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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Coffin on board for final journey
The coffin being loaded onto the train
Mourners accompanied the coffin on board the train
A tireless railway enthusiast and fundraiser was paid a final tribute, when his coffin was taken to his funeral on board a steam locomotive.

Jack Rowell died at the age of 79 after more than 40 years working as a volunteer for the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

The five-miles of track have provided a scenic backdrop for a number of films and television programmes and was most famously the setting for 1970 classic The Railway Children.

Following a service at St Mary's Church in Oxenhope, the funeral cortege boarded the train for Mr Rowell's final journey to nearby Oakworth.

It's the best send off we can give him and it's how he would want to go
Reverend Peter Hodge
Friend and fellow enthusiast Reverend Peter Hodge told BBC Look North he hoped the unusual travel arrangements would provide a fitting tribute to Mr Rowell.

He said: "It would have meant going home for him.

"It's the best send-off we can give him and it's how he would want to go."

Mr Rowell played a crucial role in saving the railway line from extinction in the early 1960s.

Along with fundraising for local charities, Mr Rowell also spent 10 years as the Oxenhope station master.

Paul Brown, of the Railway Preservation Society, said: "The railway needs volunteers and Jack was an inspirational character."


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