IF YOU didn’t know Weymouth’s Andy Dagger then it’s possible you may have seen him walking in the town or in photographs.

Along with his British Rail colleagues, he was one of those employed to walk in front of the Channel Islands boat train as it trundled along at 4mph on the harbour tramway towards the ferries.

Along with rail colleague Brian Hook, he is immortalised in a Weymouth postcard dating from the 1980s escorting the famous boat train along Custom House Quay.

Now tributes have been paid to 68-year-old Mr Dagger, who died suddenly but peacefully at Dorset County Hospital following a brief illness.

His two daughters by his former wife Heather Riley – Heidi Speed and Emily Harley – were at his side.

Mr Dagger, also leaves five grandchildren and a sister, Margaret Speed.

The family said Mr Dagger worked for British Rail at Weymouth for almost 40 years, working in a variety of roles including shunter and guard, retiring in 2011. He worked at Dorchester South for the final part of his career.

He was a well known face around Weymouth, and later on Portland where he moved to.

He attended local schools and was a keen musician, playing the saxophone, drums and guitar. He played for one year professionally at Butlins.

Daughter Heidi said her father also enjoyed fishing, particularly off Chesil Beach, and playing golf.

She said: “He was on a postcard, an iconic photo, walking in front of the train. Dad is on the left as you look at the photo – this was a postcard promoting the town that was sold in Weymouth for many, many years.”

She added: “He loved his job very much. He was always wearing his orange coat.

“I don’t think he wanted to retire from the railway, it meant so much.”

Regulations stated that two people should walk in front of the boat train to warn the public and vehicles of its approach. The escorts carried coloured flags as they walked the route of one mile and two chains, and they often had to shift cars that were blocking the line.

No regular services have run on the line since 1990. Earlier this year the tramway was put into permanent out of use status.

Mr Dagger’s funeral is at Weymouth Crematorium tomorrow (Thursday) at 1.45pm. Family flowers only but donations can be made to Macmillan Cancer Support via Rose Funeral Service.