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Johnson Dumville (b 1889)
First Train Ride at 104

published in 'Today' newspaper, 28 September 1993

Train journey takes
104 years to arrive

by Ian Key

Adventurous Johnson Dunville marked his 104th birthday yesterday by stepping aboard a train for the first time.

BR laid on a first-class rail trip for bachelor Johnson, who has been blind since he was seven.

He even got a taste of commuting life when it was announced that the train due to take him from Darlington to York was cancelled.

He arrived in York half an hour late for a celebration lunch at a top hotel but the delay didn't spoil his day.

He said: "It was a marvellous experience. I've never travelled so far or so fast in my life."

The trip was organised after Johnson told amazed staff at the Neville House home in Darlington that he had never travelled by train.

He stopped working at his allotment at Middleton St. George, Teesside, in December, after a life as a pit worker and farm labourer.


Johnson Dumville was born on 27 September 1889 in Great Ayton, Yorkshire, the son of George Dumville (b1861), a policeman, and Susan (nee Johnson). Susan died soon after the birth of Johnson. George was a son of James Dumville (1824-1887), who was a son of Robert Dumville (c1767-1857) and his second wife Elizabeth (nee Johnson).

The spelling of 'Dunville' in the first sentence is the spelling that was used in the newspaper article.