Bill Wilson – long time member of the Central Southern Group – passed away on 3rd September 2019 following a battle with cancer. Bill made no secret of his condition and adopted a very strong positive approach, accepting new treatment trials “to help others” as he put it.
He was born on 3rd November 1939 in Derby and has two brothers, both of who are also model railway enthusiasts.
After studying Engineering at Bristol University Bill took employment with AEI at Derby works where he was in charge of the engineers and electricians. He was sent by AEI over to the Netherlands, where he met Pam, who was to become his wife.
Bill decided to go into teaching and studied at Queen’s College, Oxford.
He then taught Physics at Cheadle Hulme School for 5 years before moving to Poole where he became Head of Physics at Poole Grammar School and eventually Head of Science.
Bill’s interests were many and extremely varied. These included football (goal keeper for the staff versus the pupils football matches); singing in choirs; playing in various bands; gliding instructor; and friends taking him flying in various old aeroplanes such as Gypsy Moths. He was also passionate about old cars, which included MGs, 3-wheeler Morgan’s and 2 CVs.
Bills engineering experience also came in very useful with his love of old steam model locomotives. He amassed a large collection of pre-war Hornby, Bing and Bassett-Lowke tin plate models (steam, clockwork and electric) and was one of the premier experts in Gauge 0 and Gauge 1 live steam locomotives, writing numerous articles on the subject over many years, particularly for the quarterly Bassett-Lowke Society journals.
Bill was a Member of GIMRA, Gauge 0 Guild, Bassett-Lowke Society, and of course our very own Central Southern 0 Gauge Group, who will miss him very much. He was a real character who was always willing to roll up his sleeves to lend a hand to others.
I am indebted to Pam Wilson – Bills wife – and Bill’s friends, for their assistance in helping me complete this tribute to an exceptionally talented gentleman. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Pam and the family.