I heard yesterday from a good friend of the sudden passing of WSR volunteer Martin Southwood - a man full of enthusiasm for the Railway and a man always willing to step in to help.
In a message to staff, Richard Jones (Head of Operating), says:
It is with great regret, and tremendous sadness, that - having fielded a telephone call from Gill, his wife, this morning - I write to advise you that Martin Southwood has passed away very suddenly, having suffered a heart attack from which he never recovered.
Martin's last turn of duty on the WSR as a volunteer was as recently as Wednesday in Minehead Box.
Martin was a regular and stalwart Signalman in almost all our signalboxes for many years and was a valuable, committed and hard-working member of the Operations team. His passing is a very sad loss, both to the Ops Dept and to the wider railway as a whole.
Our thoughts and sympathies are very much with Gill and the family at this sad time.
RIP Martin - it was a joy to know you, and work with you.
If I may add a few words. Martin was also a keen photographer and kindly ensured a steady supply of topical images of the WSR for this website. Above all, Martin was a very good friend and it was always a pleasure to be in his company. My thoughts are very much with Gill and the family.
We now understand Martin's funeral will be held at St George's Church, Bicknoller on Friday 9 November at 2pm. Please wear colourful comfortable clothing. No flowers please, donations if desired to St George's Church (cheques made payable to Quantock Towers Benefice) and the West Somerset Railway c/o Hedley Price Funeral Directors, Mart Road, Minehead TA24 5BJ. Tel 01643 703111.
Updated 28 October 2018 (original posted 19 October 2018)
Details kindly provided by local friends and the WSR Plc