Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Farewell" to an old and revered anthropologist called Jack Goody

Jack, who has died at the age of 95, contributed a wealth of articles to learned journals, authored or edited over 30 books and built and international reputation in the field of anthropology, which he taught at St.John's College, Cambridge for thirty years.

Peter Burke paid tribute to Jack in 2010 when he said that, in Jack's long life as 'one of Britain’s leading intellectuals', he had three careers : the first was as a professional anthropologist, specializing on West Africa ; the second in the study of literacy and the third, that of a historical sociologist or comparative historian.

I had no idea, as a History undergraduate at Sussex University 50 years ago, that the then young Peter Burke who tutored me on a course in comparative history called 'Aristocracies and Elites', which ranged from Norman knights to Japanese samurai and Ashanti tribesmen, had himself been taught some ten years before by a youngish Jack Goody at St John's College. Peter made me adjust the way that I thought as a student of history, so I suppose a bit of Jack Goody rubbed off on me, as indeed it must have done on thousands of others in the course of his long career.

What you possibly didn't know about Jack, that he was :

* born John Rankine Goody in 1919, in Hammersmith, Middlesex, on the outskirts of London, the son of  a mother who had been born on the borders of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, shaped by thrifty Scottish Presbyterianism, who Jack recalled : "if someone offered her a flower, she used to say quietly say "I'd rather ha'e eggs" and had worked in the Central Post Office in London.

* as a boy, remembered his father who was an electrical engineer who had moved from technical journalist to advertising manager in the City of London "got up early in the morning to go up there, travelled by train, came back late at night. He only had two weeks holiday a year. So I decided I didn't want the work in the City of London."

* grew up in Welwyn Garden City and from the age of 11, in 1930, took the train to the ancient boys' grammar, St. Albans School, with its motto 'Medioc ria firma', 'The middle road is best', until the family moved to the city so that he and his younger brother, who later taught astrophysics at Harvard, could be closer to school, where they were "much encouraged by my parents who had left school early, especially my Scottish mother" and where he, in his teens joined the 'Left Book Club' and later recalled his "school days were overshadowed by the expansion of Germany and Italy and above all the Spanish Civil War."

* living in St.Albans "got into archaeology, since Mortimer Wheeler was digging up the Roman town of Verulamium which was next to the school" and recalled him unearthing "part of a hypocaust which had a magnificent Neptune mosaic on top" and in his studies in the sixth form, was much influenced by a master who had worked with the school of F.R.Leavis based at Downing College, Cambridge.

* at the age of 18, in 1938, having failed to gain a place at Downing College, attended St.John's College, to study English Literature "which was the sexiest subject", but was also was interested in current affairs and history and later admitted : " So my interest in literature had a more social aspect to it than some of my teachers at Cambridge, above all Leavis, would allow."

* admitted, when interviewed by Eric Hobsbawm in 1991 : "I didn't go to any lectures in my first year. I went to Leavis's seminars in Downing, I went to Hugh Sykes Davies' lectures because he was my supervisor. I went to a number of other things, but very few were connected with what I was meant to be doing at the time. I remember I got reprimanded for not attending sufficient lectures at the time, but there seemed so much more to do. It was very lively and a great intellectual atmosphere and it also seemed very near the real world I suppose, partly with people going off to Spain and being involved in the Spanish Civil War. So that one felt one was very close to what was happening outside Cambridge, as distinct from being at school." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITRrAbns5D0&t=6m50s

* recalled that he : "thrived in the atmosphere of mutual education, probably didn't listen to anyone over 30, consorted with research students" and with fellow undergraduates, like the slightly older Eric, who had got a place at Downing College, then had his education cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 and conscription into the Army at the age of 20.

