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Our Team

Meet our Team

Our team represents a diverse and broad range of relevant railway heritage experience and skills. Learn more about each individual here.

A former Colonel in the British Army, Steve has been a lifelong railway enthusiast, and is involved in a significant number of heritage railway projects both on a professional and voluntary basis. His Army career saw him serve in a wide variety of countries, many on operations. He rose to become the Commanding Officer of his Regiment.

He enjoyed two tours in the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence in London engaged at the military/political strategic level, and his final military appointment was as Chief of Staff of a Division with responsibility for military planning across 45% of the UK land mass.

It was whilst on secondment to the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces that he exercised his personal initiative to create the Country’s National Railway Museum, in close cooperation with His Excellency President Kabbah, which continues to thrive today and with which he remains closely associated as President of the British Charity, Friends of the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum.

On retirement from the Army he subsequently served as Director of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester – site of the world’s oldest surviving railway terminus (circa 1830) – then as Director of the National Railway Museum in York, during which time he devised, negotiated and implemented the repatriation of two 160 ton steam locomotives from North America to take part in an Award-winning exhibition marking the 75th anniversary of Mallard achieving the World record for steam traction of 126 mph.

Steve is the Chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, builders and operators of brand-new main line steam locomotives. He is foremost a charismatic and natural leader, organiser, and communicator with experience on TV and radio, notably appearing in the ‘Caravan Train’ episode of Top Gear alongside Helen Ashby! Steve looks forward to positive and constructive engagement with international clients.


Helen graduated in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) with Economics from Bradford University in 1981 and completed the Museums Association Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies in 1989. She joined the National Railway Museum in July 1982 as a junior curator rising through the ranks to Head of Knowledge & Collections in 2003, managing all collections activities at the museum, with a team divided between collections management and collections access, during which time she managed the collections and curatorial aspects of the development of Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon, and Search Engine, the NRM’s archive, library and research facility.

Between 2000 and 2001 she spent a brief period away from the NRM, on secondment to the Collections Trust to work with the Standards Team on the development of SPECTRUM Knowledge, the UK Standard for Collections Information Management. During that period, she also published the Railway Object Names Thesaurus in association with colleagues across the railway heritage sector.

Helen is professional mentor to the Bahamas Locomotive Society, assisting with their submissions to the Arts Council England relating to Museums Accreditation. She is Chair of the British charity Friends of The Sierra Leone National Railway Museum, and a trustee of both the Friends of the National Railway Museum York and the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway Preservation Co Ltd.

During her time at the National Railway Museum she was de facto Steve Davies’s deputy, thus cementing a powerful working bond which will be of significant value to our clients.


Colin enjoys an international reputation as a railway historian with a particular expertise in heritage and museums.

From 1995 until 2014 he headed the Institute of Railway Studies & Transport History, the National Railway Museum’s unique partnership with the University of York. The author or editor of six books, including Making Histories in Transport Museums (Leicester University Press, 2001), co-written with Andrew Scott CBE when he headed the National Railway Museum, Colin brings his extensive knowledge of global railways to open up the past to a wide range of audiences.

Colin’s main research interests are in the history of transport and mobility, the history of technology (particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries), and the public histories of both of these fields. Colin was until 2013 a Vice President of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M).

Colin is a presenter of choice for Television and Film companies covering the subject and is frequently to be seen on TV as a subject matter expert on a variety of railway-related documentaries and programmes. Colin strongly believes that heritage and history have powerful roles to play in shaping our understanding of the railways’ future.


Richard Gibbon is one of the most accomplished and experienced railway and mechanical engineers in the United Kingdom, with a strong focus on heritage equipment. Formerly the Head of Engineering at the National Railway Museum in York, he has been intimately involved in the restoration and operation of a number of important steam and diesel locomotives. His engineering career included appointments with Ferodo, Blue Funnel Line and Associated Electrical Industries (AEI).

He is heavily involved in establishing engineering training regimes, notably amongst junior apprentices, and he created a syllabus for training young boilersmiths. He enjoys international standing and has appeared on many TV programmes as an expert consultant, most notably on Channel 4’s “Scrapheap Challenge”, BBC2’s “What the Industrial Revolution did for Us” with Andrew Cruickshank, and BBC2 Timewatch’s recreation of the Rainhill trials “Rocket and its Rivals”. He also featured with Richard Hammond (of Top Gear fame) as a steam expert on the programme “Engineering Connections”. Richard has experience of overseas railway heritage operations and travelled to Ecuador with Steve Davies to provide advice to the Government on the restoration of their fleet of steam locomotives.

He has authored twelve publications and papers. Amongst the numerous accolades bestowed on him in recognition of his considerable achievements are the Institute of Mechanical Engineers 150th Anniversary Gold Medal (in 1997), the Heritage Railway Association’s Plaque for Outstanding Achievement (in 2003), and appointment to be the Honorary Chief Mechanical Engineer to the Friends of the National Railway Museum in 2006.

Richard will make a powerful contribution to the work we undertake in support of our clients.


Stephen comes from a long line of working railwaymen. His father and grandfather worked voluntarily for the UK’s National Railway Museum (NRM) – and Stephen has carried this forward with the donation and loan of artefacts to the NRM.

From an early age he was inspired by the glamour of rail travel and recalls genuine Pullman service. This memory prompted the purchase of a derelict Victorian railway carriage in 1989 which, following its restoration, won a prestigious UK National award. With a background in timber technology and marketing Stephen was able to restore carriages to a high standard and market them so that they could make sufficient income to cover ongoing maintenance. He was passionate about sharing these and other skills and established the annual carriage restorers' convention in 1999.

