Civils and stations

28.11.19

Intercity Express Train named after first female MP

Great Western Railway (GWR) has today (Nov 28) released the name of its new Intercity Express Train, named after Nancy Astor, the first women to take her seat as an MP in the House of Commons.

It comes after she was nominated for GWR’s search for 100 Great Westerners, and she will now travel on the side of the new trains, represented by her name and an illustration.

Today’s naming ceremony took place at Paddington Station, exactly 100 years after it was announced that Astor was elected as a member of parliament.

Several members of the Astor family were in attendance today and boarded the ‘Nancy Astor’ train service to Plymouth shortly after the ceremony.

Great Western Railway Human Resources Director, Ruth Busby, said:

"I know how challenging it can be to be one of the few women in a male-dominated environment. It requires resilience, determination and hard work to have your voice heard.

“I can’t begin to even imagine how much more challenging that would have been in 1919. But Nancy has shown that where one woman goes, many can follow. 100 years on there is still much to do to achieve full gender equality. But I am proud that GWR are providing, quite literally, a moving recognition for a woman who went first, who broke down barriers and allowed other women to follow.”

Ceremony Nancy Astor

Ceremony: Dr Jacqui Turner, from the University of Reading, GWR Human Resources Director Ruth Busby, the Hon Emily Astor and Dr Helen Pankhurst

Nancy Astor’s granddaughter, the Hon Emily Astor, said:

“I don’t know our grandmother would ever have thought a train would be named after her. But we feel she would be both flattered and appreciative and her father absolutely delighted.”

 

Pictures: Adam Gray – South West News Service

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