A Sad loss to our Railway


1961 -2021

Following A 30 year career with Kent Constabulary, Nigel and his family moved to Botriphnie near Keith to be near his family. An active and persuasive man, he looked for something to occupy his retirement and joined the Keith and Dufftown Railway.

He quickly became a valued member of Operational staff, being Secondman and Guard, although he declined driver training. This was because the driver is in the cab and, as such, is not in constant communication with the passengers.

When a vacancy occurred for someone to replace the man in the red coat and white beard in December, Nigel stepped in with the enthusiasm we had come, as volunteers, to expect from him. Very soon, this enthusiasm was transferred to the crews and assistants on the train were dressed as elves. To make the stop at The North Pole (Drummuir) more of an experience for the children, Nigel constructed props behind which the children could stand to have their photos taken.  The success of the Santa Trains was shown in 2019, when, just before lockdown, the KDR sold out 12 trains of 100 passengers within three weeks.

Another of Nigel’s interests was Second World War re-enactments especially of the Desert Rats. This was the catalyst for the 40’s weekend when Nigel persuaded friends with the same interests to come to Dufftown for this weekend. Since then, the weekend has grown and grown, being enjoyed by all attending whether re-enactors, KDR members or the general public.

Living where he did, Nigel became friendly with the Drummuir 21 group and the Drummuir Estate. Not unexpectedly, Nigel had plans for both groups in conjunction with the KDR and the October Ghost Train was instigated. To begin with, there was only one train a year but demand was such that a second day was inserted into the calendar.

Nigel a member of the Board of the Keith and Dufftown Railway for seven years, becoming Chairman for 3 years, leading us during the discussions to become a charity.

Amongst his other talents, Nigel undertook a chainsaw course for the railway and this helped when he was keeping Drummuir halt clean and tidy.

These are only a few of Nigel’s accomplishments, which are too many to list. Sadly, he lost his father at the beginning of July of this year, but he left behind his mother Bebs, his wife Helen, son Ed, brother Chris and  sister in law Steph. Nigel died on Friday 1st October and was buried at Botriphnie Parish Church on Thursday 14th October 2021.

Nigel was aware that his medical condition was terminal and made his own arrangements. One part of these was the conduct of his coffin from Dufftown to Drummuir by train and he had even selected the crew. These crew members were honoured to be selected to accompany him on his last journey.

Nigel Bodiam, we thank you for your service to the Keith and Dufftown Railway, and we promise to try and keep up the enthusiasm and high standards set by you.