Very sorry to learn today that John Snell had died over the Christmas break. I had known John for some years when he presented me with the outline for 'Mixed Gauges' and we became good friends during its production. It was, and is, a book he was pleased with, and which I am proud we produced.
John was really the last absolute pioneer of railway preservation, having accompanied Tom Rolt and David Curwen to Towyn and helped open Pendre shed on the first day the Tallylyn Railway had passed into preservation. Whilst a barrister by training, John's working life was spent in transportation, from London Transport to many years as the General Manager of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Light Railway. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word, with a very nice, gentle sense of humour, and a high sense of the ridiculous. As well as 'Mixed Gauges', he wrote a not inconsiderable number of other quality books on railways.
He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.