It is with much sadness that I report our President, Sir William McAlpine passed away on 4th March.
He had been unwell for the past few months. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lady McAlpine and his family and I will be sending our condolences to them all.
Sir William was a director of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd for more than fifty years. He was Chairman of: The Railway Heritage Trust - The Dart Valley Railway - Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway - SS Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine – Railnews - SONE (Supporters of Nuclear Energy). Sir William was a Governor of Shiplake College and President of the Transport Trust and other organisations. Sir William had served for several terms on the ZSL Council (Zoological Society London) and was on the Development Committee. He accepted the Presidency of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust as an extension of his interest in historic transport and was well known for his railway interests, including ownership of the Flying Scotsman locomotive, which he later sold.
He was also well known for his personal motto: “Life is not a rehearsal”
Since becoming our President in June 2015, Sir William has made many helpful contributions to our mission, including engaging with the Swindon & Cricklade Railway Trust to explore a joint project with our Trust to connect Swindon to Cricklade. Given Sir William's railway interests it is sad that he will no longer to able to pursue this exciting idea with us.
It was a privilege to work with him albeit for too short a time.
May he rest in peace.
Chairman - Wilts & Berks Canal Trust