(Above) Geoff Chalinor, Chairman of the Anson Engine Museum in Poynton, poses with his MBE next to one of his beloved machines
Swapping his customary boiler suit for top hat and tails, Geoff Chalinor, Chairman of the Anson Engine Museum, made his way to Buckingham Palace last week to pick up an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen.
Queuing up behind the likes of Jensen Button, who received his MBE for Services to Motorsport, Geoff was given the award for Services to Industrial Heritage after years of unstinting dedication to the museum in Higher Poynton, Cheshire, which boasts the largest collection of engines in Europe.
Anson is run on a shoestring budget with a workforce made up entirely of volunteers, receiving no government subsidies or grants towards running costs.
Anyone who has visited the centre will attest to Geoff's enthusiasm for explaining the appeal and history of engines, with eye-popping demonstrations forming an integral part of many a visit.
Geoff Chalinor with his MBE
Geoff described his trip to the Palace as one of his proudest moments. "It was a perfect day and a memory I'll treasure for the rest of my life," he said. "It was great to share the day with my dad who will be 90 this year; he enjoyed it as much as I did.
"It was a fabulous occasion from start to finish. I was stood next to Jensen Button on the way to collect our awards; he is a really nice guy and said it was more nerve racking than being in his car at the front of the grid."
Situated on the site of the old Anson Colliery, Anson Engine Museum attracts engine enthusiasts from all over the world as well as a growing army of non-enthusiasts.
It won the Visitor's Choice category when residents were asked where they would take a visitor to the Macclesfield area, and was highly commended in last year's National Museums and Galleries Awards.