From steam to diesel, a
pensioner from Wootton has penned a book about his life on the railway.
Jack Turner, 81, started working on steam trains and his memoirs serve as a social history as well as an autobiography.
The book, entitled From Nationalisation To Privatisation: My Life On British Railways, traces Jack’s 47-year career starting as a junior clerk at Aylesbury High Street to becoming a signalling inspector.
Jack said: “There’s so much variety to the hobby of the railways. Since I was a young child and first saw trains they attracted my attention.
“Like all boys I thought I wanted to be an engine driver, but when they brought in diesels and electrics there wasn’t the chance of being a steam engine driver.”
In the late stages of his career, Jack reached the senior position of chief operating inspector for the southern part of the former London Midland region. He was responsible for operating matters and for signalling staff and signal boxes covering 90 miles.
But as well as Jack’s own recollections of his life on the trains, the book documents some of the most major changes to locomotive history ever to take place.
This, of course, includes the privatisation of the railways, which Jack does not think is for the best.
He said: “If it had been privatised into four to six regions that might have been all right, but there are too many firms and more people involved in this day and age.”
To order your copy of Nationalisation To Privatisation, which is priced £14, visit www.jacetpublishing.co.uk or call 01234 306286.