The Great Western Society (GWS), the charity that operates Didcot Railway Centre, has appointed Clive Hetherington as its new Chief Executive. Clive takes up the post as the 21-acre living museum gets set to reopen following lockdown and as the GWS prepares to celebrate its 60th Anniversary.
Clive is an experienced CEO who has worked in senior roles across several industries. He has been involved as a consultant marketing and communication director working with many well known museums and with sporting organisations building memberships, supporting volunteers, raising funds and managing events. As a child Clive spent most of his Saturdays train spotting from Platform 5 on Reading Station and has been a regular visitor to DRC with his family over the years.
One of the highlights of his career was as marketing and communications director of the British Equestrian Federation the governing body for the Olympic equestrian sports in the UK and the largest representative body in the equestrian industry. Whilst there he established effective communication with 4.2 million horse riders and succeeded in uniting a disparate and combative group of sporting disciplines into a cohesive force in the lead up to the Olympic Games. The equestrian team was the most successful UK team at the games. More recently Clive has been CEO of 2 London sporting clubs delivering events and training to people who live in London and offering a bespoke concierge service to overseas visitors wanting to experience the English countryside.
Richard Preston Chairman of GWS said: “I am excited to welcome Clive to the GWS team. His track record, depth of experience and excitement at the prospect about joining us make him an ideal appointment to build on the great work of the team at Didcot.”
Clive commented: “These are exciting times for GWS. While COVID and the lockdown are still primary concerns the growing public optimism and the desire for a return to normal life means we can hopefully look forward with a sense of optimism to our 60th Anniversary this year.”
The Railway Centre is set to reopen at weekends and Wednesdays from 14 April allowing visitors to explore almost two centuries of railway heritage set across 21 acres. Steam trains will be running on the Centre’s demonstration line offering unlimited rides aboard a train of beautifully restored vintage carriages with each group allocated an individual compartment for their trip – further details can be found, and tickets booked, at www.DidcotRailwayCente.org.uk.
Photo credit: Didcot Railway Centre