scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Keith Tyler's Farewell

FoFNL was represented at the memorial service for Keith Tyler on 24 April at Kinbrace Station House by Mike Lunan, Iain MacDonald and Richard Ardern.

There was a congregation of about 38, many from the English Midlands. Seventeen used the 10:38 train from Inverness and went back on the 17:17, and Mike came south by train from Thurso.

A short service was conducted in the Church of Scotland style, we all went outside and stood on the platform for the scattering of Keith's ashes on his garden, and went back indoors for a Quaker style period of silence. Finally, a friend of Keith's from National Service days gave some reminiscences. The two hymns were In the Bleak Midwinter and Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, accompanied on Keith's grand piano. Keith was an accomplished pianist and used to play duets with his father.

David had met Keith when doing National Service with the Friends Ambulance Unit. (Keith was a conscientious objector.) They had walked through Box Tunnel together, explored underground mines and were both Ffestiniog Railway volunteers. Keith worked on some of the bridges on the Deviation Line. At this point we were deafened by a flypast! [At least they avoided the Quaker silence!] As well as railways, Keith was very interested in canals, and enjoyed doggerel poetry:

Hearts full of love, hearts full of truth,
Six parts of gin and one of vermouth.

Keith, ever the architect, had given instructions for a small cross to be inscribed on the corner of the building in his memory, but without any wording. We were all instructed: "Do not be sad at my passing. It is a great adventure and it had to happen. I am content."

I understand that Keith's Godson, Tom, has been instructed to keep the house.

Richard Ardern