From the Author's Preface: First, an apology to anyone of a technical disposition who may be interested in railways: thanks for looking, but sadly this book is not for you. However, if you are a trainspotter who enjoyed collecting numbers, especially in those wonderful days of steam, then welcome aboard for a journey through its pages, during which I hope you will be reminded of some of the joys of the hobby we shared. So, yes ,despite the stigma associated with the hobby, I'm proud to admit that I'm a trainspotter, and this is a book recording those observations I made around 50 years ago chasing steam. If any mistakes are discovered please accept my apologies; put them down to all that dashing around those dimly lit engine sheds scribbling down loco numbers as fast as you could, especially when, dare I say, you were there sometimes without permission. Regarding the 'numbers' they all come from some very tatty old record books I've managed to save through the years, despite house moves and the occasional clear-outs that always make you feel better when you cast the past away.
Thank goodness I didn't, and after so many years I'm still able to glance through their pages, helping to transport me back in time, becoming 13 years old again about to underline my cops in the Ian Allan abc after a Sunday shed bash. In writing my book one of the things I've enjoyed has been the lively discussions with my old trainspotting friends. Their accounts as to what happened on our days out, especially from my lifelong friend 'Big Stu', have been invaluable, together with the information and pictures supplied by Tony Moore, who I bumped into at a local watering hole, having not seen him for 50 years!