SVR’S ROYAL TRAIN DRIVER BERNARD RAINBOW DIES
The Severn Valley Railway’s former Chief Traction Inspector Bernard Rainbow MBE died on September 1 at the age of 83.
His railway career spanned 60 years, starting in 1949 at Tyseley. He later moved to Saltley, and he retired from there in the early 1990s. However, his involvement in preservation began in 1967, when he was a passenger on one of the railtours to Birkenhead, hauled by No. 7029 Clun Castle, and volunteered to take over from the rostered fireman after the latter was taken ill. Thus, he became one of the first volunteers at the emerging Tyseley steam centre, and was later its depot superintendent.
At the SVR, he rose to the rank of chief locomotive inspector in the late 1990s, and was also vice-president and later president of the Erlestoke Manor Fund. He officiated on the footplate of the Royal Train when HRH The Prince of Wales visited the railway in 2008 and took the regulator of No. 6024 King Edward I.
Bernard was awarded the MBE for his services to preservation in 2009, the same year that he retired from the footplate.
His funeral was held at St Alphege Church in Solihull on September 20, and during its journey there, his coffin was taken to Tyseley Locomotive Works where ‘Castles’ Nos. 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and 7029 were in attendance.
SVR Chief Traction inspector Bernard Rainbow with no. 7802 Bradley Manor at Kidderminster on January 11 2009.