The Vice Chairman of MCRUA, John Hulme, has been honoured with the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queens 90th Birthday Honours List.
The award is for his community services to railways in Cheshire and and is not only for his work on the Mid Cheshire Line but also in recognition of John organising the Cheshire Best Kept Stations Awards since 2003.
These were set up to motivate and encourage the work of volunteer groups in making Cheshire railway stations attractive gateways for their communities by gardening, landscaping, artwork etc.
Now president of Cheshire Best Kept Stations, John developed the Awards from his former business at Plumley Station House but stepped down last year handing over to a new organising group.
John, 64 and married to Joan, is also locally a Trustee of the Lion Salt Works Trust, the Friends of Weaver Hall Museum and Castle Community Church.
He is Vice Chairman of MCRUA and a member of the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership.
John said: “I am absolutely thrilled to accept this honour but it really recognises those 30 plus station groups that make Cheshire Stations the best. They are our unsung heroes in the community.
I must also thank the new team that has taken over the mantle of Cheshire Best Kept Stations. This is particularly important as Community Rail is set to grow substantially this year with the recent changes in Franchise on the Northern Network.”
John Oates, Chair of Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association and the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership said: “The CRP and the Rail User Group (MCRUA) are delighted to hear this news.
John has put a huge amount of effort into many initiatives in Mid Cheshire, especially an amazing job both setting up and running the Cheshire Best Kept Stations Competition for over 10 years, all on a voluntary basis. This award is recognition very well earned.”
Sally Buttifant, Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership Officer said: “I am so pleased to hear that John has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Cheshire railways.
John works tirelessly to promote the railway and improve the experience for passengers as well as being passionate about Northwich and community rail. Excellent news!”
Mark Barker, Chair of Cheshire Best Kept Stations added: “This is a richly deserved honour for John. Cheshire Best Kept Stations has brought together hard working volunteer groups, local government, businesses and the rail industry together, strengthening many local communities. How fitting it is that a man, who spent 12 years working to recognise the efforts of others, should himself be honoured for this work.”