A warning to trainspotters

While looking through one of the railway auction house catalogues, I was intrigued when I came across this sign from the old Nine Elms locomotive depot in South London. We had to have it. For a museum devoted to railways, we have surprisingly few objects which directly refer to trainspotting and trainspotters. Trainspotting was a mass participation activity, especially among teenage boys, reaching its height in the 1950s with the publication of the popular Ian Allan ABC Locospotters guides.  By and large, British Railways did try to accommodate trainspotters visiting loco sheds and depots, by prior arrangement.  But, as the sign flags up, railway managers and police took a dim view of youths sneaking onto railway property unannounced.  The sign has already provoked a rash of reminiscences amongst NRM staff and volunteers. I’m hoping that I can use the sign to get more discussion going.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Small object collections and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A warning to trainspotters

  1. Timothy says:

    Stewarts Lane had a similar sign in the early 90’s by the entrance, which also said no tresspassers etc. Made it quite clear they didn’t wont any unexpected visitors.
    Have to say I was a good lad and just got what I could through the gates.

    • Hi Timothy,

      Thanks for your comment. I think most locomotive sheds did produce this kind of signage. It’s nice to collect an object like this which illustrates the huge popularity of trainspotting in the 1950s & 1960s. Good to hear that you stayed rail safe!

  2. peter says:

    Nine Elms was an easy yard to enter , as were most of the London MPDs .The problem at Stewart’s Lane was having to pick your way over the live 3rd rail.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s