Meet the Team

 

Meet the Team


CHAIRMAN - Les McDowell

Hello. My name is Les McDowell and I have been privileged to be the Chairman of the British Transport Pensioners Federation for the last five years.

I joined the Railways after leaving school at 18 and enjoyed many and somewhat varied jobs including Railman, Signalman, three Inspector positions, Performance Officer and then into Management. Initially, I was involved in the St Pancras Area and the introduction of the electrified service from Bedford and left the Area in 1988 as Area Manager.

I moved on to become Area Manager, West Midlands Freight at Bescot until the first throws of privatisation, when I became a Director of Transrail at Crewe. When English, Welsh and Scottish Railway won the bidding process for four of the Freight businesses, I became a Director of EWS.

I retired from the Railway five years ago after completing more than one role as a Contractor to Network Rail – the last one being involved in West Coast Route Modernisation.

It would be quite true to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my diverse career on the Railway and in particular meeting so many people. Within the BTPF I am striving to continue to meet as many people as possible and attend Branch and Council meetings. Along with the rest of the Officers, I am working to introduce a new recruitment effort and to improve communications. However, uppermost in all our endeavours are the two key areas of Pensions and Travel Facilities and I am adamant that these continue to be very closely monitored and safeguarded.

Please let me know your views on what the BTPF is doing, or should be doing, using the email link on this site. I look forward to hearing from you.

VICE CHAIRMAN - John Harrison

My name is John Harrison, and I was delighted to be elected National Vice Chairman of the BTPF in March 2012.

My railway career started as a Trade Apprentice in the Derby Carriage and Wagon Works, (Now Bombardier) and ended in a managerial role associated with Channel Tunnel Freight Services. Along the way I had spells with British Transport Hotels, Travellers Fare, BR’s Civil Engineering Department, BRB HQ at 222 Marylebone Road, London Midland’s CM&EE Departments at Derby and Birmingham, Freight Engineering at the RTC Derby, and with Railfreight Distribution at Crewe.

I also completed a project for Transmark, the former BR Consultancy Group, in Tanzania, East Africa.

I have always believed that the railway industry is a great family of people, in many cases it is not just a job of work, but in reality it is a way of life. People past and present have made our industry what it is, some of them we must never forget, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We were proud to commemorate this, with the unveiling of our memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on 22nd May 2012.

Whilst most definitely not forgetting the past, we are also very keen to keep moving our organisation forward. Recruitment from people retired or thinking about retirement is a high priority of ours, and with that aim I am currently chairing a Recruitment Strategy Group, in order to ensure we make ourselves better known to both today’s industry employers and industry employees.

I believe that by joining the BTPF you will help us to secure a better future for all of us, whilst enjoying an amazing quality of life by being active in an informal and relaxing atmosphere, with humour generally high on the agenda. As well as meeting people, you will help us to secure better travel arrangements, even for non safeguarded staff. Please contact me anytime, I will gladly respond to all emails as soon as possible. It always gives me great pleasure to hear of railway stories and experiences. I very much look forward to hearing from you and meeting you.

My telephone number is 0116 275 0730 or please drop me an email.

PRESIDENT - Maurice Holmes OBE

Various clerical positions within Chief Operating Supts. office, Paddington.

Management Trainee West of England Division then Bristol.
Junior Operations Officer, Bristol thence Area Manager, Bath. Area Manager
Freight and Passenger, Bristol Temple Meads.

Asst. Train PlanningOfficer, Western Region, Paddington.
Freight Planning Manager, BR HQ, then Passenger Planning Manager, BR HQ.

Divisional Manager, Liverpool Street, including Fenchurch Street.

Chief Operating Manager, Southern Region, Waterloo. Deputy General
Manager, Waterloo.
Acting General Manager, Waterloo. Deputy Director Network South East.

Director of Operations and Safety, BR HQ.

Membership of London Chamber of Commerce. Confederation of British
Industries.

VICE PRESIDENT - Peter Rayner

Prior to being a Vice President of the BTPF, I served as National Chairman on two separate occasions amounting to over ten years in the Post.

I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and chair their Accessibility and Inclusion Forum. I am also a Fellow of the Institution of Railway Operators, an Associate of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management. I am also currently a Vice President of the National Pensioners’ Convention and serve as their Transport Adviser.

