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On the 24th.January 2024, the fortieth anniversary of the introduction of the first Apple computer, the Macintosh, was celebrated. This date has little or no importance to most computer users, but to Mac devotees, it is memorable. I managed to convince my boss that this new computer was just the job for the kind of work we were doing at the time, and a Macintosh was purchased for use in the office.

One of our recurring (and boring) jobs was to produce regular bar charts, showing the progress of work on the extension of the Piccadilly line to Heathrow Terminal 4. Each month, a chart had to be hand-drawn on a master copy and photocopied. A number of copies were then made, with each bar coloured in using a range of coloured pencils, before issuing them to the parties involved in the works. The Mac came with a selection of applications, and the graphics one was ideal for producing these bar charts. Each month, the previous chart was copied and adjustments made to the various bars to reflect current progress. At the time, they could not be done in colour, but a wide range of designs and patterns were available, allowing each bar on the table to have its own distinct pattern. It was then only necessary to produce a single copy and make the required number of copies from this original. My association (and love affair) with the Mac had started.

Naturally, a use was found for this new acquisition in the office, and I was able to spend my lunch times typing up my own research notes and producing articles for the CRA Journal. My own first personal computer was an Amstrad Word Processor, but after a savings drive, I soon had my own Macintosh. Subsequent versions of the Mac have brought me to my current iMac, used all day and every day for many things. Following this path has kept me away from the more usual PCs that a majority of computer owners have, and it has saved me from the clutches of the numerous Microsoft operating systems that have proliferated and am pleased to be able say that I have never used a PC!

Forty years on, the latest iteration of the original Macintosh works tirelessly to produce the masters for the Journals and books. The original machine boasted a RAM of 128kb as against the 8Gb that I now have and all the work done was saved to a then-new 3½ inch disc of 218kb capacity. I recently purchased a 5Tb external drive for storing material associated with the production of our publications and this purchase made me think of how far things have come in the forty years since the first Mackintosh.

The photo collection of the CRA has expanded greatly over the last year or so; our team of photographic detectives have added a large number of additional images, so it was essential that a larger capacity drive had to be obtained to cope with this increase in material. As well as a number of personal collections being scanned and documented, a wonderful initiative was introduced a few years ago by David Gibson. This was the Benchmark Survey; its aims were to ensure that a record of existing buildings and infrastructure were recorded for posterity. A number of members volunteered to cover defined patches on the railways of the county, and the latest additions to the survey have been added over the last couple of weeks. However, whilst a large number of locations have been covered in great detail, there remain some sites that have not yet been tackled.

We are very keen to see this project continue and that the missing gaps are filled. It is also important to record any changes that have been made at those locations already covered by the original survey, so if you are aware of any, please get some photos taken.

David Gibson would be very pleased to hear from any of you that would like to help to make sure the survey is maintained and expanded. If you would like to get involved, get in touch with David and he will take it from there. David’s contact details can be found under ‘A quick who’s who’ on page 8 of the current Lakes Express.

EditorialMike Peascod434
Correction — Photograph in Cumbrian Railways 189434
In My ViewBarry Stephenson435
Fifty Years of Electrics over Shap — Passenger ServicesDavid Hunter436
Railway staff at Carlisle Citadel station.Denis Perriam449
The Patriots of the LMS and their operation in Northern England: Part 3 — The Patriot Class after NationalisationJohn M Hammond450
Rationalisation and Re-signalling of the WCML: Part 18 — Low Gill JunctionMike Norris458
Rationalisation and Re-signalling of the WCML: Part 19 — Tebay No. 1Mike Norris462
The Photographs of Peter FittonAnon468
As seen on the Little North WesternMike Peascod470
The Spring MeetingCopperas Hill471
The Electronic TelegraphDavid Hunter472
Cumbrian Railways TodayJohn Peel474
Aw Maks o’ SpecialsJohn Peel476
Letters: Trevor Ermel’s Presentation Members’ Meeting October 2023, The Railway and the Telegraph, The Patriots of the LMS478

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