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Railway & Modelling Obituaries

Peter Barnfield

Not Jeremy

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I slightly hesitate to post this here, as Peter was in many ways peripheral to the model railway hobby, but I figure that he will nonetheless have been known to quite a few folk who read RMweb and so deserves a mention within these hallowed pages. In fact this has already been mentioned on another thread and I also appreciate that quite a few people will already know the news from earlier Facebook posts.


It is with great regret that I have to announce that my friend Peter Barnfield very sadly passed away on the morning of Wednesday 15th August. Peter was a hugely talented artist and a long time observer and photographer of the railway scene, and much else besides. He was also a great writer, able to memorably evoke atmosphere and memory with words, which skill was happily put to use in the recent series of books that I and Wild Swan produced with him.


He was an individual of great character in so very many ways and I feel that a light has gone out in my own life. I know that he will be very much missed by very many people, no-one more than his wife and lifelong companion Ginny and his son Ian, to whom I send  my deepest condolences.


I would hope to feature Peter and his work more in the future through Wild Swan and on my own website, but in the meantime his own website carries on at: http://www.peterbarnfield.co.uk/


More on his Whimshire series is also available on my website at: http://titfield.co.uk/Barnfield/PB_main.htm


He has left us all with a huge legacy of wit, wisdom and of course his work. Apart from the recent books we produced together for Wild Swan, Peter's work has been extensively featured in Railway Bylines and also in many of the books that Irwell Press have produced down the years. 


Here is a picture from one of his recent books.




Peter and Ginny Barnfield at Talybont on Usk while on the SLS last train to Brecon in May 1964


Farewell Peter, and thank you for everything.


Simon Castens

Edited by Not Jeremy
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This is such sad news - his gardening dept engine pictures grace my house and inspired  several years of Christmas cards to my fellow volunteers on the Ffestiniog Railway.  Yes his wit and art will be missed and I echo Simon`s and The Captain`s comments a lovely gentleman.  


I also send my best wishes to the family and friends at this difficult time. 



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Peter was a brilliant artist in both real and imagined worlds and I'm so glad I shared my O16.5 models with both of them. It was a pleasure to chat with them at the Shepton shows before Peters health deteriorated.

Thank you Peter, the Portersfoote & Bunting will live on :)


Two of Peters Whimsical creations and my model inspired by them.



Thank you for letting us know Simon.

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Oddly , I was just looking at my copy of Peter's 'Far from the madding main line, a guide to some little known long forgotten & previously unheard of railways of the West Country', and was thinking of the conversation I had with him at Dyrham Park where he was a volunteer.  His penmanship was incredible and as for his humour .....  I can easily visualize the railway he will now be working on.  

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I am so sorry to hear about the sad loss of Peter, I first met him at Wells some years ago when he was working on a drawing of a Wantage locomotive, and subsequently at many exhibitions in the South West. My thoughts go out to Ginny.


John Bruce.

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  • 1 month later...

I've only just learned this sad news after a friend loaned me a copy of the latest 'Railway Modeller' where I read of Peter's passing.


I got to know Peter and Ginny when I was  a signalman at Blue Anchor on the West Somerset Railway for a short period back in the late 1980's, and they used to look after the railway museum there. A lovely couple - and later, when I was able to purchase some of Peter's books, I realised just what a talented artist he was. Many of his pencil drawings actually look like black & white photographs. To be able to get that effect demands a special skill.


I seem to have reached that time in life when news such as this comes all too often. But I will treasure the memories of Peter through his pictures and writing.


Peter Jordan


Castletown, Isle of Man

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