Lifesaving heart resuscitator installed at Lowestoft station in memory of much-loved railwayman

Published on: Thursday, 31 October 2019
Last updated: Thursday, 31 October 2019

Life-saving equipment has been installed at Lowestoft Railway Station in memory of a Lowestoft resident whose career on the railway spanned over 40 years.

The family of Ronnie Dell purchased the equipment following donations made at his funeral and, working with Gorleston based charity Heart 2 Heart Norfolk and the Wherry Lines Community Partnership, the equipment has been installed on Platform 2 at the town’s railway station.

Ronnie spent his entire working life on the railway, on leaving school in 1955, he began his career as a Messenger Boy for British Rail in the Lowestoft Goods Office. He moved to a role as a Shunter in the Goods Yard later becoming a Guard on passenger trains.

A familiar face to the public, particularly on the Lowestoft to Norwich and Ipswich routes, Ronnie retired in 1997 and following his passing aged 78, donations received at his funeral enabled the equipment to be provided, with the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership arranging and funding the installation.

In May 2012 Ronnie had a heart operation, an aortic valve replacement at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. He then spent time at James Paget Hospital and Lowestoft Hospital recuperating. Over the last five years of his life he received medical care from several departments at James Paget Hospital; The Vascular clinic, Oncology, Respiratory and Cardiology. As all the cardio team were very good to Ronnie, the family chose to support the local charity Heart 2 Heart Norfolk in his memory, which is also supported by a member of the hospital cardio team.

Ronnie’s niece, Carolyn Gosling said; “After talking to Jayne Biggs at Heart 2 Heart and assessing where defibrillators are already in place, we decided to ask for a defibrillator at Lowestoft Station due to Ronnie’s link with the railway. “Being the only place that he ever worked, it seemed very fitting to have the installation here. The family are very pleased that the defibrillator is now in place, which will always be a lasting memory to him.”

Chair of the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership, Cllr Roger Foulger added, “To donate a defibrillator at the station in memory of Ronnie was a very thoughtful gesture, the Partnership were pleased to support the installation of this life saving equipment.”

The new equipment was officially unveiled on Monday 28 October followed by a training session for staff and volunteers at the station, provided by Jayne Biggs at Norfolk Heart 2 Heart.