Steam railway revivalists mourn death of popular chairman

Railway revivalists in west London are coming to terms with the shock death of their popular chairman, with one of their members saying her passing had “left an enormous void because she did so much for the railway”.

Sadly missed: Metropolitan Water Board Railway Society chairman Rick Scholefield, who has passed away at the age of 63, on the footplate of her beloved locomotive Darent, a former gasworks 0-4-0ST built by Andrew Barclay in 1903. The society runs the Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway, based on a line that from 1916-46 ran from the Thames to the waterworks at Hampton and Kempton Park. MWBRS

Elizabeth Scholefield, who was known as Rick from one of her middle names, Rickwood, died shortly before Christmas at the age of 63 after a short illness. She was chairman of the Metropolitan Water Board Railway Society, which was founded in 2003 with the long-term aim of restoring two miles of a former 3½-mile 2ft gauge line that transported coal from a wharf on the Thames to waterworks at Hampton and Kempton Park, both of which are still operational today.

Rick was not only one the few women to be chairman of a railway society, but also the proud owner of Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Darent, bought by her three years ago after she had inherited some money and which she subsequently learnt to fire and drive.

The society has built a 300-yard loop near the Kempton waterworks which has its own platform, and it was here that Rick was taught her footplate skills. Called the Hanworth Loop, it is also used for public trains hauled by Darent, which this year start on March 18 and are run as the Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway.

Read more in Issue 225 of Heritage Railway – out now!

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