* based in Cyprus, was stuck by :  Crusader castles, villages still using a 4,000 year old version of the Mediterranean plough, the Gothic Cathedral in the middle of Nicosia transformed into a mosque and in Egypt by the Pyramids and had also been 'brought face to face with a wide variety of humanity - Greeks, Turks, Egyptians, Palestinians, Jews', cut short in 1942, when he became a prisoner of war, captured after the Eighth Army engaged with the Germans at the Battle of Tobruk.

* was imprisoned for the next three years in camps in the Middle East then Italy, where he escaped and spent time with peasants and came into contact with agricultural life, before recapture and transfer to Camp Eichstätt, in Bavaria, which had a library and where he read two abridged volumes of 'The Golden Bough' by James Frazer and later admitted that : "This is the book which made me interested in anthropology and I don't think I would have come into this field had it not been for Frazer."

* also read 'What happened in History', by archaeologist Gordon Childe, which he acknowledged as the book which had the greatest influence on him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CZBSAIUCmc&t=18m52s : "This Australian Marxist historian transformed the study of prehistory in this country and made it more socially orientated and his ideas about the great advances of the Bronze Age, which took place first in Mesopotamia and then in Northern India and China, showed, contrary to what Marx and Weber said, you couldn't really differentiate Europe and Asia at this time."

* in a camp got involved in teaching modern English literature and in addition "played a great deal of bridge. At the end of the War when I had done only one year of university and couldn't think who'd employ me I even thought of becoming a professional bridge player. The only thing I could do which really which qualified me for anything as far as I could see" but had also "got very interested in social interaction in small groups, as one obviously did living with people in a confined space.so that's one of thing I got interested in later on"

* after being demobbed from the Army at the age of 26, like his friend E.P. Thompson 'wanted to change the world' and eschewed an immediate return to academic life because : "it did not seem to me to be a particular attraction at that time. It seemed to be where all these old fuddy duddies were. What was happening, was happening outside" and under the influence by the Amy Bureau of Current Affairs "felt one received an education. It was the time after all of the 1944 Education Act, people going to university. Universities opening up, made one thought one could do something in the educational field" and also : "felt I'd been standing around in prisoner of war camps long enough and wanted to do something active" and became an adult education officer in Hertfordshire.

* found that the War had a formative effect on his thinking because : "I was in the desert fighting and coming up against Bedouins, a prisoner of war with Indians, South Africans, Russians. At another time I was escaping from prison in Italy in the houses of Italian peasants from the Abruzzi. I think when I came back from the War, somehow or other, I wanted to make some sense of all this diversity. But I think that its only partly that, because reading Marx and Weber made me interested in broad sociological problems, such as why things happen in one place, but not in others. That's something that interested me for a long time."

* in 1946 at the age of 27, inspired by Frazer and Childes, returned to St. John's College and transferred from English Literature to the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology and was taught by Meyer Fortes who "didn't like to be seen simply as a specialist in one continent, but rather as someone able to discuss family systems in different parts of the world" and graduated with a 'Diploma in Anthropology' in 1947, then after a short spell in educational administration and a trip to Balliol College, Oxford to pick up a BLitt  in 1952, he returned to St John’s, this time for a PhD in Anthropology.

* was financially supported by the Government with a scholarship from the Colonial Welfare and Development Funds' and recalled : "I wanted to work in Europe because I'd spent time in Italy and Cyprus and I really wanted to do European anthropology, but at that time there was no money to do European anthropology, you couldn't do it. It was folklore studies or something like that. So I had to go to Africa to become an anthropologist to get fieldwork training." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg6gZkRLRr0&t=19m59s

* assigned to to Gonja in newly independent Ghana, focussed on property, the family, the state with the LoWiili and LoDagaa peoples and : "I was forced to sit in a place for two years and simply observe what was going on and hadn't thought very much about 'the law' and 'religion' in a very concrete way except going to church and being 'had up' for riding a bicycle without lights. This was a kind of revelation to me. To be involved in all these aspects of life, to be involved in the whole productive process too. I learned how to make beer and bread.  It made me interested in a lot of fields of social life I wasn't interested in before." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg6gZkRLRr0&t=30m11s

* characteristically, in Ghana, was "concerned with looking at some so-called primitive tribes, but also what was going on politically... my joining the Convention People's Party was not just a strategy. I was really involved in the process of independence, obviously was not a neutral observer" at the same time while doing village fieldwork, where he wanted to be 'a friend of the ancestors', "never wanted to stay locked in it, but rather understand it in a wider framework, in connection with the desert trade, the routes from the East and South America. I've always been interested in that kind of connection."

