A Lincolnshire man described as “the driving force” behind the restoration of historic trains on the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway has died aged just 59.
Paul Walkinshaw was born in Grimsby on December 9, 1961 and took a keen interest in steam train models from a very young age, due to his father Jack being a founder member of the Grimsby Model Engineering Society.
Paul became involved in the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway when his father tried to get him to crew his boat at the Humber Mouth Yacht Club, which is where he would catch the train at LCLR’s North Sea Lane station.
He became a shareholder and then director of the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway Company Ltd in 1983, while still in his early twenties, and held the role of treasurer at the LCLR Historic Vehicles Trust until his death.
Paul’s obsession with working steam power meant that he travelled the world, and he met his future partner Barbara Reid during his travels to Burma.
His ill health forced him into an early retirement as an engineer and plant manager at Scottish transport and logistics company Christian Salvesen, and he spent the last 22 years of his life focused on his model engineering.
His work with the LCLR saw him own the steam locomotive Effie on the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway, as well as helping to restore the 1903 steam locomotive Jurassic.
The chairman of the LCLR Historic Vehicles Trust, Richard Shepherd, said Paul’s contribution was “huge and invaluable.”
Even after the LCLR closed in 1985, Paul would remain closely involved, sometimes driving hours on end to work on the wagons.
He helped with the reopening process when the railway relocated to Skegness Water Leisure Park in 1995, right up to the return in 2009.
Jurassic will remain as a memorial to Paul’s vision and determination for generations to come.
Paul’s funeral will be held on Tuesday, June 1 at Alford Crematorium, after requesting that his ashes be scattered at the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway.