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1921 – Feb 2011

Roy James, a long standing member of the Society and of the SVR, sadly passed away at the end of February 2011, just short of his 90th birthday. For over 30 years Roy had been a steadfast supporter of 2857.

Roy was educated at King Edward’s School Birmingham (when it was located in New Street) and, apart from serving in the army during the Second World War, worked in Birmingham throughout his life. He became a senior member of the Planning Department of Birmingham City Council. Roy married Betty, who had been a Wren during the war, and they had two sons, Richard and David. The family lived for many years in Solihull (never far from the railway) Roy commuting daily to Snow Hill. Roy was also a season ticket holder at “the Blues” (Birmingham City Football Club) for many seasons.

David will be well known to many having been a member of the Committee at various times and in a number of roles. In the early years of the Society Roy was very supportive of David’s involvement and did a lot to facilitate it, including providing objective view points on the various tricky issues that the Society faced. Past members of the Committee will have memories of visiting the James’ family home (“Winterbourne”) where a cup of tea would be in the hand almost before the front door had been shut behind you. Roy regularly helped Tom with the Society Sales Stand at Bewdley.

Roy was a railway enthusiast from his earliest years (in the 1930s) and his knowledge of railways was encyclopaedic and insightful. Roy was always willing to share this knowledge in a way that was invariably of great interest. However, Roy had many other interests besides railways and on retirement he and Betty travelled extensively, particularly to North America and to visit friends in Australia.

The Society was well represented at his funeral which included a number of railway elements including the playing of a rousing sound-track of a Hall locomotive in spirited action. In August Roy’s ashes were scattered over the Severn Valley, just north of Victoria Bridge, by his sons Richard and David with the assistance of the firebox of 2857. Roy is greatly missed.

Steve Leonard


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