DMU arriving at Filey
August 3rd 1968, and it was my eighth birthday:whilst dressed in my new Batman cape, with best friend Sean (who was in a bright yellow Robin cape) as dark, thundery clouds gathered behind our house on the outskirts of Scarborough, I declared that I wanted to become the driver of a steam engine, only to be told that the last one was leaving the very next day...
Those storm clouds were significant.
Perhaps that is why I took up writing about steam trains instead?
But as the upper photograph on the left shows, almost 40 years later I actually managed it, spending a week driving and firing a huge Polish locomotive on real service trains filled with (oddly relaxed and unconcerned) Poles.
The extraordinarily dull photograph of a DMU arriving at Filey Station is my first-ever photograph. Taken I think in 1966 with a box Brownie. I had really hoped for steam, but that was already banished from the Eastern Region. I can't say I ever grew to love a DMU, but it didn't put me off railways.
I am a museum curator by full-time profession, working at Bristol Industrial Museum, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, and looking after the Liverpool Football Club Museum at Anfield since 1998.
I like real ale (especially the products of Salopian Brewery, Brimstage Brewery, Spitting Feathers and Peerless are favoutires.. and in bottle form Vignole's favourite - Everard's Tiger), bird watching, reading and collecting books and music.
I am happy to give readings and talks about the Inspector Vignoles Mysteries, the period and railway settings to schools, book clubs, societies, and other interested groups. Please get in touch and see if we can arrange a date and time.