ONE of the founding fathers of the North York Moors Railway has died at the age of 91.

Charlie Hart was a signalman and inspector with British Railways when the line was closed in the 1960s – and when it was relaunched as a heritage railway he became one of its key people.

A familiar sight around the railway, he remained an active volunteer until recent years - selling guide books up and down the line. He was also heavily involved in fundraising for the charity.

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And even when deteriorating health prevented him from visiting the railway, he could regularly be seen in his garden at Ruswarp, waving to the Whitby trains.

General manager Philip Benham said: “Our thoughts and prayers are now with Charlie’s family and friends.

“The volunteers and staff of the NYMR could not be more grateful for everything that he has done for the railway - and, in memory of Charlie, engines will carry a wreath on the day of his funeral.”

The funeral will be held at 2pm on Thursday, February 20, at Scarborough Crematorium. Flowers are requested from family only, but donations can be made to St Catherine’s Hospice.