in Memoriam

It is with the deepest of regret we announce the passing of one of our Volunteers, Jim Mackie. 


Jim was always on hand at Kirkland to share tales of his past exploits with heritage rail and life in general.  He proudly held the role of driver on Forth following her rebuilding and graciously provided training and practical experience to those under his wing.  He retired from the Runnign Day footplate crew in 2019 to care for his wife full time.  Mrs Mackie sadly passed in December 2020.

Before volunteering at Kirkland, Jim held key roles at both the Lavender Line and Spa Valley.   Jim was intensely proud of his wartime service and was always available to share hair raising tales.

Our volunteers and visitors shared their memories of Jim, and we've selected some as a fitting tribute to share with you all.

"...RIP Jim - what a lovely gentleman, he used to chat to me about lots of different things and made time to take an interest. He will be missed..."

"...I had been at FHR for a short time, and on an open day was ticket collector on the train. Jim took a shot at driving in the afternoon, and we went off the down the track at a pace I can best describe as 'cracking'. A cheerful face to have around, and will be missed..."

".. Jim was one of life’s lovely blokes. We were joint CME’s at the Lavender Line in East Sussex in the ‘90s then moved together to the Spa Valley Railway as steam drivers and part of the engineering team. fondly remembered and sadly missed..."

"...Sad news, RIP Jim. My memory of you will be hearing you complain that you served in Aden without being shot at, but driving from Groombridge to Tunbridge Wells West some so and so had taken a pot shot at you and the train...."

"...I was very sorry to read this. Jim taught me a great deal about locomotives when I joined the Lavender Line many years ago. We both had a fondness for a little Andrew Barclay tank engine called Annie. Jim and I became her regular crew and we spent many happy hours operating and looking after her. He gave me the first opportunity to drive her which I will never forget. Rest in peace in the great workshop in the sky..."

"...Very sad news. I first met Jim in the 80’s at the Lavender Line, and later at Spa Valley Railway. Very fond memories of working on e footplate and in the machine shop with him..."

Jim Mackie on the platform
Jim Mackie checks line is clear