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Nicholas Whittakers much-loved classic recollects the long sunny days of his childhood when - notepad in hand - jam sandwiches in the duffel bag - he happily spent his time jotting down train numbers during the Indian summer of steam and the heyday of diesel.Whittaker returns to his roots in this updated edition - casting a sceptical eye over recent developments - catching up with old acquaintances and considering the toll that half a century of ridicule and a couple of decades of privatisation have wrought upon his beloved pastime.As Andrew Martin notes in his Foreword - this is one of the best books ever written about rail enthusiasm. Equally it is a poetically written memoir of growing up in a more innocent age - a hymn to British eccentricity and to the virtues of observing the world around you: Spotters - of trains - planes - buses or birds - are a last redoubt for something rapidly vanishing from our lives: looking outward - seeing - observing. People notice things less and less these days - while watching things more and more.Praise for the first edition:An elegy: for the steam trains already vanishing when Whittakers hobby began in 1964; for the short-lived diesel age which followed; for an era of near innocence. Times Literary Supplement Whittaker writes with humour and considerable evocative power ... For anyone who will admit to having a childhood brush with this now derided hobby - Platform Souls brings it all rushing back. Independent... Please click here to ask a question
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