I have been a member of the AGE – Platform EU Expert Group on Universal Access and Independent Living since 2004 and have represented AGE as a speaker at Conferences in Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Geneva, Barcelona, Prague and Brussels. I am also AGE Platform’s mandated representative on the TSI PRM (Technical Specification for Interoperability) (Persons of Reduced Mobility) working party in ERA HQ in Lille and have been so since 2011.

A career railway man, I joined British Railways as a messenger and became Chief Operating Manager. I am a retired member of the TSSA and NUJ, and still undertake occasional expert witness work mainly for Trade Union solicitors. A past member of the Samaritans and Amnesty International, I had a book entitled “On and Off the Rails” published in 1997.

VICE PRESIDENT - Lawrie Windwood

Lawrie Windwood worked for British Railways for 35 years and retired in 1993.

I was National Secretary of the British Transport Pensioners Federation from 1999 to 2015.

I am currently Secretary of the BRB Headquarters Retired Staff Association and represent the BTPF on the Executive Committee of the National Pensioners Convention.

I am Vice President of the BTPF.

David HughesNATIONAL SECRETARY - David Hughes

Hello my name is David Hughes I started my railway journey in 1963 as a Junior Porter located in the telegraph office manning the telephone switchboard at Warrington Central station, from there I moved to be a Train Booker at Glazebrook East signalbox and later Acton Grange Jct box.

Passing my signaling R & R I moved to my first location Warrington Central box from there working many locations within the north west and finally retiring from LOM Preston in January 2008. Since my retirement I have been a member of BTPF Warrington Branch and was appointed Secretary in 2013. As part of my role I attend North West area and RSG meetings.

I was nominated for the position of National Secretary at the AGM in 2017. I look forward to serving the BTPF family to the best of my ability.



TREASURER - Christopher Jago

As Treasurer I look after the finances of the Federation and the fund we created in 2013 to maintain the memorial we placed in the National Memorial Arboretum.

I retired from Railway service in 2004 following a 38 year long career in Operating and Business Management in the area of the old Southern Region and Network SouthEast. My last employer was Network Rail but I never actually worked for them as I had been seconded by Railtrack to be responsible for building Section 1 of the CTRL, now known as HS1, from 1999.

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY - Mike Speagell

As the Membership Secretary I deal with all enquiries made to the BTPF via their website and applications for membership that may come by post. These can be on any subject, it is the variety that makes it interesting.

Many factors have caused changes to be made to railway pensions and travel facilities since privatisation and it is important that we do all we can to prevent any erosion. This is a major role for the BTPF

I retired in 2005, after 38 years in Staff, Personnel and Human Resources offices firstly with BR then in the privatised railway. I joined the BTPF and have been the Chairman of the York and District Pensioners (the York branch) for the last 3 years.

WEBSITE MANAGER - Paul Murphy

Started my working career with British Rail, North Wall Dublin. Since privatisation in 1984, British Rail has changed hands and name over the years( British Rail, SeaLink, British Ferries, Stena Line to name a few).

I first worked in the Customs Clearance Dept. at North Wall along with a stint at the Freightliners Terminal Dublin Port.

After some years I moved to the Passenger Sales Dept. at North Wall Dublin, Westmoreland St, Dublin and finally Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

While at Dun Laoghaire I was appointed as Marketing and General Information Assistant to the Marketing and Communications Department of Sealink based in Adelaide House, Dun Laoghaire.

Following on from this I was appointed Management Information Assistant, providing statistical analysis support for local management and sales team.

Spent some years as webmaster for www.stenaline.ie , also Database Manager.

Represented Stena Line on the Board of Tourist Victim Support Service (T.V.S.S.) from 1994 to 2002, liaising with Tourism Ireland, Dept. of Justice

ASSISTANT WEBSITE MANAGER - John Trigger

My railway career was direct from school via a sponsored university course, and was spent on the Western Region Signalling & Telecommunications & their derivatives, working at Reading, Bristol and Exeter.

I was involved in telecommunications planning, commissioning and maintenance engineering support, finally specialising in safety-critical telecommunications systems power management.

Enjoying the benefits of our pension scheme and travel allowances, I hope to help BTPF support these into the future and promote the BTPF to potential new members, in its various aims.

As Assistant Website Manager, part of the recruitment team, I assist Paul in keeping the web pages up-to-date, dealing mostly with news items of interest to our members.