For two years I was secretary to the student council at Wilberforce College. Our weekly sessions erred on the informal side and the real art of the role was transforming the fragmented chatter of the meeting room into a coherent conversation in the minutes. I also made triannual appearances at the board of governors to explain what the council had been getting up to.

My first-hand experience with rail travel is quite limited, living in Holderness where the lines were lifted long ago, only esoteric traces remaining. I used the Underground extensively on the three times I have been to London, and have made a handful of cross-country journeys spread over many years, as well as the occasional tourist line.

In the past year or so I have become more interested in real-life locomotion, avidly following the output of Geoff Marshall, Ruairidh MacVeigh, Jago Hazzard, Reece Martin and Chris Eden-Green among others. I’m halfway through reading Paul Atterbury’s Discovering Britain’s Lost Railways. I first discovered this association upon finding Sigh for a Deltic on Eventbrite. I’ve attended a few more presentations by other organisations about railways past and present. In the same period I have also attended virtual lectures by various heraldry societies around the world, and eventually combined those passions by creating the Wikipedia page for the coats of arms of all the railways in Great Britain.

The cat can also be an obstacle.

The arrival of two nephews and a niece brought the opportunity to get the wooden trainset out again. I have spent many hours over the past five years teaching them to line up the small models and maneuver them carefully around the track, then even more hours reconstructing the layout after they or the dog have trampled over it.

In the period of 2017-2020 I took a series of stills and videos which can be seen here (password: hull).