Great Western Railway hosted ‘an audience with Dr Paul Stephenson OBE’ on board his very own train to mark the start of Black History Month.

Civil rights pioneer Dr Stephenson was joined by friends and members of GWR’s REACH network (Recognising Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage) for a journey from Bristol Temple Meads to Swindon.

GWR named Intercity Express Train 800036 in tribute to Dr Stephenson during Black History Month last year, celebrating a lifetime spent campaigning for civil rights for the British African-Caribbean community.

Dr Stephenson, 84, was awarded an OBE in 2009 ‘for his services to equal opportunities and to community relations in Bristol’ and in 2017 received a Pride of Britain Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He famously led a boycott of the Bristol Omnibus Company in 1963, protesting its refusal to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors. After a 60-day boycott supported by thousands of Bristolians, the company revoked its colour bar.

A year later he achieved national fame when he refused to leave a public house until he was served, resulting in a magistrates’ court trial which was dismissed.