PETER WAYMOUTH GRAY
11th October 1927 - 2nd October 2017 See the Peter W Gray Collection>
To have had four members of the Slovenian Railway Society attend the packed funeral chapel, underlines the less well known side of Peter - his vast knowledge, experience and photographic collection, of railways across the world. Clearly, both travel and photography were in his genes, but Peter's first photographic railway records started in Basra, while on National Service at a time when rows of Stanier 8F's were awaiting post war shipment back to the UK. Prior to that, written notes had been made for several years, sometimes including Devon General and Western National buses, even the odd traction engine!
Post National Service, purchase of a new bicycle led to wider exploration of the photographic opportunities presented by Westcountry railways. Bank Holiday weekends in particular, allowed excursions around Cornwall, to Bridgwater North, Bath, Westbury (via the Kennet & Avon canal towpath, and Weymouth; and even via the old Aust ferry and across South Wales. Eventually mechanization took over in the form of two LE model Velocettes and eventually in his late fifties, a car licence Peter continued to drive to his many, and popular slideshows across the country, until a fall rendered him largely imobile in April 2016.
Percy Gray had started his GWR career at Paddington in 1908, before moving west, and latterly had had a pivotal role in the retention of several local branch lines - until just after his retirement. He was still a young man though, when he met Doris Waymouth, who had started work for the GWR in 1915 at Torquay station. Peter was encouraged from an early age, to take an interest in railway working, despite an early flirtation with motor cars. For all who knew him, Peter was also full of encouragement, patience and support for others - both individually, and a number of heritage rail projects.
A few years before his death we started the process of scanning all of Peters' negative collection, so we thought we would share this with you. We hope to add more caption details as and when we are able to.