SUE THREADGOLD is the embodiment of the new generation of volunteers who are keeping the country’s ever popular heritage railways on track in an era of automation.
The first female guard in the 171-year history of the Wensleydale Railway, this scenic line – and other routes that have become top tourist attractions – has always been dependent on the expertise of staff steeped in the rail industry along with the assistance of countless others.
Yet there is a growing shortage of people with the necessary skills to operate steam trains so passengers can enjoy going back in time to the era when Britain’s railways were a source of national pride.
Indeed, the Swanage Railway in Dorset has just trained an enthusiast as young as 27 to take the controls of one of its trains.
As such, people like Sue, perform a vital role ensuring that heritage lines, and other attractions which form part of our living history, continue to run like clockwork (unlike the trains of today).