1933 – 8th March 2019
I was saddened by the news of the passing of Ron Gardner, an Army, BR and SVR Driver as well as former Chairman of the SVRA. Ron was always a stalwart of the SVR and although an LMS man (49 years at Saltley) was very encouraging of our early efforts to preserve 2857. When we were trying to secure an SVRA raffle in 1974 for 2857, which we urgently needed to pay off debts (see elsewhere in this issue), Ron backed us at the SVRA at a time when not everyone on the railway was supportive of 2857. I remember David James and I meeting him at his house and subsequently attending an SVRA Committee Meeting at the Severn Arms Hotel in Bridgnorth to plead our case. The rest, as they say, is history. Ron was also a significant factor in the preservation of 43106, 80079 and 75069.
He was a superb driver and I remember one Easter Bank Holiday Monday when I was on duty in Bridgnorth Signal Box. An engine had failed and the two service trains were joined together to form a 10 coach train. I had to hold him at the outer home because of the usual unnecessary shunting taking place. When he called the box I jokingly suggested there would be time to go back to Eardington and enjoy another run, to which he replied “Is that an instruction?”! A major contributor to the Valley who will be greatly missed.
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