The New Year 2013 Honours List, announced at the weekend, brought exciting news for Fermanagh recipient - Enniskillen born railway historian, photographer, author and preservationist Charles Friel.
Charles (66) has been awarded a British Empire Medal (B.E.M.) in recognition of his services to the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.
A well-known and widely respected railway enthusiast, Charles joined the Society as a founding member in 1964 and over the years has had many roles within the RSPI.
"This is a well-deserved accolade for Charles and recognition of the tremendous effort he has put into advancing the causes of railway enthusiasm in general and the RSPI in particular over so many years," commented Paul McCann, RSPI secretary.
Charles, a retired civil servant, who now lives in Belfast, is a familiar face in his native town of Enniskillen for the work he has put in to bringing together former railway men and for the illustrated talks and film shows he has presented at the Ardhowen Theatre. Charles was born in the County Hospital, Enniskillen in 1946. He lived in Wickham Drive and it seems that trains and their close proximity always featured in his childhood.
For a full report on Charles Friel's New Year Honour, see Thursday's Impartial Reporter newspaper.