A NICE review sent by email today from a reader Malcolm Margerison:
Quite by chance, I recently picked up your book “The Trains Now Departed” in the local library. I say “by chance”, because I happened to catch sight of it on a trolley of returned books waiting to be put back on the appropriate shelves; had I not done so, it is unlikely that I would have seen it, as it was a Large Print edition, and that is a section of the library I rarely look at.
I would like to say how very, very much I enjoyed it. I was barely able to put it down, something which I would normally only say about my favourite genre, crime fiction. I was a complete and utter nostalgia trip for me and it brought back so many, many happy memories. Thank you very much for a wonderful book.
I grew up in Clacton-on-Sea in the late 40’s and 50’s. Your chapter “We do like to be beside the seaside” reminded me of summer Saturdays and Sundays spent at Thorpe-le-Soken watching the day excursion trains, some from as far afield as Birmingham or Leicester going to Clacton and Walton, often hauled by “foreign” locos such as Black 5’s. Now, it is almost unbelievable how they packed so many locos and carriages into the yards and siidings at those places, in order to give the passengers a few hours by the sea.
I travelled the country extensively with my father purely to see locos I would never otherwise have seen, and also often travelled to Manchester or Oxford during school holidays to stay with one or other sets of Grandparents. In both places, I spent many hours watching trains on the various lines within easy reach of my Grandparents’ homes.