Trainspotting

I only discovered recently that the trainspotting phenomenon was quite new when I was a boy. Ian Allen has originally set out to compile a register of engine numbers in the Southern region in the year of my birth. This was an unexpected success and led to handbooks for each of the regions.  Each book cost about 1/- and would contain a list of all the engines in service in a particular region. When a train had been “spotted” it could be underlined. I don’t know how long I lasted as a trainspotter – probably not much more than one of two summers. The disadvantage of living in Wolverton was that only a certain number of locomotives ever worked the line. So after a while it was always the same engines travelling up and down the line. If the ultimate goal of trainspotting was to see and record every locomotive, the it coud not be achieved by a small boy living in Wolverton.

The favoured location for trainspotting was the Blue Bridge, although it could also be done from the canal. The Blue Bridge gave the best  view of trains coming and going as well as engines in the sidings. And from there you could watch “Nobby Newport” – 41222 – chugging back and forth several times a day.