Project completion overshadowed by tragic news

John Hett & John Burnie
Above: John Hett and John Burnie celebrate the completion of the mechanical restoration of Sc51043 at Butterley with a glass of Irn Bru.

Obituary – John Burnie

Regular attenders at Bo’ness are still shocked and saddened by the news of the sudden death of John Burnie, who combined his role of SRPS Museums Director with that of Swindon DMU Project Manager.

John recognised fully the importance of the Inter-City DMU as part of Scottish railway history and was instrumental in achieving successful applications for Heritage Lottery Fund grant assistance, without which the project would still be nowhere near its current state of completion.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to John because he was also instrumental in persuading the SRPS to allow the DMU to move to Bo’ness and arranging its second National Museum of Scotland grant in 1993. The HLF funding applications and DMU project management involved a great deal of office work in addition to John’s museum duties but he was also willing to help us with hands-on restoration, for example recently working on the power car gangway connections and fabricating a batch of seat leg clamps to replace those which were missing when our fledgling preservation society acquired the unit from British Rail.

The DMU operated a special train from Bo’ness on Thursday 3rd December (pictured below) for a gathering of John’s many friends after the funeral.

Our sincerest condolences and sympathy go out to John’s family, friends and colleagues at this time of sorrow.

John Burnie train