A POPULAR and respected rail fan has died suddenly, leaving his family and friends in shock.
Michael Greenwood was one of the founder members of the Nelson-based Pendle Forest Model Railway Society, which has been going for almost half a century and has an annual exhibition in Pendle.
He was also a member of STELLA - the Support the East Lancashire Line Association - which fought to get better rail services on the Colne-Preston line.
Michael was born in Nelson 70 years ago and has lived in the same house where he was born - in Townhouse Road - throughout his entire life.
He attended Walverden School before joining the print company which produced the Nelson Leader - Coultons in Every Street - as a compositor.
He later worked for other key print firms in the area, including F. H. Brown’s and Lord’s Printers, and finished his career doing some print work for Express Gifts in Nelson.
Mr Greenwood leaves a brother, Peter, who now lives in the Midlands. He said: “Michael has always been a keen railway fan. We will miss him greatly - I won’t be learning about trains any more!”
Fellow model railway club founder and secretary Mr David Carter said: “It is with great sadness that we record the passing of Michael He was one of the founder members of the society and was the first society treasurer, a post he held for 26 years.
“A man with a keen interest in Triang model railways, he was very knowledgeable about their products and, through his contact with the staff at the Triang factory, he was a frequent source of information and spares for the benefit of his fellow society members.
“Also a member of the Triang Society, he attended many of their events and, in the late 1970s, he frequently assisted with on-train catering for enthusiasts’ railtours and private charters.
“Throughout his 48-year Pendle Forest membership, he was always loyal to the cause and lost no opportunity to promote the society and its events. He was well-known around Nelson with a friendly disposition and was always ready to stop and chat about his railway interests and local matters.
“The society and the local community are much the poorer for his passing - his will be a presence that cannot be replaced. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.
Mr Carter will pay tribute to Mr Greenwood at his funeral, which will take place at Skipton Crematorium at 10-20 a.m. on Thursday, August 18th.