A DIDCOT Railway Centre project that took volunteers 24 years to complete has been shortlisted in a museums and heritage award.

The 21-acre 'living museum' has been shortlisted in the restoration/conservation project category of the annual Museums & Heritage Awards – just as it prepares to re-open.

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The nomination is for the restoration of ‘Saint Class’ locomotive No. 2999 ‘Lady of Legend’ – an iconic type of Great Western steam engine last seen in 1953 when the original examples were scrapped.

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Chief executive Emma Jhita said: “This is wonderful news, a real tribute to the hard work and enthusiasm of the team here at Didcot and is a great boost for morale as we get ready to re-open after being stopped in our tracks by coronavirus.

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“It is particularly rewarding to be recognised nationally, especially as we’re not a conventional museum or gallery.

"The competition is going to be extremely tough but making the shortlist alongside the Palace of Westminster, Chatham Historic Dockyard, The Box at Plymouth and Aberdeen Art Gallery is a huge achievement for us.”