Selwyn Johnston from Enniskillen said he was genuinely humbled to be a recipient of the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List which came as a complete surprise.
“This is a great honour for everyone associated with Headhunter’s Barbershop and Railway Museum, particularly the former railway employees who have been a real inspiration to us all,” he said.
Selwyn said the award recognised the commitment, dedication and enthusiasm of all the volunteers to bring railway heritage to life particularly, Alan Devers and Selwyn’s brothers, Nigel and Gordon.
Selwyn was one of the founders of Enniskillen Railway Heritage Group in 1997 and is Chairman and Curator of Headhunter’s Railway Museum with artefacts from the three railway companies which once operated locally until their closure in 1957; The Great Northern Railway (Ireland), The Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway and The Clogher Valley Railway.
Selwyn has worked with Action Mental Health for the past 25 years and is Service Manager of a vocational training centre supporting individual’s recovery from mental ill health.
He has also helped with organising commemorative events to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, VE Day, The Queen’s 90th Birthday and the important role railways played during WWII.
Selwyn said he was proud when he helped organise an event for former railway employees to name three paths in Enniskillen – ‘Great Northern Way’, ‘Sligo Leitrim Way’ and ‘The Managers Walk.’
2017 will be an extremely special year for all the volunteers at Headhunters Railway Museum as they commemorate the 60th anniversary of the closure of rail services in Fermanagh, the 20th anniversary of the formation of Enniskillen Railway Heritage Group and their nomination for the Best Heritage Railway Group Award.
Selwyn said he was overwhelmed and humbled by all the messages he received.