The Southampton Branch is deeply saddened to report the death on !7th June of Bert Moody, who in October 1950, was one of the instigators and founder members of our Branch, being Honorary Secretary for 18 years. He also served the WSS main committee, being General Secretary for nine years until 1962. After stepping down from the Branch committee in 1968, Bert formed the local Solent Maritime Society in October 1969, continuing as Secretary and Society magazine editor until 2011.
Bert was born on 19th August 1921 and was brought up close to the waterfront in Old Southampton -before construction the New (Western) Docks commenced - so the sights, sounds and smells of the Port were in his blood. A railwayman for 37 years, his career spanned pre-war Southern Railway through to Freightliner. In 1945 he married Alma and, until her death in 2005, she supported Bert’s involvement in no less than seven organisations, others included the Southern Counties Railway Society, Southampton Model Railway Society and railway pensioner groups.
Bert wrote many maritime and railway books, including six editions of Ocean Ships (1964-78), other Ian Allan ABC’s and the definitive histories ‘150 Years of Southampton Docks’ and ‘Southampton Railways’. By his early 90’s, he had given over 2000 talks – in most cases without notes - to shipping and railway groups, plus on country houses and historic buildings to his ‘ladies’ lunch meetings, using his vast slide collection and his amazing memory for dates, locations, and other meticulously researched facts.
In 2010, when the Branch held a 60th Anniversary luncheon on Oceana everyone boarded using their passport, except Bert who had never possessed one and was given special dispensation from P&O to use his photo-bus pass.
A quite remarkable and knowledgeable man, who will be greatly missed.