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In Memory of Tony Peart

As many regular visitors to our website will remember, Tony (‘Percy’) Peart was not only an English Master, but also the 'Master in Charge' of the KBGS Railway Society between September 1958 and July 1962.

Two memories of Tony have already been posted on our website; the first by Ian Fearnside (October 2008):

Re Tony Peart
I remember Tony well because he used to make great use of 'my' metalwork room. If he ever had cause to keep a pupil in for bad behaviour he used to bring them to the metalwork room, give them a steam whistle from some locomotive and some emery cloth and get them to clean them up. He had boys queuing to be kept in!
At Kirkcudbright he used to disappear every morning and return in time for the evening meal laden with pickings from closed railway stations. I remember sheaves of documents and at least one station clock.

and the second by Bryan Holden

I reminded him of an incident (which he, too, recalled) when we were all piled into the coach after a shed visit, but PP was nowhere to be seen...seconds later he came charging round the corner with a large 'souvenir' under his arm (a lamp or something), being hotly pursued by a BR official....despite attempts to make a quick getaway I seem to recall PP had to hand his trophy back!

Additionally, there are a couple of images posted by Roger Bancroft.

Back to the main reason for this ‘Post’:

I have recently discovered the ‘David Hey’s Collection’ website, which David Hey introduces as a website:

‘..full of memories from a gentler, more innocent age when the post-war baby-boom was at its height and kids climbed trees, played hopscotch in the street and rode bikes without brakes, all of which is a far cry from today's mamby-pamby society. Life back then was something of a 'Boy's Own' adventure, if you like...but how time flies! Fast-forward 50-odd years and my doddering generation is now well past its prime, yet the ageing process does have its advantages - it gives us a chance to draw on feelings that we were unable to express as small boys. That's why this website is pitched in a light-hearted fashion. After all, the hobby cuts no ice in today's hard-nosed society and this is especially the case at the parties I'm invited, where the people I meet are constantly looking over my shoulder in case someone more interesting enters the room.’

and discovered, in Chapter 7, a screenshot of Portillo in the tower of Doncaster Grammar School’s Railway Museum with, what appears to be Tony’s nameplate from ‘Windward Islands’ (the Jubilee scrapped after the Harrow Disaster in 1952) scarcely in shot. There is however, despite (as far as I understand) the majority of artefacts on display being donated by Tony, little mention of the man himself in relation to his interest in railways.

A couple of weeks ago, I was back in Keighley for the funeral of John (Jake) Davies and called-in to see Kevin Howley, who agreed with me that something should be done to rectify the matter as, in Kevin’s words;

'Tony Peart provided some formative experiences for many KBGS students so I think it is only right that he should be commemorated.'

Without people like Tony who, I am certain, gave us all the ‘acquisitive gene’, I wonder where museums would be today? Pieces of railway cast iron and paper, which form an integral part of our social and economic history, would have been lost for ever.

So, with this new ‘Post’ and despite references already having been made to him on a random basis elsewhere, can I ask that everyone who came into contact with Tony whilst at KBGS to post their memories of him, and in particular to those of his involvement with the railway Society, so that he will also be remembered, not only on this website but on David Hey’s also, for his enthusiasm and knowledge of railways and transport as well as his physical contributions to museums long after we have all departed to that great scrapyard in the sky?

In connection with this post, I assume that all responses and comments and images (which I hope you will add to the 'Trainspotting Page of this website)related to this 'post' can be used (if required) by David Hey on his website.

Will you please confirm that this is the case when you respond.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959 - 1966

Current location (optional) Shoreham-by-Sea

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

I submitted this to Chris Firth at the time of Percys passing and I think itwas posted in Family Notices section


An obituary of Tony Peart, a former English master who ran the Railway Society. Its taken from the website of the Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum. He was at KBGS from I think 58-62, certainly I had him for 3 years, and he was my form master in the first year. He was always known as 'Percy'. he passed away August or Sept 2006, the dreaded prostate cancer. (from Brian Moate.)
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It is with deep sorrow that we report the death of Tony Peart who died on Friday 29th September in Doncaster Royal Infirmary after a long fight against cancer.

