ALAN ATKINSON 1948-2013 (LUPTS member 1966-1971)

Photo: Chris Poole

Alan Atkinson was an active participant in LUPTS activities throughout his student days and beyond. After a short illness, he died on 31 August 2013 at the age of 65. He was Journal Editor in his first year and was also instrumental in the production of to LUPTS publications on industrial locomotives in the late 1960s, as well as editing the journal on several more occasions. He was Secretary in his second year, progressing to Chairman in his final year. With the departure from the University of Liverpool of the original LUPTS President (Allan Patmore) in 1973, Alan took over in the role and supported the Society in this position until he himself left the area in 1985. Alan and his wife Jean continued to attend many LUPTS events thereafter, and were permanent fixtures in the lower saloon of almost every LUPTS bus tour.

Alan gave many talks to LUPTS. The database records 22 presentations but there were certainly more during the period for which minute books have been lost. His great interest was for his home town of Millom and the Furness Railway and his acclaimed book Millom: a Cumberland iron town and its railways (Cumbrian Railways Association, 2012) was published less than a year before he died. He also gave several talks on railway architecture and was a particular aficionado of the signal or gable end finial. In retirement, he regularly worked as a Travelling Ticket Inspector on the Severn Valley Railway, and was a member of Online Transport Archive, spreading the word about the Archive to groups in the Midlands, and providing photographs for several OTA books. He was also a leading light in the Rowley Regis Railway Society and the Hagley Historical and Field Society.

A full obituary is available for download here. The obituary which appeared in the Severn Valley Railway magazine is available here.

   KEVIN DONNELLY c1938-c2006 (LUPTS member 1958/1959)

Kevin Donnelly played a vital role at the birth of LUPTS. It was his conversation with John Ryan, overheard by Martin Jenkins and Chris Bennett, on 6 November 1958, which led directly to the decision to form the Society. Kevin was born in Wirral in about 1938 and lived with his parents in Birkenhead. At University, he worked on Guild Gazette and attended all the early LUPTS meetings, being elected the first Society treasurer.

He studied Electrical Engineering from about 1956 onwards, but did not finish his course and left the University in 1959, going straight into National Service. At one time he worked in the booking office at Upton station and John Ryan remembers being invited to have a look behind the scenes there, where they found hordes of old tickets dating back to the opening of the line in 1896. Kevin left Merseyside to work for the Railway Signal Company in Chippenham and later GEC-General Signal at Borehamwood.

He attended the LUPTS reunion events in 1998 (Crich) and 2002 (Birkenhead) and is featured on the right of the re-enactment line up with John, Martin, Chris and Neil Cossons in the Old Union on the occasion of the latter event (click here). Efforts to track him down for the 2010 event at Crich revealed the fact that he had died some years earlier (one report has been received of 2 January 2006) but news had not reached anyone connected to LUPTS at the time. A memorial service is reported to have been held at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, which he used to attend regularly on visits from his home in Elstree.

[Elaboration and/or correction of the above obituary would be appreciated. Please contact the Webmaster.]

Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive

   PHIL FANNING c1937-c2000 (LUPTS member 1958-1959)

A person standing in front of a building

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Phil on a LUPTS visit to Speke Airport on 18 June 1959. Note the Cambrian Airways Viscount in the background. Photo: Anthony Henry

Philip James Fanning was born and educated in Liverpool, with his secondary schooling being at St Francis Xavier’s College. He started at the University in October 1955 in the Department of Electric Power Engineering and graduated with a BEng degree in 1959.


He was a founder member of LUPTS in 1958 and became an active member of the society during what was his final student year. His principal interest in LUPTS was railways and he participated in many of the site visits made by the society in the early summer of 1959.


He married Ann shortly after graduation and subsequently spent time working in Hong Kong.


Thanks to LUPTS member Anthony Henry, who knew Phil personally, for updating the information originally posted here. [Anthony himself died in 2023, qv.]