* after the War had again met friend and literary historian, Ian Watt, who, also a prisoner of war, albeit without the benefit of a library, had spent time without access to books and because they "had the same experience, we decided to work together on the influence that modes of communication have on human society and above all the role of memory and the consequences of the introduction of literacy in societies without writing" which resulted in their  paper in 1963 which advanced the argument that the rise of science and philosophy in Ancient Greece depended on the invention of the alphabet and continued their partnership through a series of books culminating in 'The Domestication of the Savage Mind' in 1977.

* started his career at Cambridge at the age of 35 as an 'Assistant Lecturer' in 1954, followed by 'Lecturer in Archaeology and Anthropology' from 1959-71, while 'Director of the African Studies Centre' from 1966-73 and finally as the 'William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology' from 1973 to the age of 65 in 1984, with Alan Macfarlane commenting : 'Jack's drive and political skills made the Department of Social Anthropology a really exciting place to be. He prevented feuding and stopping the Department from narrowing down to selected specialisms. He encouraged all forms of anthropology in all areas of the world. Cambridge became the main exporter of good graduates to teach in European universities.'

* as a prelude to 'Cooking, Cuisine and Class' in 1982 "was interested in food in Africa because it was so appalling. It was porridge mostly and despite my Scots ancestry I didn't like to eat porridge in the middle of the day in a hot climate. There were different sauces, but it was always porridge and then I got interested when I went to India and China, particularly China, because there was so much elaboration in China, so many different dishes but Africa was not like that. You had chiefs and you had commoners, mostly everybody ate the same food and that always struck me as interesting. There wasn't an aristocracy of food, everybody ate the same. They had more of it perhaps, but they had the same." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg6gZkRLRr0&t=28m21s


* as a prelude to 'Flowers' in 1993 had noted the "very little use of flowers in Africa, little symbolism attached to them in songs and stories in comparison with Asia and Europe. That's usually the way things start with me : the contrast arouses my interest. The question : 'why people didn't make use of flowers in Africa ?' is posed against the background of the fact that in India, for instance, people are putting garlands round people all the time." "Assuming that the use and non-use of flowers says a lot about societies attitudes and characteristics. I decided to write a historical and anthropological book on this theme."

* 1999 on the occasion of his 80th birthday at Cambridge had one of his ex-students, Cesare Poppi, say of him : "What strikes one about Jack is his commitment to understanding whatever he wants to understand. It used to be called human nature. He gives an impression of being on the job all the time which means perhaps, to him, a certain way of trying to understand things has been a thing with the way he lives. It's not a job for him. He applies understanding to all sorts of situations in the same way. That explains the variety of his interests. It's engrained with the way he lives."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg6gZkRLRr0&t=8m15s


* revealed that his view that "grandchildren and children I like in small quantities. I like the thought of them but their physical presence isn't always attractive" didn't quite square with what one of his daughters said about him when she remembered that he once "dressed up in an Arab costume and had a headdress on and all my sisters and I sat round him and my nieces as well. It was like this guy with his harem of children and grandchildren."

* received recognition when elected 'Fellow of the British Academy' in 1976, gave the 'Luce Lecture' at Yale University in 1987, was recognised at each grade of 'l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres' :  'Chavalier' in 1996, 'Officier' in 2001 and 'Commandeur' in 2006 and in 2005 received a 'knighthood' for 'Services to Social Anthropology.'

