Paul joined the SVR when he was 13 (technically you had to be 14 to become a member) and started work in the Carriage and Wagon Department in Bewdley scraping grease off axel boxes.
He talks about how much he learnt from the small team of volunteers and the incredible 'esprit de corps'. Paul worked on many locos and coaches arriving from scrapyards around the country, such as the one at Barry in South Wales which had 'acres of locomotives', more than 200 in total. Once back in Bewdley, the engines were overhauled. Paul admits that they didn't have much idea of how to do this in the early days, but they learnt quickly.
Over the years Paul has turned his hand to many at the SVR. As the line extended to Highley and then Bewdley, Paul joined the Permanent Way gang during the winter, helped with operational tasks and trained to be a fireman. He 'passed out' as fireman at 19 and became a driver at 23, a job he still does more than 40 years later.
Paul has also had many roles in management at the SVR, being a board member of the Holdings Company and setting up the Rolling Stock Trust (now the SVR Trust). He says it's been a privilege to be involved with the SVR and cites his greatest achievement as the creation of the Carriage Shed at Kidderminster.
LISTEN TO PAUL FATHERS
(TALKING TO CHARLIE HATHAWAY)
In this extract, Paul explains how he became the SVR's youngest fireman and driver.