Mr Peart, or Tony to all who know him, was an influential character within the bus and rail preservation movements for many years. As far back as the 1950’s, when Tony was leading the Doncaster Grammar School Model Railway Society, he was supporting the bus preservation scene too. Indeed, he was also a staunch supporter of Doncaster’s trolleybus network, which sadly came to an end in 1963, and made many aware of the beauties and benefits of the trolleybus. There are still members at our museum today whose interest in trolleybuses Tony sparked in those early days.

Tony was a prominent figure in the Doncaster bus enthusiast circle and at a time when railway sheds were starting to close and railway enthusiasts were becoming frustrated, a group was formed to organise trips to bus and trolleybus depots in the area. This group became known as the Doncaster Omnibus & Light Railway Society (DO&LRS), a title deliberately designed to encompass all areas of bus, rail and light rail interests. As a co-founder of DO&LRS Tony become the Vice President of the group. With Tony’s involvement DO&LRS preserved five historic Doncaster Motorbuses and Doncaster’s last ever trolleybus, which all live at The Trolleybus Museum. Many members of DO&LRS played an instrumental role in the formation of The Trolleybus Museum and many early members are still involved with us today.

Tony had always had an undying love for vehicles with AEC engines. So much so that Tony’s biggest desire was always to preserve Doncaster Corporation Motorbus number 60, a pre-war example of an AEC bus. Unfortunately this never transpired but Tony was not deterred and he scoured the country looking for a similar example. Eventually finding an example in York, Tony purchased it and slowly and painstakingly restored this bus, number 64, into a pristine condition. Tony also purchased a Doncaster motorbus of his own, number 122, and having been significantly battered and bruised as a driver training bus, it too has been meticulously restored back to working condition. Tony traveled many thousands of miles each year with his buses parading them at bus rallies around the country. His buses are never seen in public if not in perfect condition. The effort he put in was almost always rewarded with a prize or two at each event he attended. Tony set the standard in bus preservation for many years and was a clear role model for anyone preserving a bus. Tony also had the foresight to buy a vast amount of spare parts for his vehicles when many examples were being scrapped in the 1970’s. This prudence not only enabled Tony to keep his two vehicles on the road but also allowed many other preservationists to acquire parts that simply wouldn’t still exist otherwise.

The thousands of miles travelled each year were not simply for self-pleasure. As he traveled, Tony spread the word about both The Trolleybus Museum and DO&LRS. Often carrying posters on his buses for our events he also handed out leaflets and encouraged others to attend our events. Tony also enabled others to travel the country with him to enjoy seeing other fine preserved vehicles, one of his regular passengers for many years being otherwise quite immobile.

As well as preserving his two buses Tony took the unusual step of taking sound recordings of many specific buses and railway locomotives. This has ensured that sounds from the day’s of silent films have not been lost. Some of these recordings have been used by filmmakers to add the correct sounds to silent footage to accurately recreate the scenes of yesteryear for the viewer and to ensure history is not forgotten.

Tony’s knowledge of transport history and the bus preservation scene was unbound. He had regular features in several nationally published transport heritage magazines. Through this work he continued to influence and educate others around the country as he championed the transport preservation movement. Money earnt from this work, and all work throughout his life, had been put back into his preservation work. As well as passionately supporting his own two buses, Tony was a member of many other transport groups and societies, all of whom require financial support.

Tony Peart was a widely renowned and respected authority on bus and railway preservation. He allocated all his life to recording transport history and was instrumental in preserving Doncaster’s transport heritage too. A friendly man who always had time to talk, Tony will forever be remembered for his everlasting and enduring commitment to transport heritage, he will be sorely missed.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

I should add that he was our Form Master in 1A when I arrived at KBGS in 1958 (he was new too as well as Joe Watthey), and I had him for 3 years for English. He was quite keen on spelling tests, and used to love to give us words like Synchro-Mesh and Diarrhoeia (sorry cant do a diphthong). He was quite handy with a plimsoll for miscreants, however he was alawys fair in his admisinstration of discipline. A certain lad (not fair to name him) had received a couple of whacks, and on his way back to his seat quietly uttered the word 'bastard' under his breath. Percy heard him so he got called back for two more ! But of course we railway enthusiasts remember him for various trips round engine depots, always a good day out, unless the Bronte bus broke down. I remember once as I climbed up the bus steps, I said 'Wheres Percy?' a I couldt see him Not sueprising as he was immediately behind me ! 'Percy is here' he yelled in my ear !

