The story of Wardale’s “passage through the 1960s” and his obsession with steam as it disappeared from the rails. 67 pages including black-and-white images.
For those who are not technically minded (and for those who are), here is a book by David Wardale that bears no resemblance to his 1998 Magnum Opus “The Red Devil and Other Tales from the Age of Steam”.
In a letter to myself dated December 2022, Wardale wrote the following words which serve as an excellent introduction to the book. He wrote as follows:
I’m sending you an SD card containing the text for Reminiscences of a Trainspotter. Its purpose is to show the incredible variety of locomotive shapes that could be seen on BR in the early 1960s.
Whilst this was my original aim, the whole thing has mushroomed into the story of my passage through the 1960s. There will still be many alive (like yourself) who had similar experiences and I think (hope) that this will be attractive to them and bring back memories of their own “locomotive adventures” in the 1960s. Therefore, I would like to see it made more widely available, and I’m hoping that you can see the opportunity to do this for the benefit of the AST group. Read it and judge for yourself if you think it has commercial possibilities like the works on Porta that you have produced. (I want nothing for it and it is freely given.)
Not being in any way an engineering work (apart from a few remarks on design details), it is full of anecdotes and rather barbed comments, mostly directed at the BR management at the time, but I also manage to get in one or two suitable comments about GWR locos. (I hope you’re not a GWR enthusiast!)
I found that writing it takes me right back to those years, how I was and how I felt then, so it is written as I would have written it at the time. (This has been an interesting experience for me.) The intensity of my feelings for steam locomotives, and consequent hatred of the things that replaced them, drives through, I think.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
Whilst Wardale hopes that the book will appeal to people of a certain age who enjoyed similar childhood experiences, I (as editor/publisher) hope that it will also be of interest to younger readers who grew up in the post-steam era, as it offers them a glimpse of what childhood and adolescence was like in those halcyon days of the 1950s and 1960s, and why the excitement and interest that trainspotting provided could often be more meaningful to its devotees than all other boyhood interests and activities.
Note: For personal (philosophical) reasons, Wardale has chosen to omit his name from the book’s cover. It is therefore published anonymously.