   JOHN FORRESTER 1955-2013 (LUPTS member 1973-1976)

Photo: Dave Ventry

John Forrester died on 26 January 2013 at the age of 57 after a short illness. He had joined LUPTS in 1973 and, during his student years, was Journal Editor, Photo Comp Secretary and Chairman for the 1975/1976 academic year. During his time as Chairman, and ably assisted by Dave Ventry (Secretary) and Jonathan Cadwallader (Treasurer), LUPTS ran the fourth and final one of its railtours – The Mancunian, a highly acclaimed (albeit loss-making) dmu tour of Manchester branch lines.

He spent his entire working career with Standard Telephones and Cables (and its successors) until taking early retirement in 2005. From 1992 until 2012 he was Chairman of the Electric Railway Society. Former LUPTS President Jonathan Cadwallader remembers John for “… his trademark sideburns; the dry and sometimes cutting, though never malicious, wit; the occasional bout of absent mindedness; the dedication to the societies in which he was involved; his prodigious knowledge of railways, especially electric ones and above all, his companionship.”

A longer obituary appears here.

   ALASDAIR GILLIES 1954-2014 (LUPTS member 1972-1975)

Photo: courtesy Philippa Gillies

Al Gillies served as LUPTS Treasurer in 1973/1974 and was Chairman the year after. Born in East London (on the outer reaches of the Central Line) he came to Liverpool to study law. After graduation he became an insolvency lawyer ultimately became managing partner of a specialist insurance firm. He was at one time the Company Secretary of the Watercress Line. After taking early retirement he supported his wife of many years, Philippa, when she established a television facilities company in Soho. He died in April 2014 just short of his 60th birthday.

Contemporary Andrew Wither writes: “He had an extensive interest in Railways, particularly the North American railroads, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the minutiae of modern US diesel power. His ‘den’ was decorated with some delightful artwork of ‘Chessie’ the cat who featured in C&O publicity from the Streamline era. Of late his interest in railways had been largely passive, but he spent some years with the Mid Hants Railway Company where he had a challenging, if ultimately successful time, negotiating a way through some difficult Company/ Society internecine rivalry. An avuncular larger-than-life character he had not been in the best of health for some months, but his death in April still came as a shock to us all. Al becomes the latest in a melancholy list of LUPTS stalwarts we have recently lost before their time.”

Thanks to Philippa Gillies for providing an update to some of the details initially posted.

   DAVID HALSALL 1946-2013 (LUPTS member 1964-1968)

David Halsall served as LUPTS chairman for the 1966/1967 academic year. Originally from Ormskirk and born on 5 October 1946, he studied Geography and graduated in 1968. He later undertook a PhD which he obtained in 1976 for a thesis entitled The Chester and Holyhead Railway and its branches: a geographical perspective. This was a subject he returned to on many occasions, giving talks to LUPTS and other societies. The database of meetings lists him on four occasions between 1965 and 1981, when he spoke on ‘Railway celebrations’.

For many years, he was Specialist in Transport Geography at Edge Hill College of Further Education (now University), from which he retired in May 2000. Amongst his publications are Nineteenth-century rail traffic between Mold and Denbigh (Gee and Sons, 1978), Transport for recreation (editor, 1982) and many scholarly articles. He was also newsletter editor for the Transport Geography Research Group until 1998. In retirement, he and his wife moved to the Trowbridge area. He died on 22 August 2013 after a long illness.

David Halsall alongside Liverpool City Transport A40, which had taken the LUPTS party to Manchester Hyde Road depot on the occasion of the trolleybus tour on 12 June 1966. Photo: Alan Murray-Rust


Contemporary Ian Holt remembers him as someone “who took an active interest in LUPTS, with a particular interest in railways, from the very start of his degree course. He attended meetings very regularly and was always supportive of the society’s activities and trips. I was Chairman in 1965/66 and he followed me in that position the next academic year, when one of the very first events his committee picked up from the previous year’s plans was the memorable “Wirral and Mersey” railtour of 22/10/1966. David is a sad loss.”