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

Tony "Percy" Peart has recently been in the news regarding items of railway memorabilia, some of which he would have obtained during his time at KBGS. There has been an article in the Yorkshire Post (early February) and, I think, also covered on Look North. The Yorkshire Post article was titled "Alladin's cave of Doncaster rail treasures comes out of the shadows" and relates to Doncaster Grammar School railway collection at Hall Cross Academy, Doncaster.
Knowing Tony Peart and the KBGS railway outings he would have had a large imput into the collection. From memory he came from Doncaster Grammar School and returned there in 1962.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1957-1962

Current location (optional) Harrogate

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

Yorkshire Post article here:http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/local-stories/aladdin-s-cave-of-doncaster-rail-treasures-comes-out-of-shadows-1-7085070

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

My own aquaintance with "Percy" began in September 1959 when I, along with some half-dozen other kids, was projected from Form 1C to the dizzy heights of 2A. I think he was then our English master for the next 2 years.

I must say, it was a real culture shock - particularly in English where I had previously been allowed to develop the misconception that I was close to the top of the tree. Percy rapidly dispelled any such notions, and I realised quickly that I needed to raise my game a lot to face the new higher standard. Much stiffer competition (from individuals whom I won't embarrass by naming!) restricted me to only modest status in English, even though I coped relatively better in most other subjects (except for stuff like history which, that year, was mega-boring, and art and music where I was always going to be crap).

My recollection of Percy is of a very sound academic and firm disciplinarian, but generally with a twinkle in his eye. Brian M. has already alluded to his prowess with the slipper, and also the fairness with which it was administered (usually only 2 strokes in his case). Percy rarely showed annoyance and there was often an element of fun surrounding his corporal punishments (of others than oneself, naturally!). Does anyone else recall those convoluted sentences he used to dictate, seemingly off the top of his head, for the purposes of clause analysis? He would then leave us working (in silence of course), sometimes for the whole period before supplying the answers - one thing I was good at!

I'm sad about his untimely death, as I'm sure he and I would very likely have renewed our acquaintance through mutual passion in heritage transport and my current involvement with the Severn Valley Railway. Unfortunately, I have only been able to pursue this avidly since retirement at around the time of Percy's demise.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958 - 65

Current location (optional) Dudley, West Midlands

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

Does anyone have copies of 'The Keighlian' magazines for December 1958 and July 1959?

If anyone still has these editions in their possession would they scan the 'Railway Society' notes which I assume were written by Tony Peart and email the scans to me?

My reason for asking is that I would like to reproduce and include them for an article which I am preparing for David Hey about Tony during his time at KBGS.

In the meantime, would Roger Bancroft confirm that he has no objection to me forwarding his images of a Railway Society visit to David Hey for publication on his 'David Hey Collection' website? If you have not visited this website then I would recommend that you do.

My thanks in anticipation of any response(es).

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959 - 1966

Current location (optional) Shoreham-by-Sea

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

I have a copy of the Summer 1959 Keighlian which has copious notes on the Railway Society initialled by "DAP".

I have the Christmas 1958 edition - but there are no society notes for a Railway Society.

Let me know where I should deliver the former if that is what you want.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Nirvana

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

Dave, I have no objection to you or anybody using the photographs. I am fairly sure they were taken 1959 or pre summer 60 - plain jackets, not 100% sure but on the 61612 photo the guy on the left is John Swallow and centre a D. Smith. As a last resort for the Keighlian try Dave Kirkley or Jan Rotherham, some of the articles were written by the "pupils representitive" a guy called Lott or Lotty - we were all B stream. I also remember "Percy" at the Chess Club.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1957-1962

Current location (optional) Harrogate

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

Thanks Roger,

Do you remember Kevin Howley?

Another request,

Do you have any other photographs from your Railway Society trips?

All the best,

Dave

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959 - 1966

Current location (optional) Shoreham-by-Sea

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

Thanks Terry,

Is it possible for you to scan the Railway Society notes from the Summer 1959 edition?

If not then please let me know and I will,attempt to resolve the problem.

My email address is:

david.baldwin666@btinternet.com

All,the best,

Dave


Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959 - 1966

Current location (optional) Shoreham-by-Sea

Re: In Memory of Tony Peart

Thanks must also go to Dave Kynnersley (a past Railway Society Secretary) who has provided some images of Tony and Railway Society members.

Are there any more (memories and photographs) out there?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959 - 66

Current location (optional) Shoreham by Sea