It is with great sadness that we have to record the passing of Dorothy Mather, widow of Arthur Peppercorn, on the 10th November at the age of 99.
Born Dorothy Patricia Louch, she grew up in a railway family near Doncaster and, following a stint of voluntary work during WW2 and working for the regional coal board, she ended up in the Doncaster Works drawing office; it was here that she met Arthur Peppercorn and they married in 1948. It was during this period that the A2s and the A1s entered traffic. Leaving the Eastern Region of BR in good shape, Arthur retired at the end of 1949, much loved and admired, only to die prematurely in 1951.
A few years later, she met Colonel W. H. Mather, OBE, TD and ex-LNER. In due course they married, bought a country house near Stokesley and settled down. As Bill’s health failed, they moved to a more modern house and Dorothy nursed him. He died and she became a widow again, albeit with an ever-wider circle of friends and Bill’s many nephews and nieces.
In August 1993, Dorothy was approached by the Trust about the A1 Project. She was sufficiently impressed to join us informally and from there her involvement grew. She was there at BSD Leeds on 13th July 1994 to start the CNC machine that cut Tornado’s frameplates, at the Trust’s first convention that September and at Tyseley in December for the ceremony marking erection of the frameplates. She attended many A1 Trust occasions since then, always immaculately dressed, always interested and courteous to everyone she met. In September 1995 she became joint vice-president, later president.
Not just a figurehead, she did a tremendous job for the Trust in countless interviews with press and television. She proved quite as vital as our ISO 9000 quality standard because, if Tornado was good enough for her, it would be good enough for Arthur Peppercorn. Those of us who knew her will miss her quiet dignity, kindness and valued contributions to any conversation about the work of her first husband.