Martin was one of the nicest people you could hope to meet and news of his passing was both shocking and extremely sad. My thoughts are of course with his family.
I met Martin at Alstom’s Washwood Heath factory after he’d completed his apprenticeship and engineering degree and joined the ‘Design Services’ engineering team, I guess he would be about 6 years younger than me. We worked quite closely together for a few years on solutions to various bogie and suspension ‘challenges’ on our Juniper and Coradia projects, until the site was sadly closed in 2004 and we went separate ways.
Working with Martin was always a pleasure and we would often talk through jobs we were working on, I think we both found it constructive to bounce ideas off each other. Of course I also always enjoyed discussing his latest ideas for how to shave a few more grams off his racing bikes or other schemes to get that extra competitive edge. Although he was always keen to talk cycling he was very humble about his achievements and it was some time before I realised how good he was and how realistic his chances of reaching the top achievements in the sport really were had he chosen to choose that path as a professional. Equally, I had no doubt that when we all went separate ways in 2004 he would succeed as a successful and well-respected engineer in the rail industry, as he clearly did.
Since then we have met socially once or twice a year, although sadly due to Covid those meetings has been on hold. It was always good to meet up and quickly fall back into and update those familiar conversations, lubricated by a few pints of real ale and a curry. On the day he passed away I had been doing some work on those same trains we had worked on 20 years ago, which got me thinking back to those days at Washwood Heath and wondering how Martin and others were. Then the awful news the following morning.
RIP Martin, you will be missed by a lot of people.