Above, on left, Sir William presenting Friends’ Chair Archie Pitts with the Plaque recognising the waiting rooms restoration.
Sir William McAlpine died on March 4, the day before he last appeared on television with Michael Portillo and the Flying Scotsman. He was 82.
For once the cliche about railways in the blood rings absolutely true. Amongst the many achievements of his family was the construction of the concrete Glenfinnan viaduct in 1989. He was instrumental in rescuing Flying Scotsman from its disastrous trip to the USA in the 1970s.
We Friends have lost a true friend and patron. He was Chair of the Railway Heritage Trust, which financed most of the major changes at our station (benches, running in boards, hut repairs, …). He also came in person to talk about his life in railways to a big local audience in October 2013. [A summary of this talk is available on the Leamington Society website in the Newsletter of November 2013.]
The Friends were invited to visit Fawley Hill, his personal railway collection and wild-life park, which was a great day for us all.
He will be missed across the whole railway industry.