Former BR boss dies after heart attack

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The Independent Online

Sir Peter Parker, a former chairman of British Rail, has died, aged 77.

Sir Peter suffered a suspected heart attack on Sunday while holidaying in Bodrum, Turkey, with his wife, Lady Gillian Parker, and friends.

Sir Peter's son, Alan Parker, 45, a public relations executive, said his father died as he was preparing to return home from a two-week holiday.

He said: "My father had not been ill and it has come as a shock to the whole family."

Sir Peter was chairman of British Rail from 1976 to 1983 and was known to travel on the network to be "in touch" with the service workers and users.

He once said: "Railways have always been political – can you think of any business that runs through more marginal constituencies?"

Mr Parker, who has returned to Britain, is one of four children. The eldest child is Lucy, 48, then Oliver, 41, and Nat, 39. Sir Peter had 10 grandchildren.

He was a successful businessman prior to his chairmanship of British Rail. He was appointed by the Labour government of 1976 and later reappointed by Margaret Thatcher.

Richard Bowker, chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority, said he was "deeply saddened" by the death. He said: "Sir Peter was a remarkable and inspirational man. Our thoughts are with his family.He will be sorely missed by us all."