Tribute to Eastleigh engineman extraordinaire Roy Sloper

By Don Benn

Eastleigh engineman Roy Sloper passed away on December 19 – he was 95 years old.

Driver Roy Sloper on ‘Black Five’ No. 45186 in 1966.

He had a long railway career which started as a cleaner on the Isle of Wight, where he was born. He moved to the mainland soon after the outbreak of the war – being encouraged to make the move given the national situation, and that it offered the opportunity for quicker promotion than would have been possible staying on the island.

Having got to Eastleigh he then remained there and saw the end of steam in 1967, progressing to modern traction and working with Wayne Thompson, now a well known DB Cargo driver, amongst others.

Wayne described him as “an absolutely smashing bloke to work with. He was 95 but you would think he was much younger. Always smiling. A sad loss”.

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