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Compiled by Paul Irving

Edited, with some additional detail and comments, by John Pickup





Paul Irving’s compilation of Alec Mayor’s notebooks, painstakingly assembled over several years, is a tour-de-force by any standards. Drawing on both his personal experience as a career railwayman and one-time Carlisle train and traffic controller, and on his collection of Working Timetables, Paul has woven dry, highly abbreviated, but unique and detailed hand-written notes into a narrative full of insights into the way the railway really ran. In editing these notes, thanks to current sources not available to Paul, such as BRDatabase and the Irwell Press ‘Book of’ series, I have been able to add loco allocations into each daily record which hopefully provides further insight into how things worked and what was going on. Otherwise, I have tried only to clarify Paul’s text where necessary. Where there were significant uncertainties or possible confusions, I have added comments as highlighted footnotes so they can be considered against Paul’s original words.

I am well aware though that while Alec’s notes and Paul’s interpretation have certainly been diligently assembled, there is on occasion conflicting information available elsewhere about which loco hauled which train for example, not least in Chris Coates’s similarly diligent West Coast Sightings Sheets. Where the weight of evidence clearly supported one account rather than another, I have made an appropriate adjustment, but where there is no obviously correct answer I have generally stayed with Alec and Paul’s original. To the extent I have made wrong choices, those shortcomings must be down to me.

As this text is being published electronically, there is the possibility of making revisions if sufficient new evidence comes to light.

It has been a privilege as well as a pleasure to have helped bring Alec and Paul’s work to be published. I only hope that delving into the wealth of detail will provide similar pleasure to the reader.

John Pickup, April 2023

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