Neighbours’ shock at train-loving pensioner’s death

Mystery surrounds the death of a quiet elderly train-loving man who plunged to his death at Ilford station last week.

One neighbours told The Recorder she believed she saw 76-year-old James Clark of The Holt, Hainault, on the morning he died, after being hit by a high speed train at the station.

Hazel Andrews, of Brookside, said: “I was doing the garden in the front of my house when I last saw him. I’m sure it was the morning he died. “He was a very quiet character, often carrying his bowls bag around. “That day when I saw him I spoke with my friend who lives nearby, she mentioned to me he had been looking a bit unwell,” she added.

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said he saw police banging on his door of his two bedroom maisonette, where he lived alone, on Saturday, four days after his death.

“They asked me if I had seen him, and seemed that they were ready to start trying to break his door in. But they stopped after they got a phone call. I think they must have been told his body was identified,” he added.


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“He was keen on trains, which is a hobby of mine, so we did sometimes share discussions about it.” Mr Clark had also won a number of medals from Walthamstow Bowls Club, which he had attended.

Although retired, he was once a school teacher, according to neighbours.

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An inquest has been opened and adjourned. A spokesman for Waltham Forest Coroner’s Court said the post-mortem examination found he had died from multiple injuries.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “We were called to Ilford rail station on May 10 following a report of a man being struck by a train.

“Ourselves and Essex Police officers attended the incident, which was reported 12.46pm and is currently being treated as non-suspicious.

“Paramedics from the London Ambulance Service also attended, but the man, believed to be in his 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Delays hit the line between Liverpool Street and Shenfield until 4pm, before a normal service resumed. Police confirmed the family would not be leaving a tribute.

Did you know James? Call the newsdesk on 02084773826.

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