One of the leading advocates for preserving light rail’s rich heritage is standing down from his role as chairman of a high-profile forum representing the UK’s historic tramways and museums.
Friends and colleagues from across the sector paid tribute to Geoffrey Claydon at the latest meeting of the UKTram Heritage Group, which he has chaired since its inception.
A tireless campaigner for tram preservation, his work for the group followed a distinguished career that saw him play a key role in shaping modern light rail networks.
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James Hammett, UKTram Managing Director, commented: “Over many years, Geoffrey has made a massive contribution to the sector, and his experience, expertise and enthusiasm will be greatly missed by all who have worked alongside him.
“In 2020 he celebrated his 90th birthday, and we would like to wish him all the very best as he finally enjoys a well-earned, full retirement!”
For nearly five decades he considered himself an enthusiastic amateur in the rail world while pursuing a distinguished career as a lawyer in the civil service. In 1990, when Geoffrey was originally planning to retire, he was finally able to combine his professional and personal interests after accepted an offer of taking on a five-year project to bring railway and tramway legislation up to date.
Since then, he has held numerous positions within the sector, including as Secretary and later as President of the Tramway Museum Society, and as a director of UKTram.
Mr Hammett added: “On his retirement from the Heritage Group, we would all like to express our appreciation for his work over many, many years. We certainly owe him a huge debt of gratitude.”
In addition to paying tribute to Geoffrey, at their latest meeting, members of the Heritage Group also elected former Vice-Chairman Mike Crabtree from Crich Tramway Museum as their new Chairman.
Held at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, the meeting also saw the appointment of Ian Longworth from the Isle of Man as Vice-Chairman.