It is tremendous sadness I have to report the death of Rod Birch last Wednesday. In our new life at Wirksworth I realised that when I was working on the 4th floor of South Western House for Sealink, the former South Western Hotel of the London & South Western Railway at Southampton Terminus Station, Rod was working round the corner supplying uniforms to the Merchant Navy visiting the many shipping lines that served Southampton. In the Wirksworth phase for both of us he got involved in the early Santa train events creating masterpieces from a brake van that was berthed at Ravenstor, one of which is shown. Not only that, he and his wife Mary provided inventive entertainment for our early Santa guests. Rod and Mary were a great team on the narrow gauge railway and he had a passion for the restoration of the steam locomotive fleet. The lasting memory is of his unlimited cheerfulness and willingness to help out on any project thrown at him.
Our thoughts go out to Mary and son Graham. He will not be forgotten.