Steam enthusiast John Bryant must be the country’s most dedicated heritage railway volunteer. For the 62-year-old retired university lecturer is a regular fireman on the Bluebell and Kent & East Sussex railways despite the minor obstacle of living 3300 miles away in the Canadian capital Ottawa.
Speaking to Heritage Railway during his latest volunteer turns on the KESR at the beginning of September, John, who was born in Preston but emigrated to Canada with his family at the age of seven, explained how his love of steam developed from a very early age.
“My father, who was an accomplished modeller, had an interest in all things railway. Our house was full of railway books, and as one might expect most were related to the UK. The old Highland Railway was a particular favourite of dad’s, and for a long time we had an HR signal finial at the foot of the stairs.
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