My summer reading is ‘Platform Souls’. First published in 1995 I got my copy quite by chance during one of my many forays into second-hand bookshops. It tells the story of a trainspotter over three decades.
In 1964 the 11 year old Nicholas Whittaker is drawn to trains, starts trainspotting and travels across the country ‘bunking’ into locomotive sheds to get numbers.
Steam was already vanishing and over the next five years Whittaker goes long distances, often alone, to find the last operating steam locos so he can underline them in his copy of the ‘ABC Combine’. For me his descriptions of the last days of steam are the most evocative and enjoyable parts of the book.
Whittaker was open to the rise of diesels. He hunts Warships, Westerns, Hymeks and Deltics while these are in the assendance and then, in their turn, withdrawn from service.
Finally, the book reflects…
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