Michael Williams

Farewell Ian Allan – inspiration for The Trains Now Departed

June 30, 2015 Blog



SO SORRY to hear of the death of Ian Allan, the patron saint of trainspotting, who fired up the imagination of a generation of schoolboys, with his ABCs of British Locomotives (and many other subjects). The huge passion of the British for trains and train travel today owes much to to this inspired publisher, who stayed true to his steamy vision to the ripe age of 93. Certainly, I wouldn’t have such a following for my own books if it hadn’t been for Ian Allan setting the trend. (Although I have never been published by him, I owe a debt to many of the authors he commissioned.) May his requiem derive from Isaiah 6 – the only occasion when the Bible referred to steam trains, as I mention in my book On the Slow Train Again:

“I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne… and his train filled the Temple… and the Temple was filled with smoke” (Isaiah 6)



June 30, 2015 Blog

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