* said : "Although there is no recipe for perfection and we may not be able to do it terribly efficiently, comparison is one of the few things we can do in historical and social science to parallel the kind of experiments the scientists do."

 * had his daughter say of him : "The one thing I appreciated when I was very little was his great sense of fun and we used to go hunting and gathering for our lunch in the back garden and he had a great sense of imagination. As I grew older his intense capacity for work and his involvement in his work inspires as well as inspired me very much. He's never stopped working. He's always interested in what he's doing."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg6gZkRLRr0&t=37m01s

* had colleague Alan Macfarlane, Life Fellow of King's College, say of him, on his passing, that he was :  'He was a warm and rounded human being and always exciting to be with. I have met many fascinating people in my fifty years in Oxford, London and Cambridge and interviewed several hundred of them, but Jack stands up there as the man who shaped my life the most and as a constant inspiration.'

'He was enormously kind and supportive to many of those he encountered, from children to elderly dons. He would put his hand on your shoulder and draw you into his world, and you knew you could depend on him in any contingency.'

What better epitaph might an old anthropologist have who has drawn so many, known and unknown to him, into his world ?


Saturday, 18 July 2015

Britain is a country diminished by the loss of Tim Lloyd-Yeates, tireless advocate of the old and weak

Tim, a six foot six tall, gentle giant, who dramatically changed the direction of his life at the age of forty and concentrated his energy and talent on enriching the lives of old men and women with dementia, has lost his battle with leukaemia at the age of forty-seven.

What you possibly didn't know about Tim, that he :


* was born in 1968 and grew up in a small Somerset village and "spent most of time outside imagining I was everything from an explorer to a footballer to a scientist" and remembered "outdoor adventure making, damming streams, making dens, scrumping apples, illicit teenage cigarettes and lots of daydreaming."

* was convinced he would play cricket for England, until a recognition of "a complete lack of talent" eventually stopped him, while attending Bristol Cathedral School with its strong musical tradition and provision of choristers for the Cathedral and where the later composer, Dan Jones, was in the year below him.

* left school at the age of 16 in 1984 and three years later started work at the 'Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group', where he stayed for 11 years, rising to the position of 'Facilities Manager', then at the age of 32 in 2000, worked for a year as 'Events Manager' for '@t Bristol Science Centre' and three years later was working in the City when his 62 year old mother-in-law, Shirley, suffering from brain tumours, speech dysphasia and dementia, went into a care home recommended by her GP.

* visited Shirley and later reflected that  : “The staff were running about with too much to do, while the residents were moving around in slow motion – and there was no connection between the two” and noted that "the old people were sitting in a circle, staring into space, in a room heated to 90 degrees. At 9.30am Shirley was watching tv from a wheelchair while she didn’t own a big tv, she was a radio person who loved being outdoors. So she was receiving the antithesis of everything she would have wanted – and what this told me was that the care home didn’t know who she was.”

* used the small inheritance that Shirley had left them and with his family travelled to India and then France, but had been profoundly affected by Shirley's treatment :  “I was 35 at the time and it left me with a burning sense that everyone, especially me, could have done better.  It fired me up and stayed with me” and spent the next four years learning everything he could about health and social care policy in Britain and about dementia and on return to Britain, got himself qualified as a trained facilitator for 'Cognitive Stimulation Therapy'.

for two years from  –  worked as 'General Manager' for 'Everyday Miracles', which designed and delivered activity workshops for old people living in residential care, as well as conceiving and producing the 'Daily Sparkle' reminiscence newspaper and provided music, poetry, quizzes and physical activities in various care settings and knew he had found his vocation : “For the first time in my life I felt that I was in a place where I belonged. I discovered I had a talent and a desire to connect with older people and those living with dementia.”

