I have written three volumes of autobiography describing my connection with the railway. They were first published in 1981 1983 and 1987.
These were ‘Signalman’s Morning’ which covers the period 1945 to 1961 – from a small boy besotted with the scene on the Great Western Railway, to my unofficial apprenticeship into signalling and engine driving to becoming a signalman at Uffington in Berkshire on Western Region of British Railways. The sequel to this was ‘Signalman’s Twilight’ which describes the events and the people and ends in 1965 with the beginnings of modernisation of signalling and motive power and the the closure of stations between Didcot and Swindon and especially of the most important one – Challow – where I ran a one-man a campaign to save it. ‘Signalman’s Nightmare’ Starts in 1962 and recounts more stories of the railway and its people and continues the story about the coming of the diesels, their surprising fragility on express trains – rusty steam engines to the rescue. The replacement of mechanical signalling by a more modern, automated system – and the dangers that that produced. Uffington signal box where I worked 1965-68 was the interface between mechanical signalling and automated. In that three years I experienced more shocks and difficulties than I would have done in 50 years in a traditional signal box. The story moves on to Oxford and the signalling and incidents, more redundancy due to automation and ends in beautiful Somerset, working Clink Road Junction and Witham – junction for the Cranmore branch. A signalman’s life was always full of incident and interesting fellow employees – and some not so interesting – and ‘Nightmare’ ends with my resignation from the railway in 1975.