Chairman of Trustees
Chairman of the Duke Management Committee
Like a lot of boys of my generation my interest started as a train spotter. The school I attended was in Wednesbury in the West Midlands and was close to the GWR mainline and I was therefore hooked on all things GWR. One day in late 1954, I along with other boys from school, spent our usual lunch times beside the tracks. We saw approaching what we all assumed to be a Britannia class loco but in fact it was the Duke, an extremely rare occurrence. I learnt in later years that this must have been its moving run from Crewe to Swindon to undergo trials on their test bed. My love of this unique machine started then and has continued to this day.
My background, having served an engineering apprenticeship, is that of a qualified engineer but over the last 35 years I have been involved in going into Companies with problems. These have ranged from heavy engineering through automotive extruded rubber parts, pressure measurement manufacturing, defence and aerospace, children’s knitwear, bakery capital equipment manufacturing, a pet food manufacturer and now the Duke. The first four as Managing Director and the next three at the request of finance houses, banks and venture capital companies to review the performance of businesses they were concerned about. There were other businesses where my experience was seen to be of some help.
I have been involved with the Duke since August 2007 carrying out various roles in the ensuing years.
In January 2014 I was appointed Chairman of Trustees and in June 2014 Chairman of the Duke Management Committee in order to focus solely on BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust and it’s well being.
My passion for the Duke is as a trained Engineer. I appreciate the ground breaking developments that went into the Duke only to be abandoned by the rush to eliminate steam from BR. I want to help to ensure the long term protection of what was envisaged by Riddles as the ultimate BR express steam locomotive for the enjoyment of future generations.
The continuing support of our members provides the life blood required to sustain the long term future of the Duke. The Partnership agreement which we signed with Vintage Trains in March 2018 also plays a major role in the Duke’s future security.
29 January 2016 (updated February 2021)