We were all saddened to hear that Peter William Mayne, Chair of the Bittern Line CRP and Chair of Community Rail Norfolk (the parent organisation of both the Bittern Line and Wherry Lines CRPs), sadly passed away earlier last month. Peter was a generous, kind-hearted ambassador for community rail whose enthusiasm was infectious, and he will be sadly missed by all.
A service celebrating the life of Peter was held at St Nicholas Church, North Walsham on 5 July 2022. Peter’s friends and colleagues at Community Rail Norfolk have kindly provided the following short piece for all those across Peter’s wider community rail family to read and share in his memory. The Community Rail Network team and board pass on their thoughts and condolences to Peter’s colleagues, friends and family.
Educated at Oxford, specialising in history, Peter had a long and distinguished career in Education and before retirement was the Principal at Paston Sixth Form College in North Walsham. As part of the 90th Birthday celebrations for HM Queen Elizabeth II, he was presented to the Queen and was able to discuss how his oldest pupil at the time was aged in their 80s. To encourage more pupils to travel to the college by rail, Peter even had the college timetable redrawn to fit in with train services on the Bittern Line – a visionary approach that was a great success.
From an early age, Peter had a love of the railway and as a child and into adulthood would regularly indulge his enthusiasm with train spotting near his home in Leicester. He went on to have his own railway layout and also created one for his children.
During his retirement, he became a qualified guard on the North Norfolk Railway and volunteered regularly. Peter’s other life-long interests included Morris Dancing and Folk Music and he was an active member of the Kemp’s Men of Norwich Morris Men. He also enjoyed Geocaching and Bell Ringing, however it was the railway which remained ever present in his life. He became a valued member of the Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership, becoming Chair and then Chair of parent organisation Community Rail Norfolk.
Peter was an enthusiastic advocate of the railway, performing his duties with gusto and always taking a pragmatic approach to the opportunities and challenges of working with the rail industry and in community rail. He truly embodied the partnership approach, recognising that success depends on effective, constructive collaboration and working positively with people.
During his tenure as chair, he oversaw many initiatives aimed at encouraging and improving rail travel, including a popular rail passenger discount scheme in conjunction with the business community, improved tourism and passenger information, various infrastructure improvements and, most importantly, he set strong future foundations for the partnerships with good governance and a host of exciting forward plans.
The service celebrating his life saw around 200 people attend, representing the numerous associations and societies which he supported, giving his valued experience and time freely. Readings and memories came from family members, friends, and college alumni.
Peter was a larger-than-life character; his smile and natural exuberance could light up a room. We are all devastated by the loss of such a great man and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.