One of the essentials that every one of us used to own apart from the usual note pad and pencil (No ball point pens in those days!) was the well known Ian Allan ABC books. My first ABC was 1958 and it's still about here somewhere!
Basically the ABC book was a list of all British Railways steam (and later diesel too) locomotives. the idea was that when you spotted a loco and got the number you would write it down in your note book.
When you got home you would then look the numbers up in your ABC and underline the number in the book to indicate you had seen that particular locomotive. All good clean fun.
I think my last ABC i bought was 1985, then as loco hauled trains became less and less I lost interest in collecting numbers, multiple units and HST sets were quite frankly boring!
Some time ago after i got my first computer with a spread sheet I decided to list all the preserved steam locos I could find and then proceed to "Mark" them off as they were spotted on various preservation lines and mainline steam tours.
However a printed copy was needed to take with me on trips to preserved railways and museums and so on, and I was just about to copy my spread sheet to my Android tablet for portable use when I found this!
On a visit to Bournville MRC's exhibition yesterday I came across this new publication from Locomotion books.
What a great idea! using a very similar format to the old Ian Alan ABC's this book lists all the preserved steam locomotives in great Britain.
The listing includes all the Ex BR locomotives, Ex Industrial locomotives, New build locomotives as well as imported locomotives like some of the Belgian,German and American engines.
The book also gives the current location of every locomotive listed and an appendix at the back even gives the SatNav postcode to get there!
Also included are numerous colour pictures of locomotives as they were when the data was compiled.
The data being correct at May 2013, obviously there may be some movement of engines since then but as far as I know it's pretty accurate.
Here's an inside shot of my copy and you can see that I have started to mark off the locos I've copped since preservation.
All in all this is a great publication and anyone who follows preserved steam should look out for it or order direct from Locomotion books. At £8:99 it's not expensive and is another useful reference source for the modern day gricer!
The usual disclaimer applies, I have nothing to do with the publishing company or the bookseller who sold it to me other than being a well satisfied customer.
Thanks for reading and more from my keyboard soon I hope