Transpotting before Irving Welsh


It’s a first rough again, found lingering in the bottom drawer. When I was around 10 years old I took up transpotting, with my elder brother. It helped that we lived at the intersection of many railway lines just outside Wigan where the Royal Scot steamed past at incredible speed every lunchtime dead on 12-00 midday. We used to run down to the bridge to watch it coming and no doubt covered in smoke and soot after it passed, going.

I suspect this drawing was another of the rejects for Some Missing Persons, probably because trainspotters do still exist.

For those not in the know here, the hobby consisted of hanging around a railway line, probably at a main station, where you could get a platform ticket, to watch the trains come and go and of course: note down the number. There were books by Ian Allen, full of the numbers.

Crewe, being one of the largest junctions in the country, would have been a very good place to spot the trainspotter, with obligatory anorak with many pockets for the Ian Allen reference books and a sagging rucksack for the thermos that mum had provided and probably some egg sandwiches to keep you going. Pen and notebook to complete the kit with possibly a Brownie 127 camera to record the event on celluloid.

I gave up the hobby when I came to realise that I’d never complete the numbers as they were making new trains every day.

4 thoughts on “Transpotting before Irving Welsh

  1. Bill Bryson thinks that trainspotters are all autistic! Maybe that’s why you gave up- because you aren’t? You don’t see many around these days😊

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s