Four people outside the charity office holding a large model cheque for £10,000

Full steam ahead for rail fundraisers

A steam train excursion arranged in memory of John Farrow, the founder of popular rail tour company UK Railtours, has raised £10,000.

John’s family arranged the fundraising event to thank Royal Free Hospital staff for the care and compassion they showed him when he was admitted to the hospital for bowel cancer surgery in late 2019. Sadly, John struggled with post-surgery complications and contracted COVID while in hospital. He died during the first national lockdown.

Liz with her father John stood by a train docked at a rail station
John, with daughter Liz

John’s son Simon recalls: “I’m very grateful that I was allowed to visit him in his last few days with us. Throughout his time at the hospital, which was four months in total, the care he received was second to none. He was so well looked after.

“It was a difficult time for staff because of the pandemic, but they made sure there was regular communication with me, including phone calls whenever there were any changes. We appreciate everything they did for Dad.”

John, former British Rail worker, set up UK Railtours to provide specialist days out by train and he was a well-known member of the rail enthusiast community. With only small funerals permitted under pandemic rules at the time, his family organised a memorial train tour last August, featuring Merchant Navy class steam locomotive 35028 ‘Clan Line’ and heritage British Rail era carriages.

The John Farrow Salute memorial rail trip raised £10,000 in donations, raffle proceeds and ticket sales for the tour, making it the most successful one-day fundraising event in the company’s history.

Lead photo: Catherine and Tanya from the charity’s fundraising team being presented a cheque for £10,000 from UK Railtours by John’s son Simon and John’s widow Clare.