Tuesday, 16 July 2013

John Dennis RIP

John Dennis 1948-2013

It is with great sadness that Eye has learned of the passing of John Dennis, a railwayman with a rich and varied career spanning nearly 40 years, who died on 8th July aged 65 years, after battling against cancer.

Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, John Dennis was a Geography graduate from the University of London.  He joined British Rail as a graduate trainee in September 1970, joining the same day as other industry stalwarts such as Mike Mitchell and Richard Goldson.

John’s career saw stints with BR Midlands at Stoke on Trent and he went on to become head of Customer Relations for Regional Railways.  He then joined Railfreight Distribution – the BR Board’s international freight business – to prepare for the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

Following privatisation, John joined The Railway Forum as Communications Director working for its highly-respected Director General, Adrian Lyons.  In December 2003, he was tempted away to ATOC as Communications Manager where his deep knowledge of the railway was much appreciated and deployed in the development of initiatives to promote the industry’s success and growth.

Says Edward Funnell, former Director of Communications at ATOC: “John was a wonderful colleague for nearly seven years and a great asset to ATOC where he contributed so much.  He was a real professional as well as a kind and patient colleague.”

John lived in Kemble, near Swindon in Wiltshire.  Eye sends its best wishes and heartfelt condolences to his wife Sue and their three grown-up daughters.

Perhaps the final word should go former colleague and friend Diana Lucas of RSSB, who on his retirement in 2009 said: 

People like John make up the backbone of the industry. He was there to offer a considered judgement and professional eye on proceedings while maintaining a sense of humour. I speak for all when I say we will miss him a great deal."

Rest in Peace John