* left 'Everyday Miracles' when the company franchised the model and  “as skint as a church mouse” with a young family, at the age of 41, on the basis that 'although most residential care homes are good at looking after our physical needs, some care managers and staff lack the time, resources and training to look after our emotional, creative and intellectual wellbeing', set up the charity 'Alive!' 'as an antidote to the boredom and apathy I witnessed in these places.' 

* phoned care homes in the South-West and when they expressed interest, armed himself with a wheelie bag full of song sheets, quizzes, poems and a CD player and set off on public transport to meet them, engaged with the residents, many of whom had dementia, kneeling down so that he was at their eye level and using non-verbal methods of communication to gain their confidence and establish his persona as 'Tall Tim.'

 * in 2009, met a confused care home resident called Dorothy and asked what one thing she "would really like to do ?" and when she replied : "the Bay House Hotel in Scarborough", typed Google maps on his iPhone, found the hotel, showed it to her and found that she  began telling him, lucidly and fluently, about its significance in her past and later recalled : "I had the first inkling of what the Internet and intuitive touchscreen technology could do for older people.”
 

* in 2010, with Andrew Morris, launched 'Memory Apps for Dementia', underpinned by the premise :  “It’s the people in the room who have the knowledge. They hold the answer. It’s easy to get caught up in the activities in – Paint Pals or iPads for their own sake – but they are just tools, just a bridge to the person who has lost his or her energy or identity."
 
* was, for example, asked by the 'Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership' to work with Peter with limited ability to talk and walk in a residential care home in Bristol and recalled : "We used an iPad to reconnect him with his favourite things; the music of Leonard Cohen, The Epsom Derby and photos of places in the World where he has lived and worked, including Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, a Kibbutz in Israel and Kuala Lumpar".

* saw his work affirmed by Professor Dominic Upton, 'Director of Health Psychology Research' at the University of Worcester, who in his 2011 study on the quality of life for people with dementia in care homes found that tablets helped residents reminisce about positive times in their lives, build better relationships with staff and address practical challenges such as making menu choices  and said :
“I was surprised by how much the iPads enhanced interaction between residents and their carers, many of whom were young and inexperienced. Also, grandchildren would come to visit and say, "This is how BBC iPlayer works" or they would explore YouTube together. The technology has great potential to bring generations together.” 

* promoted the use of iPads and touch screen technology at : 'The National Care Homes Congress', 'The Journal of Dementia Care Conference', 'The Times Cheltenham Science Festival', 'The Care Show', 'The UK Dementia Congress' 2012/13/14, The Houses of Parliament, 'Age Cymru My Home Life Conference', 'British Society of Gerontology Conference', 'Primary Care & Public Health 2014', 'Disability Wales Conference' but still found that the fact that only two out of ten care homes offered residents internet access "heartbreaking".

* didn’t view the work he was doing as a business, but a 'social service' and in the six years of its existence, saw his 'Alive!' charity expand its annual activity to over 300 care settings across 9 counties in Southern England with 2,500 specialist dementia activity sessions involving music, poetry, physical activities, dance movement psychotherapy and creative art workshops and was proud to "lead a team of over 20 passionate, creative people who brighten up the lives of some of our most vulnerable elders in care, every day."

 * in addition, promoted guided reminiscence and a acted as a 'Your Story Matters' trainer for 'The Life Story Network', volunteered his time to 'RSVP' and their care home visiting scheme and helped train their volunteers and acted as a  'Quality of Life Assessor' for the 'Dementia Quality Mark' awarded by Bristol City Council for residential homes specialising in dementia care, was elected 'Voscur Voice and Influence Advocate' for the 'Bristol Older Peoples Partnership Board' and was a presenter on BCFM Radio, hosting a monthly 'SilverSound' show aimed at over 60’s in the City of Bristol.


