I have always had an interest in railways. Apparently I was taken on trains as a child and showed a fascination – I don’t remember that but I do remember several trips to London to see my great-grandmum, trips that included steam and then diesel hauled trains to Kings Cross, the underground, and southern electrics.

When I was 10 or so myself and two friends used to visit the railway a lot. Specifically, we found a wall next to a signal on the Ilkley to Leeds branch near Esholt Junction and used to sit there to watch trains go by. This would have been in the late 1960’s, I can’t remember exactly but before secondary school so before 1971. Two of us also used to visit the railway at Apperley Junction having walked down via Esholt sewage works. At one stage we were invited into the signal box there, probably for our own safety!

‘our’ signal at ‘our’ wall in Spring Wood
View from the gantry of Apperley Viaduct signal box

Work got in the way for a few decades but once I retired I started to volunteer in S&T at a railway not too far from home. When I was little my mum used to take me to the NYMR and I learned about volunteering and such. I told her I would one day volunteer there – well, I didn’t go that far but I did at least sign up closer to home.