Youngest volunteer qualifies as a guard on the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway

09 August 2022
The youngest volunteer on the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway, 18-year-old Matthew Forman-Clark , a student at Boston College who lives in Skegness, has just qualified as a passenger train guard and handled his first services on Saturday 6th August 2022.

The railway -- which was the first heritage railway in the world to be built and operated by enthusiasts when it opened at its original site at Humberston, south of Cleethorpes on 27th August 1960 - has for the first time begun offering three-day-a-week services in August on its line in the Skegness Water Leisure Park in Ingoldmells. (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).

Matthew began volunteering on his 18th birthday (the youngest age at which volunteers can assist), helping to prepare the 1903-steam engine Jurassic for service and working on renovation and maintenance of the track and carriages and wagons, some of which were used in the battlefields of World War One.

Jurassic is edged towards the carriages of a busy train waiting to leave Walls Lane station, with driver Jim Smith at the controls and fireman Mick Allen preparing to couple and connect the air brakes.

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Chairman of the LCLR's Historic Vehicles Trust, Richard Shepherd, said: "All of us involved with the railway congratulated Matthew on passing his guard's exam and were impressed to see his smart turnout for his first duties. He is an indispensable part of our small team of volunteers who keep our heritage trains on the rails. We're more used to seeing him in a boiler suit with a smattering of soot, from cleaning out Jurassic's boiler tubes and smoke box. We hope many more younger volunteers will follow in his footsteps to ensure the railway can continue in the future and enable the public to enjoy this unique part of Lincolnshire's heritage".

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