* when interviewed at the 'Connected Communities Festival in 2014' said about the work of 'Alive! ': " We're targeting some of the most frail people in our society, people who, generally speaking, can no longer live alone. People living with serious mental health issues and we're giving them individual attention. We're trying to help them focus on things that have been special in their lives, their memories of music, objects and experiences that they've had and to see people light up when they're given that kind of special attention has been heart-warming." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFeLwvQeooY&t=3m15s
 
                                                               * said :
 "I actually love spending time with older people in care. I sit on the floor and listen and laugh. I feel privileged to be able to connect with so many of our elders and feel slightly baffled that their wisdom is not valued more by mainstream society."

“Everyone is unique.  Let’s stop pretending otherwise.  How can you serve people if you don’t know who they are?”

"I still value my imagination as one of my greatest assets. Sometimes we need to think imaginatively to properly connect with people to challenge traditional ways of thinking and working"

* was continuously motivated by a "sense of injustice, wanting to make a positive difference for people who are often no longer able to advocate successfully for themselves."


* had Patrick Hart, Station Manager BCfm say of him :

"Most of all Tim was a friend, a gentle man filled with love, care, generosity and wisdom for so many of us that had the honour of spending time with him. He was a gifted presenter with a wealth of musical expertise and stories to share. He had a profound effect on so many of us and will leave a lasting legacy with everyone at BCfm."  

* had Shawn Sobers UWE Associate Professor of Lens Based Media tweet :

'Very sad news to hear my former colleague Tim Lloyd-Yeates has passed away. A truly beautiful human being.'

P.S. This post would not have been possible without reference to Pippa Kelly's heartfelt tribute to Tim, which concludes with a donation link to 'Alive'
http://pippakelly.co.uk/

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Farewell" to the Father of Trainspotting, Ian Allan

 

Allan, who started his business career at the age of 20 with a one shilling book of locomotive engine numbers in 1942, sparked a 'trainspotting craze' and developed a portfolio of activities which, over the years, included publishing, book and model shops, travel agents, garages and hotels, has died at the age of 92.


What you possibly didn't know about Ian, that he :


* was born in Burgess Hill, Surrey at the Tudor founded, Christ's Hospital School in 1922, the son of Mary and George Allan, Clerk to the Governors, responsible for the administration of the funds of the Foundation.

* was a young, railway enthusiast with a model railway in the attic who made  regular visits to the signal box at Christ’s Hospital Station, whose education from the age of 11, was at the independent, Tudor founded, St Paul's School for Boys, Hammersmith, London, where Clement Freud and Nicholas Parsons, were in the year below him and at a time when his 'boyhood ambition was to be station master, Waterloo, graduating to general manager, Southern Railway'.

* in 1937, according to an article he wrote in the Guardian in 2004 : 'I lost my left leg when I was 15, during exercises with the Officer Training Corps', but his son, Paul, talking to BBC Radio Surrey in 2014, was of a different opinion and said that "he was a normal guy until the age of fifteen when he lost his leg. They found a carcinoma and took his leg off" https://audioboom.com/boos/2531943-the-ian-allan-story#t=0m3s and either way, as a railway enthusiast, Ian recalled :  'I did wonder how I was going to ride my bicycle to go and look at trains, but I was up, about and on my bike within six weeks.'

* in 1939, at the age of 17, having relinquished his ambition to run Waterloo Station : 'No general managership for me. They needed at least the two legs, they said', but with the still undaunted ambition to work for Southern Railways, started at Waterloo, as a 'Temporary Grade 5 Clerk' in the Office of the General Manager on 15 shillings a week, initially planning advertisements for excursions which stopped with the outbreak of the Second World War and was moved to the Publications Department, where he began to learn how to organise the print and production of the 'Southern Railway Magazine'.

* recalled in 1968 : "being the only person in the Department who had any interest, even knowledge of locomotives, it landed to my lot to handle all the enquiries we had to answer - details of locomotive names, numbers, dimensions and eventually, to save myself the work, I suppose, I suggested we produce a book." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDQl7Fj1sbQ&t=0m22s

* found that : "The Railway point of view was that their job was to run railways, not publish books. So I asked if they 'had any objections to producing it on my account ?' and they had no objections and so I produced my first book" having raised £50 for production costs in 1942, which sixteen pages long "hadn’t been hard to put together. I knew all the Southern engine details by heart.”

