Trustee & Engineering Liaison Principal
My mother reckons I was born with an interest in steam engines. My grandparents lived close to the Doncaster-Leeds railway line and from the end of their garden I could see steam trains passing every few minutes and apparently from the age of about 4 I used to run and watch them whenever I heard one.
My interest really developed in my first year at Secondary school when one of my classmates showed me an Ian Allan Combined volume. From then on I was hooked and regularly used to go and watch Black Fives and 8Fs shunting the coal yard in Keighley (for anyone who knows Keighley this is where Sainsbury’s supermarket is now). A gang of us from school then started venturing further afield with trainspotting trips to York, Doncaster & Crewe amongst a variety of places. I was also fortunate that the KWVR was on my doorstep and I am still a member.
I first saw the Duke on a visit to Crewe in 1967 when parts had started to be stripped from it. My interest really started a couple of years ago when I was looking for a retirement project.
I worked in IT for 43 years, the last 33 years were with Fujitsu for whom I performed a number of roles but spent the last 16 years as a Project Manager.
I bring to the Trust a number of attributes gained through my business career including hard-work, organisational, planning and communication skills, people management and financial management.
I have been a Trust Member for approx. 5 years. My role is to liaise with Tyseley Locomotive Works (TLW) who are overhauling the Duke, this includes: holding meetings with them to monitor progress and ensure they have everything they need from The Trust; arranging working days for the support crew members of The Trust; determining priorities for the support crew that feed into TLW’s work schedule.
The Duke is unique – it was the only Class 8 locomotive built by British Railways. When it had been stripped in the late 1960s and the hulk sent to Barry scrapyard nobody thought it would ever steam again but a group of extremely dedicated people realised the Impossible Dream and restored it to the main line.
There is now a shortage of class 8 locomotives available for main line work – The Duke will be a welcome addition back to the ranks when the overhaul is completed.
Updated February 2021