   ANTHONY HENRY 1937-2023 (LUPTS member 1958/1959)

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Tony Henry was in his final year when LUPTS was formed, but had already been active in recording the final years of the trams in his native Liverpool.

He attended the reunion event in October 2002 and was also at the gathering at Crich on 4 September 2010 (click here for report) where he was one of the group photographed aboard 869 for Crich’s official report (click here for picture).

He died in December 2023 at the age of 86.

More details when available.

Right: Tony poses in front of Liverpool Bogie Streamliner 186 on 4 November 1956, when the last survivors were all moved to Kirkby for scrapping after the abandonment of the 19 and 44 sets of routes the previous day. Photo: Anthony Henry collection

   PHIL JOHNSON 1955-1983 (LUPTS member 1974-1977)


Phil Johnson was LUPTS secretary during the 1976/1977 academic year. He was born in Gateshead on 3 September 1955 and started at the University in 1974, studying Civil Engineering. Described by Tom Kane as having a “very dry Geordie wit”, he maintained his links with the area of his birth. The lounge of his parents’ lounge in Low Fell was used for accommodation for the LUPTS minibus trip to the north east (15/16 June 1977).

He worked for Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners in Reading after graduation. He was on an assignment to Botswana and returned to the UK on leave, during which time he suffered an extremely rare adverse reaction to a yellow fever vaccine booster, and died in hospital in Slough on 18 January 1983. John Forrester recalls the decorated haversack in which he carried all his gricing ephemera around and his splendid writing style, evidenced by an article in a LUPTS Journal entitled “The Gricing Gourmet”. Tom Kane remembers his “unique ability to take outstanding photos, without using light metering, but by consulting a well-thumbed handwritten exposure guide and visual assessment.”

Left: Phil at the Great Central Railway on 15 May 1976. Photo: Jonathan Cadwallader

   JEROME McWATT 1938-1978 (LUPTS member 1958-1961)

[Jerome McWatt died on 1 March 1978. This is an extract from an obituary by Martin Jenkins which appeared in Liverpool Corporation Tramways 1937-1957 (part 2), published by the MTPS in 1980, the obituary having previously appeared in the MTPS Newsletter.]

As a founder member of the Liverpool University Public Transport Society, Jerome was involved in the initial moves to which ultimately led to the preservation of 869. As a founder of the Wallasey Tramcar Preservation Group, he helped to coordinate the plans for the projected museum at New Brighton. He worked tirelessly for both Groups believing that the museum could succeed if all the Merseyside enthusiasts worked together.

Over the years, Jerome supplied the MTPS and WTPG with thousands of photographs and some of his superb prints from old plate-glass negatives appear in the Horne/Maund ‘Liverpool Transport’ book.

Jerome had many other interests including a love of classical music and opera. He enjoyed exploring other tramways both at home and abroad but above all he was a true family man. The McWatt household was always a happy one at which everyone would receive the warmest possible welcome.

Photo: E J McWatt Collection/
Online Transport Archive

   MARTIN LLEWELLYN c1942-1995 (LUPTS member c1961/1962)

Martin Llewellyn was LUPTS secretary for the 1961/1962 academic year. We do not currently have any further information, but we were advised that he had died in May 1995 when were passing on news of Geoff Smith’s death (see below). More information is being sought.

   CHRIS MOYES 1949-2006 (LUPTS member 1967-1970)

Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive

Former LUPTS member Chris Moyes died on 12 September 2006. Chris was a Civil Engineering student in the late 1960s and an active LUPTS member, serving for a time as its Secretary, and working during his summer holidays for Crosville as a conductor. He subsequently obtained an MSc from Salford University, before being appointed a management trainee with National Bus Company. 

Within NBC, he worked for Maidstone and District, Yorkshire Traction and Lincolnshire Road Car, before being appointed to the post of commercial manager for Northern General in 1983. That subsequently led to a management buyout and the company grew into the Stock Market-listed Go-Ahead Group that we know today. Chris became Chief Executive of the Group in January 2005.