* placed a small classified advert in 'Railway World Magazine' and soon had 2,000, one shilling postal orders, which, after all expenses were paid, to his surprise, produced an unexpected profit and found that a reprint with the new title, 'The ABC of Southern Locomotives' authored by 'Ian Allan' and not 'I.Allan', in 1943, sold out within weeks and followed suit with books on the 'Big Four' Railway Companies : the 'Great Western', 'London, Midland Scottish' and 'London and North Eastern Railway.'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bb0PBcj8XY&t=2m55s

* lived for the duration of the War with his parents at East Lodge in the grounds of Christ's Hospital and when in London ryely remarked that he 'had to be careful at Waterloo, though, crossing the 650 volt tracks during the blackout; if I'd brushed the electric rail with my tin leg, that would have been the only bit left of the young Ian Allan ' at the same time, in order to keep up with orders for his books, enlisted friends, colleagues and neighbours to help with dispatch and extended into road transport with 'London Transport' covering trolley buses and buses, in addition to the Underground and saw the 20,000 print run sell out in days.

* saw the birth of 'trainspotting' : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgjQhmqEcqI&t=1m53s and later observed that it flourished during the War because : 'you could never, ever mistake a railway enthusiast for a spy. Railways have never been state secrets in Britain; we published our first guides during the Second World War. Spotters went everywhere at the time, taking numbers. On the continent they would have been arrested.'

* knew that, as a consequence of the new craze, significant numbers of children were going down to the tracks and sitting on bridges over tunnels, with the 'News Chronicle' newspaper in 1944 reporting : 'The rage among boys for collecting train numbers is "sweeping the country" according to a police inspector giving evidence at a Tamworth Juvenile Court, when several Birmingham lads were accused of railway trespass. "During the school holidays", he said, "as many as 200 boys at a time went to Tamworth from places as far away as Bristol and Crewe, because it was an important rail centre crossed by two main lines. They sometimes got out of hand and to relieve boredom, ran about the permanent way, putting pennies on the lines, which they afterwards collected as souvenirs."

* with his Department approached by the Railway Companies to come up with 'rules of behaviour', created 'Ian Allan Locospotters Club', with Mollie Franklin, who he married in 1947, acting as Secretary, which provided its members with a pencil, a book for recording engine numbers and a badge, with members signing a pledge 'not to interfere with railway working or trespass on railway property' and subsequently saw membership rise to 260,000 and told the News Chronicle that he was starting Spotters Clubs all over the country : "Girls are becoming as keen as boys and my correspondents range from boys of six to men of ninety."





* stated that the 'Raison d'etre' of the Club 'is to further interest in locomotive and general railway matters. It is also to try to make enthusiasts realise that interest in engines is not merely a matter of number taking, but something much more fascinating and enthralling. We all know there is something "alive" about steam locomotion; that it has individuality and even personality, but the whole field of railway is equally a hobby-timetabling, train operation, electric trains, dock, freight handling and a score of other subjects are well worth the trouble of "reading up".

* at the end of the War in 1945 and at the age of 23, was approached by the General Manager of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, Terry Holder, who asked him to help its post war relaunch with 'a big splash' and, as related by his son Paul : "Went up to the London Palladium, talked himself into the dressing room at the theatre, spent three hours talking to these two guys, drinking lots of scotch, which he didn't do. Came away, persuaded them they should help with the relaunch" and had a "wonderful photograph of the day with my Father and the Mayor of Romsey, Terry Holder and Laurel and Hardy. They came down for nothing."


