I’m not dead! Man reads own obituary in magazine

THE owner of a railway museum was left wondering if he had hit the buffers after reading of his death in a magazine obituary.

John Jolly, who runs Mangapps Railway Museum in Essex, was mistakenly written off by a specialist magazine after a well-meaning contributor mistakenly thought the 66-year-old had run out of steam.

The sad “news” quickly spread to Mr Jolly’s friends and others in the close-knit world of railway enthusiasts with some even phoning to offer their condolences to his would-have-been-widow, June, who thankfully saw the funny side.

Mr Jolly told the EADT the mix-up came about following the recent death of an Essex farmer with the same name, but with a different spelling.

A local enthusiast heard of the death and as quick as Stephenson’s Rocket he had typed up an obituary and dispatched it to The Railway Magazine.

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The magazine has offered Mr Jolly a “grovelling” apology and luckily for them he has seen the funny side and said he was quite touched to read of all the good work he has done in his days.

The owner of the Burnham- on-Crouch-based attraction, said: “When this farmer with the same name as me died most people realised it was not me as we had slightly different spellings of our last names and he was 79, so a fair bit older.

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“Unfortunately an enthusiast from Southend put two and two together and made five.

“The article was quite complimentary about me, I am pleased to say, but of course it quickly spread by word of mouth and I have had people stopping me in the street and saying ‘you are supposed to be dead’.

“There were also people who I have not seen for quite a while who were quite upset about it when they heard.”

Mr Jolly said it had been a “very odd feeling” when his neighbour brought a copy of the article round but said he held no grudge about what had happened.

“A man who has never made a mistake is a man who has never made anything.

“It does not upset me and they have been very apologetic and the editor, who I know anyway, was quite grovelling.”

No-one was available from The Railway Magazine for comment last night.

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