My personal bus route…


I was astonished to see the article by Geoff Courtney in issue 235 about the photograph of the RT reproduced from my book London’s Classic Buses in Black and White.

I enjoyed compiling the book some 17 years ago, never dreaming I would see its prominence in a leading railway journal so many years on.

Southall memories: A smart No. 7010 Avondale Castle passes through Southall in west London on its way to Paddington with an Up express on September 10, 1961. The 4-6-0, built by BR at Swindon in June 1948 and withdrawn from Reading (81D) in March 1964, was the only member of the class to be named after a Scottish castle. Author and Heritage Railway reader John A Gray recalls being kicked off Southall station while trainspotting in the early postwar 1940s, which led to him collecting bus numbers instead in nearby South Road. Another ‘castle’ dominating the centre background of the photograph is, in fact, a water tower, built in 1895 and in use until 1968. Now Grade II listed, the former tower, which held 260,000 gallons, has been converted into apartments. NORMAN PREEDY ARCHIVE

My enthusiastic interest began in railways at Southall in the early postwar 1940s, and being cut short by a station official’s ticking-off for loitering (spotting locos) on his platform, I turned tail to nearby South Road to collect bus numbers on routes 83, 105 and 120
(G, LT and STL bus types) instead.

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The rest is history.

John A Gray,

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Views in Issue 238 of HR – on sale now!

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