* with his books attracting the attention of bookshops at railway stations and the book chain, W H Smiths, left Southern Railways, at the age of 23, founded 'Ian Allan Ltd Publishers' and took over a bomb-damaged office on Vauxhall Bridge, with his Father, George, installed as Financial Director. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bb0PBcj8XY&t=7m04s
*  in 1946 published his first magazine, 'Trains Illustrated', followed by : 'Locomotive Railway Magazine' and 'Railway World' and began to play a role in the organisation of  'Loco spotters’ Excursions' and two years later, with friends, bought 'Hastings Miniature Railway' and went there when he "felt the need for steam."

* in order to avoid the time and cost of commuting from his home in Staines to Waterloo, bought a building at Hampton Court in 1951 and relocated his offices there with profits reinvested in printing machinery operated in the basement which led to his creation of 'Ian Allan Printing Ltd' in 1955.

* in 1964, with the offices now too small, at the age of 42, bought some land at the end of the line at Shepperton Station with a view to building new offices for the company, now the 'Ian Allan Group,' and in order to furnish them with a grand board room, bought the 1921 Pullman carriage, ‘Malaga’, used by King George VI in his 1948 Royal Tour, had it lifted onto its own piece of track and constructed the offices around it.

*  maintained that he fell into the business of travel agency by 'serendipity - the happy circumstance of chance', having already opened an office for people to organise travel on 'Enthusiasts Tours' and handle enquiries to buy rail and bus tickets and having a safe full of Cunard Miscellaneous Service Orders for transatlantic travel, made the decision to open his first shop in 1964.

* saw the number of his shops rise to 34 and become a major Travel Agency chain in the South and West of England over the next 26 years, before he sold them to W.H.Smiths in 1988, by which time his son Paul was in the driving seat who said : "I was very much involved in the travel side of things and I felt the more professional way forward was the corporate market and that's where I steered the business."

* with his belief that : 'Railway enthusiasm is classless' in 1974 published a biography of 'Bill Hoole: Engineman Extraordinary' which 'sold jolly well', believing that : 'The great heroes of the steam age were not just legendary locomotive designers, nor great company bosses, but engine drivers like Bill Hoole, LNER/BR Eastern Region and held the post-war record for British steam, 112mph' and reflected 30 years later : 'Don't think anyone would be interested in the life of an engine driver today, unless he or she happened to be an off-duty mad axe murderer.'


* in 2004, at the age of 82 wrote : 'Now, in my eighties, I'm Chairman of the Great Cockcrow Railway, Surrey. All two miles of it. The tracks are 7.25 inches apart, but, all up, the trains weigh the mainline equivalent of 425 tonnes, and run at scale speeds of 70mph. It's a microcosm of the real thing. Except, our trains are always clean, and we haven't had an accident worth reporting since we opened 35 years ago.'

* warned : 'Never retire: it's the best way to get ill, depressed or drop off your perch prematurely. Engine drivers would, famously, die shortly after they collected their carriage clock. How could you go from the footplate of the Golden Arrow one week to moping about the house the next? I'm in the office at Shepperton five days a week. My sons run the Ian Allan Group these days, but I like to do my bit.'

* in 2012, at the age of 90, saw his company celebrate 70 years in the publishing business, during which time it had grown from a small producer of books for train enthusiasts and spotters to a dedicated transport publisher producing high quality illustrated titles on a range of largely transport related subjects.

* was convinced that : 'Trainspotting and religion go together like the number 4472 and the Flying Scotsman. I'm dedicated C of E ; come from a long line of clerics. . Eric Treacy, late Bishop of Wakefield, was one of the great railway photographers. His mitre used to hang in the palace hall alongside an oily engineman's cap.'


* believed that with the railways  : 'If there was anything like a Golden Age, it was between 1900 and 1920, before the car got into its stride' but remained optimistic about the future when he said :
 'Never put the mockers on the next generation. There may be better times around the corner. Who knows, we might even begin to learn to love our mainline railways again.'