The late Stuart Daniels looking out of the cab of No 08924 shunting 6X41 auto train outside Garston Auto Terminal, 29 May 2014.
Were do I begin, as no matter what I write, I doubt I will do justice to the late Stuart Daniels but here goes. Sadly, Stuart tragically took his own life on Wednesday afternoon, 4th May 2016 after battling with aftermath of the sudden death of his beloved wife Sue the year before in late 2015. Although, no one actually knows why he took his own life, but it seem apparent Stuart was finding it difficult to deal with the situation and clearly felt he was left on his own, although he was surrounded by many friends and work colleagues. The truth, no one knows what he was thinking because we are not in his situation. To many people, it was a sad waste of life as Stuart still had so much to give but we will never know.
A little background to Stuart, he was born in the early 70's and bought up in Walton, Liverpool. Stuart in the early 1980's joined the railway industry and was mainly a 'shunter' based at Warrington Arpley, working for BR, Trainload Coal, Transrail and EWS / DB Schenker. With his role, he also travelled around the NW region were I first met him as far as I am able to recall in the mid 1980's. Stuart was also an avid train enthusiast too and his favourite class of loco, was the Class 40 'Whistlers' with his particular favourite being No 40044. As you may imagine he made many friends but not because of his obvious railway connection but he was one of the nice good guys, considerate, always up for a chat, with a good sense of humour, liked to have a drink or two but also always happy to pass on the 'gen' too without even asking him. To me and many others, he was a 'genuine' friend indeed and I had the pleasure of his company many a time. There is no doubt, if you talk to many of his friends, that be able to tell you a warm story or two about him.
Sadly, I am not exactly sure when Stuart met Sue who became his sole mate but Stuart was a quiet person when it came to his personal life, he kept it to himself but lived in St Helens being closer to his wife's mum and dad. Stuart also enjoyed his other pastime OO gauge model railways too. During 2012, Stuart made the decision to leave DB Schenker at Warrington for better prospects and join GBRf who were commencing operations in and around Liverpool at both the Docks and Garston Car Terminal. While there he was passed out to drive Class 08 shunters, worked mainly at Garston Car Terminal but also travelling to Ironbridge and Trafford Park too as GBRf were expanding operations. One thing became apparent, he was well respected and popular with his work colleagues at Warrington and latterly at GBRf too, this was borne out by standing room only attendance at Stuart's funeral at Anfield Cemetery, it was full house indeed and well deserved too.
In October 2015, Sue and Stuart had a holiday in Turkey, not knowing what life was going to chuck at them both but Sue very sadly passed away unexpectantly before the year was out. Many people attended the funeral including myself and met Sue's mum and dad too. One thing for sure they thought very highly of Stuart. Afterwards, understandably Stuart found it hard to deal with the situation but he was surrounded by friends who remain in contact including myself. I know Stuart was receiving support from GBRf and after few months he returned to work initially in an office capacity role with slow intentions of returning to normal shunters role. On the face of it, Stuart seem to be slowing but surely moving on but clearly understandable he was hiding his thoughts and emotions from all were he decided to call it a day! I never ever forget the phone call I received from Dave Smith when he told me of Stuarts death (a couple hours previously), I was absolutely dumfounded and speechless. Although I last chatted to Stuart two weeks previously were he seemed fine, to this day I have often wondered I should have contacted him again and just may be ........... ! I will never know but certainly Stuart has been missed not just by me but by many many people.
After Stuarts funeral, I am aware one / two friends remained in contact with Stuarts father but all was not well. Unfortunately it seems his father blamed the 'railway' for his son's death and consequently anything to do with it, all was destroyed and binned. This included Stuart's computer, model trains and photographs / negatives too. At the time it is understood, GBRf wanted do name a loco in Stuart's name but apparently his father refused permission. A real shame. The one thing that Stuart had done fortunately, although he was not best photter in the world, he had a Flickr photo account and eventually loaded over 2700 images on there, see:Stuart's Fot's were some of them are of historic interest. Unfortunately, Stuart entered 'permissions denied' to download images and given its a free account there is possibility that Flickr could reduce the contents of the account to a 1000 images or delete altogether.
I have manage to find away of downloading some of the images to safeguard them, so far 677 images along with the information are now part of my catalogue. In consequence, I have dedicated this page to Stuart and consequently will upload some more images for others to see and maintain Stuart's memory.
47816 - 1A31, 07:24 Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston. Passing Warrington Bank Quay. 1st July 2004.