Only the numbers have been changed

45344exgoathIn the long running Radio 4 programme, ‘I’m sorry I haven’t a clue’, there was a feature, ‘one song to the tune of another’ – something like that is going on here. No.45428 is pretending to be No. 45344, an LMS engine, on a piece of North Eastern Railway, pretending to be a bit  Welsh for a few days. In 1948, No.45344’s first BR allocation was at 8A Edge Hill, in 1955 she was at 3C Walsall and in 1960 had a spell at 3A Bescot, in the photo it’s 6C Birkenhead – not sure what other allocations No.45344 had but those I’ve found in my own books and the shed code she’s carrying aren’t exactly Welsh depots – so ‘I’m sorry I don’t have a clue’ where she acquired a Welsh theme identity. I’m sure someone out there will though.

For some reason identity swapping is one of those subjects which seems to get some enthusiasts ‘all steamed up’ and there were several fulminations on the topic, to be found on social media, following the identity swaps for the NYMR gala. What never ceases to amaze me about these, often quite vitriolic,  rants is the seriousness with which the matter is taken.

I’ve been a railway enthusiast now for 60 years, I was a steam era footplateman, and am a preservation era photographer and author, on numerous railway topics, and one thing I can say is that railway preservation is to railways what Zoos are to living in the Amazon rain forest. The whole of railway preservation is one big theme park and swapping a few numbers around is just part of the entertainment, just the latest V 2.0 / update / reboot.  ‘I’ll get my coat / tin hat’.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing:  Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

“Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.”

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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