An exciting date lies ahead this New Year for Headhunters Barber Shop and Railway Museum, after the Heritage Railway Association recently released its list of nominees for its 2016 Heritage Railway Awards.

The Impartial Reporter's Mainly About People column hears that heritage rail operators large and small across the UK and Ireland regard the HRA awards as amongst the most prestigious forms of recognition.

Headhunters Barber Shop and Railway Museum has been nominated for the HRA award for Small Groups along with Bredgar and Wormshill Railway, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway.

The column learns that Headhunters is the only nominee from Ireland to be included in any of the award categories.

The awards will be presented at a gala night ceremony on February 11 at Grand Central in Wolverhampton. The guest speaker will be Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail. 

Selwyn Johnston, Curator of Headhunters Railway Museum, said that the volunteers who support the work of the museum are absolutely delighted to be nominated for such a prestigious Heritage Railway Association Award.

He says 2017 will be a particularly significant year for the museum marking the 60th anniversary of the closure of railway services in Fermanagh and the border counties, the 20th anniversary of the formation of Fermanagh Railway Heritage Group and the 15th anniversary of the establishment of Headhunters Railway Museum.

He noted that since 1997 volunteers have freely devoted their time and energies to interpret, preserve, educate and bring Fermanagh’s railway heritage to life in an innovative, pioneering and creative way.

Selwyn commented: “It is a tremendous honour for our museum to be nominated for this award and an immense encouragement to all our volunteers in recognising the work that they do in keeping this important part of our local heritage alive. It was a lovely surprise to be informed that Headhunters had been nominated for this award and certainly the best Christmas present that our museum volunteers could have wished for!”