In addition, Chris was Chair of the Council of Durham University and Chairman of GoSkills, the Sector Skills council for the bus industry, and also an active bus preservationist, owning four vehicles of his own, ranging from a 1931 Bedford WLB to a Routemaster. He was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours in 2006 and he had been a Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham since June 2005.

An obituary to Chris appeared in The Times on 18 September 2006 (click here) and the Daily Telegraph on 14 September 2006 (click here), the latter making specific reference to Chris’s involvement with LUPTS.

   ALLAN PATMORE 1931-2018 (LUPTS President 1958-1973)

Allan Patmore, as a young lecturer in the Geography Department at the University, was appointed President of LUPTS at its formation. He continued in that role until he obtained a position at Hull University, eventually becoming a Professor. He has the distinction of being the first person to give a talk at LUPTS – meeting no 2 on 9 December 1958. (Meeting no 1 was the initial meeting on 25 November 1958 to discuss the formation and scope of the society.) His talk was entitled ‘The Enthusiast’ and featured what he felt to be three essential qualities for transport enthusiasm (repeated in a later LUPTS journal):

-          avoid intolerance by recognising that the other fellow’s enthusiasm is just as valid as one’s own

-          avoid introspection by seeking to widen one’s own areas of interest and,

-          avoid inaction by making positive contributions to the hobby.

These became defining features of LUPTS, with many members becoming interested in new aspects of transport, and making active contributions through the preservation movement and publications.


Allan – Professor J Allan Patmore, CBE, BLitt, MA, HonDLitt to give him his full designation – contributed the foreword to the LUPTS history booklet (link here) published in 1998 and also sent his wishes to the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2008, although he was too ill to make the journey across from Humberside. He was the author of many academic books and papers, and a former Vice Chairman of the Sports Council, for which he was awarded his CBE in 1993. He died on 21 January 2018 at the age of 87.

Allan interviewed prospective Geography student Neil Cossons for a place at the University in 1958. One of the tasks required Neil to comment on the Glasgow suburb of Helensburgh from an OS map. “I noted the grid pattern of the streets … which grew up as a result of the arrival of the railway. … I then said the line became part of the North British and then the LNER. From that moment on we got on very well together! Allan supervised my undergraduate dissertation and later my MA thesis, both on railway geography.” Neil attended Allan’s funeral and remembers Allan as having “…a strong religious conviction - he was a Methodist lay preacher - and a moral compass that underscored all that he did. For us, we will remember his interest in and knowledge of railways in all their aspects but, in particular, his friendship and support, not least for LUPTS in its formative years.”

   STEVE SANDERSON 1952-2004 (LUPTS member 1970-1973)

Steve Sanderson died on 4 July 2004 at the age of 52. He joined LUPTS in 1970, becoming Treasurer for the 1971/1972 academic year, followed by a stint as Chairman in the year he graduated. He joined National Bus Company after leaving university and worked his way up to senior management levels within the organisation. After privatisation he worked for Traction Group (based on the Yorkshire Traction subsidiary) and was Commercial Director of Lincolnshire Road Car at the time of his death.

   GEOFF SMITH 1943-2021 (LUPTS member 1961-1964)

Geoff served as LUPTS secretary 1962/1963 and chairman was chairman 1963/1964. After graduation, he went to work in the steel industry in South Wales where he remained, even after retirement in 2000. He was subsequently a regular volunteer on the Seaton Tramway. He died in July 2021 after a short illness.

He came to just about all the LUPTS big reunion events, including the 2002 event in Birkenhead and Liverpool, the 50th anniversary in 2008 (when the picture on the right was taken), the 2010 celebration of the Glasgow tram tour, and most recently the 2018 60th anniversary event.

He was an active contributor to Online Transport Archive in recent years, undertaking important scanning and cataloguing work. He helped a lot with the preparation of fundraising volume Transport Recalled: North and Mid-Wales, which includes a number of his own pictures, and the book will carry an appropriate dedication when published in 2022.

Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive

   MICK UDEN c1945-c1974 (LUPTS member 1963-1966)

Mick alongside his Ford Pop in Pokesdown, near Christchurch, on the occasion of a trip to see the Bournemouth trolleybuses. Photo: Alan Murray-Rust

Mick Uden started at the University in 1963, reading Chemistry. At the time he was living in Maidstone but the family later moved to Bromley. He was an active member in LUPTS, with a number of trips taking place in his trusty ‘Sit up and beg’ Ford Popular. Particularly memorable was a Sunday trip to the embryonic Keighley and Worth Valley at Haworth in about 1965. Ian Holt recalls travelling with Mick and a couple of others in the car, which did not take kindly to the A6033 Hebden Bridge-Oxenhope road over Cock Hill! He was LUPTS secretary in his final year, 1965/1966. After graduating, he joined British Railways on their management training scheme. This took him to a number of short term appointments, including Fareham. By 1972, he was Assistant Area Manager at Coventry. It was during this posting that he purchased Wallasey Leyland PD2 106 (CHF565) for preservation and it was stored for some time on railway property. He died suddenly in 1974 (or 1975?) from a long-standing dormant brain condition.

[Thanks to Alan Murray-Rust and Ian Holt for help with this obituary. Please contact the Webmaster if you have anything which could clarify or correct any of the information given.]

   ROLAND WILLIAMS 1962-2011 (LUPTS member 1981-1984)

Roly Williams served as Secretary and Chairman of LUPTS during his time at the University. During his student days he is probably best remembered for buying – along with his father Bob and fellow LUPTS member Alan Roberts – ex-Crosville Bristol SC SSG668 (241SFM), following a chance conversation in the union bar one night. The vehicle was restored in time for it to be used on a trip to Chester City Transport (29 February 1984) and on other subsequent occasions.

After graduation Roly went to work for Eastern Scottish and then Eastern Counties, before returning to Scotland where he established The Bus Doctors business restoring and maintaining historic buses. He died on 7 March 2011 at the age of 48 after a long illness. Former LUPTS President Jonathan Cadwallader remembers him as “a great friend to all that knew him, a memorable character full of life whose enthusiasm for things mechanical spilled over to others.”

A longer obituary appears here. The obituary which appeared in the May 2011 edition of Buses can be downloaded from here.

Photo: Charles Roberts/
Online Transport Archive


Over the years, LUPTS had many supporters who, although they had never formally been members, made significant contributions to the Society and participated in many events. A few of them are remembered here.


David Clark (d 2009): Former General Manager of Chester City Transport. Through David, several bus tour buses were hired, including two which were brand new. Gave many talks at LUPTS over the years. Was the father of 1987/1988 LUPTS Chairman Will Clark.

Right: David Clark photographs his company’s brand new Olympian (10: F210JMB), which had just sustained a small amount of accident damage on entering the car park of the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley. Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive


Allan Clayton (1913-1999): Participated in the LUPTS tram tour in 1960, having inadvertently spent the previous night in a brothel when the coach dropped him off in an unfamiliar part of town. Returned to LUPTS to give occasional talks.

Ted Gahan (1926-2016): Merseyside-based transport enthusiast who drove the Ribble coach to Glasgow and back in 1960 on the occasion of the LUPTS tram tour. Was the brother of Jack Gahan (d 2009) who spoke at LUPTS meetings on a number of occasions.



Ted at the wheel of Ribble Tiger Cub 964 (JRN30) as it heads for Glasgow with a LUPTS party aboard on 20 February 1960, the day before the tram tour. (The story of the tram tour is described here.) Photo: Frank Oldfield/Online Transport Archive

Ted subsequently became a teacher and bought West Yorkshire Bedford OB CP1 (FWW596) to take children on trips. On 15 March 1970, he took the LUPTS party from Liverpool to Bradford in order to participate in a trolleybus tour. Photo: Alan Murray-Rust/Online Transport Archive


Alf Jacob: Gave many shows of his tram films at LUPTS meetings over the years.


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Last updated: 17 December 2023

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