Stephen’s ten pre-1914 carriages have won several awards, have featured on TV, stage and film, and are used on heritage railways to encourage a wider appreciation of vintage railway travel. Stephen has also restored a unique standard gauge locomotive, rescued and headed the £750,000 UK heritage Lottery Fund-supported North Eastern Railway pioneering 1903 petrol electric ‘Autocar’ and auto coach, (grandfather of most of today’s multiple unit trains) and bought a station on a Welsh heritage railway.

The station is now promoted for holiday accommodation and the platform section returned to railway use. Stephen is often invited to present his work via lectures within the UK, Europe and China, encouraging co-operation between individuals, groups and State organisations to give optimum results.

He was appointed council member of the Transport Trust in 2014 and is a firm believer in mutual co-operation and friendship to achieve ambitious objectives.


Isatu Smith is a Sierra Leonean heritage professional with over twenty-five years’ experience of working in the culture and heritage sector of her native Sierra Leone. She is the Managing Director of the West African Heritage Consultancy, the premier heritage consultancy in Sierra Leone which has implemented heritage projects for the Commonwealth Heritage Forum, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Prince Claus Fund, Google Arts and Culture, etc.

She was Consultant Project Manager for the World Monuments Fund-implemented Bunce Island Preservation Project and is the Local Coordinator for the World Monument Fund and the Local Project Coordinator for the Old Fourah Bay College Project. Before this she was Chairperson of the Monuments and Relics Commission (including oversight of Sierra Leone’s Railway Museum), the national heritage agency, from 2014 to July 2019; and Deputy Coordinator of the Bunce Island Coalition’s Bunce Island Project from 2011 to 2014.

Isatu is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum and advises on several initiatives and strategic matters. Ms. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree with Honors in Geography from Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone, and a master’s degree with Merit in International Heritage Management from the University of Birmingham UK.

Ms. Smith is passionate about preserving cultural heritage in her native Sierra Leone where matters of heritage and culture are often neglected, under-funded and not brought into the discourse of national development. She is interested in exploring the shared cultural heritage of West Africa and is a Trustee of the West Africa Shared Cultural Heritage Trust. Isatu is also interested in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and with issues related to the wider diaspora that the trade created. She was an International Advisory Board Member of the International African American Museum, Charleston, South Carolina, US.


Stathis has over 20 years of experience in the heritage management of transport and industrial collections. He has worked for National and Regional Museums, including the National Railway Museum in York where he managed the Conservation Department for the better part of a decade. In 2007, following the completion of his MA in Historical Archaeology from the University of Bristol, Stathis joined the Science Museum in London as Metals and Engineering conservator.

Between 2008-2015, Stathis worked as a Conservation Manager at the National Railway Museum in York. During that time, he provided his conservation input for a variety of projects including gallery redevelopments, new exhibitions, object moves, volunteer engagement and daily collection care activities.

In 2017 Stathis joined the IRHC team to author the Guidelines for the Care of Larger and Working Historic Objects, a project commissioned by the Association of British Transport and Engineering Museums and funded by the Arts Council. Stathis has also worked with the curatorial team of Hull Museums carrying out conservation treatments for objects on display at the Street Life Museum including the extensive cosmetic restoration on the Priestman Model No1 Ditcher, a 1920s Hull-made prototype that has been described as the forerunner of modern excavators.

Between 2020-2023, Stathis was a member of the project team of Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project, a £30m maritime heritage project jointly funded by Hull City Council and the UK's National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF). He was responsible of the welfare of the maritime collections during de-installation and storage and supervised volunteer engagement for this project. Since 2015 has been working primarily as a freelance Heritage and Conservation Consultant. Based in Beverley, East Riding, he has been involved with various projects for organisations such as Leeds industrial Museum, Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh, Beamish Open Air Museum, Sunderland and Durham Council Museums, Middleton Railways, York Museums Trust, British Museum and Leathersellers’ Company in London.


Formerly Head of Marketing and PR for the National Railway Museum for almost a decade, Emma has extensive experience of strategic marketing across railways, museums, heritage and attractions. Whilst at the National Railway Museum she delivered the best annual visitor figures for 3 decades at over 1 million across York and Shildon, re-launched Flying Scotsman achieving huge national and international coverage, rolled out a new brand and won multiple awards for PR campaigns.

Freelance since 2016, Emma now works for a number of clients across the heritage sector including the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, York Minster and the National Trust. She has led marketing for the railway’s £10 million National Lottery Heritage Funded project and also coordinated a rebrand. Her expertise covers marketing, PR, digital, web, branding, audience insight, evaluation and fundraising. Emma regularly delivers training and gives presentations on her areas of expertise and also uses her skills in a voluntary capacity across a number of personal-interest projects.


Anthony is a graduate of the University of Bradford (B.Sc. (Hons) Archaeology), the University of Leeds (M.Res, History) and the Leeds Conservatoire. He has nearly twenty years’ experience in the heritage and museums sector, having worked for the Museum of the Manchester Regiment, Tameside Museums Services, and the Science & Industry Museum, Manchester.

Since 2021 he has been Director of the Foxfield Railway Museum in Staffordshire. He is the author of around twenty books on early railway topics and he believes that railway history should be accessible and more understood by a wide range of audiences in print and online.

He is a member of the Newcomen Society, the Railway & Canal Historical Society and the 1722 Waggonway Project, excavating Scotland's first railway. He is also a Director of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway Trust, a member of the Heritage Railway Association Museum Committee and the organising committee for the International Early Railways Conference series. His main areas of interest and expertise include early railways, notably the Liverpool & Manchester Railway; railway archaeology; railway uniform and clothing; and museum interpretation.