achievement by our whole team, especially as it’s the first time we have entered most of the competitions. But being in the running for a Devon Tourism award was the ‘Blue Riband’ one for us as we were up against our peers with some terrific competition from other leading attractions around the county.
Winning this Bronze award and other ‘gongs’ this year reflects the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of all volunteers and staff throughout 2014, many of whom do far more than is expected of them in helping to run the railway and our constituent businesses.”
The SDR is also getting ready to run its ever popular Santa by Steam trains which operate most weekends in December and during the last week pefore Christmas.
Early birds can book now by Santa trains, or filling in and returning a completed booking form Santa book forms etc. The Expressway model railway and gift shop is already stocking up with Xmas presents for children of all ages, and is open for business every day alongside the SDR’s award-winning Refreshment Rooms.