The essential journalist news source
K&ESR Stationmaster is Tourism Superstar finalist


Monday 6 February 2023

K&ESR Stationmaster is Tourism Superstar Award finalist

A dedicated Kent & East Sussex Railway volunteer has made it to the finals of the prestigious VisitEngland Tourism Superstar Award 2023.
Geoff Colvin, K&ESR Chief Stationmaster 

Chief Stationmaster Geoff Colvin is one of ten shortlisted candidates in this year's competition, run in partnership with the Mirror Newspaper.

Geoff's nomination was selected by a panel of judges from hundreds sent in by tourist attractions and local tourist boards around the country, each hoping to secure the coveted accolade for their region.

The ultimate winner will be determined by a public online vote via the following page:
where a video about Geoff and the other finalists can also be viewed

Now in its 11thyear, the national Tourism Superstar campaign recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry and is awarded to an individual who goes the extra mile to ensure visitors to English venues and attractions - whether from close to home or abroad - have an amazing and unforgettable experience.

Tourism Superstar nominees are passionate about where they work and consistently set the bar high for the standard of service in England's tourism industry. Geoff is no exception. Having joined the volunteer team at the start of the pandemic - when the railway's volunteer army was needed more than ever to secure its survival - he quickly proved to be both dedicated and inspirational. Promoted to Chief Stationmaster last year, Geoff is one of the friendly faces of the railway on the platform, greeting passengers and helping young and old to create wonderful memories on their days out.

"Geoff is unquestionably a superstar," said Visitor Experience Manager Heather Packham. "He's a breath of fresh air, not only because he always strives to make sure visitors have the best time possible at the railway but because he is full of ideas to help improve what we do. He also makes those he works alongside feel valued, playing down his own personal role and highlighting the team effort."

"Our volunteers are the heart and soul of our railway, and it is their role in providing a wonderful visitor experience day in day out that is frequently mentioned in our many Five Star TripAdvisor reviews," said K&ESR General Manager Robin Coombes.

"Winning this Award would not only be a reward for Geoff's personal contribution but an accolade for the countless contributions of the hundreds of volunteers who selflessly give their time to the railway to keep its history alive and accessible to all.

"Without volunteers like Geoff, we simply would not be here. I therefore very much hope that his success in this competition will inspire others to come and see the fun and fulfilment that volunteering can bring."

Voting is open until midnight on 20 March, with the overall winner announced on 25 March during English Tourism Week (17-26 March)

Anyone interested in volunteering with the K&ESR should visit the ‘Volunteer with Us' page on the railway website:




For press enquiriesplease contact:-

Alison Miles, Press Officer, Kent & East Sussex Railway  /  07900 691116
Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HE

Notes to Editors:
Vote updates can be found on the following social media channels: @MirrorTravel, @VisitEngland and @VisitEnglandBiz as well as those of the railway and @Visit Kent

The Kent & East Sussex Railwayruns from Tenterden to Bodiam, through ten and a half miles of unspoilt Wealden countryside in the beautiful Rother Valley -adesignated AONBthat is considered one of the finest examples of a medieval landscape in Northwest Europe.The railway was built by Holman F Stephens and was the first light railway opened in Britain under the Light Railways Act of 1896. Today it is one of Britain's most loved and original heritage railways. It receives stunning TripAdvisor reviews and pre-pandemic attracted more than 80,000 visitors a year. The railway is mainly staffed by volunteers. The Kent & East Sussex Railway is operated by the Kent & East Sussex Railway Co Ltd, a charitable company, limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. Registered charity No. 262481.

Heritage railways around the UKcarry over 13 million passengers each year over 560 miles of railway line and contribute £400 million in economic impact. Some 22,000 volunteers and over 4,000 paid employees keep the UK's heritage railways on track, highlighting the significant role railways played through the industrial revolution.