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How the teachers must have hated the intrusion when all heads turned sideways to enjoy the spectacle of passing trains…all teachers that is, for except the redoubtable Robert Bailey Parr.'Puffer Parr', as he was affectionately known, was a staunch enthusiast who knew the railway timetable off by heart.

At regular intervals during lessons he could be seen glancing at his watch before moving nonchalantly to the window, then after the train had gone he would slip back behind his desk and make notes out of sight of curious gazes before carrying on with his lesson!

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Sadly, as a cash-strapped 12 year-old back in the Fifties, cameras were something that other people owned, and so all the hours spent watching 'Scots', 'Patriots' and 'Britannias' passing by on express trains, were by consequence recorded in pencil only.

The only two pictures I have of this period are of Class A3 Pacifics taken with a Coronet 44, but neither are very good.

INTRODUCTION by David Hey Terry Sykes's 'In and Out of Trains' is an appropriate heading for his page and I wish I had thought of it myself.

Each and every one of us will have at one time or another experienced the ebb and flow in our passion for trains and railways, whether it be an allegiance to steam or a penchant for more modern diesel and electric traction…in essence, the appeal of trains frequently comes and goes, but it never leaves us entirely.

And it's fortunate also, that the old cameras did not discriminate between the age or life experience of the person whose finger pressed the button. Once a picture had been taken of a loco with a lamp post growing out of its chimney, it was a mistake seldom repeated.

Now fast-forward fifty years, and hundreds of hours are spent surfing the web looking at some excellent photographs of steam days, however what is most extraordinary is that many were taken by small boys still in short trousers, all of whom are now old gentlemen well past their prime.

I do recall walking down the platform at Kings Cross and seeing the prototype 'Deltic' snuggled up to the buffer stop.

The English Electric diesel prototype was a regular performer on the ECML between Doncaster and Kings Cross; we may well have travelled down to London behind it?

Of course, trespassing on railway property was downright dangerous and I am not making light of it here, however certain allowances must be made for young boys, who, by their very nature have yearned for adventure since time immemorial; the prospect of exploring new places has always been in a boy's genetic makeup, and this included a generation of post-war 'baby boomers', whose memories of chasing trains in the 1950s are remembered as a life-changing experience and we wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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