Tales of the Rails
John Fletcher began his railway career at the age of 15 at Lostock Hall loco shed near Preston in 1962. He soon progressed to became a fireman, working around the shed and on the footplate in the twilight years of steam in the North of England. Following involvement in the last BR steam runs in August 1968, he decided that the new railway was not for him, so left to pursue a different
career, before returning to the railway in 1974.
However, it wasn't long before his skills were in demand on heritage railways, and he found himself once more on the footplate, firing on preserved locos on the West Somerset Railway and in particular the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, eventually making his home in Grosmont.
From there he progressed to firing on main-line-registered steam locomotives on the national network, taking him all over the country, from Plymouth to Inverness, and Norwich to Newport.
John is a natural story-teller, and his fascinating and lively 'tales of the rails' not only explain the techniques of firing steam locomotives of many different classes, but vividly convey the hard work, the challenges and the sheer exhilaration of being'on the shovel' when man and machine are working together out on the line.
These lively and varied tales include a stint on Hogwarts Castle on Glenfinnan Viaduct for one of the 'Harry Potter' films, and journeys aboard a wide variety of engines from the 'Big Four' and beyond. including among many others the LMS's No 6233 Duchess of Sutherland. LNER 'A4' Sir Nigel Gresley, SR No 34067 Tongmere, GWR No 6024 King Edward I and the unique BR 'Pacific' No 71000 Duke of Gloucester.
Softback, 320 pages, black & white and colour photographs
Most orders are dispatched within two-three working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay (more than 10 working days), we will contact you and, where possible, give you an estimated dispatch time.
Please be aware that advance orders will be sent as soon as the relevant book has been published.
When placing your order, please ensure that you add the correct full shipping address to your order. This includes house number, street name, zip code/post code. If parcels are returned on account of an incorrect shipping address we will contact you to seek the correct address and also ask that you pay a contribution towards posting the parcel to you a second time.
All orders over £20.00 are post free to all UK addresses. For orders of £20 or less, a £1.50 postage fee will be added. These are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked. If you require tracking for your, tracking options are available for a small fee. If the service that you require is not shown, please get in touch with us and we can quote for your desired service.
Large, bulky or high value orders may be split in to multiple consignments or sent via courier. There is no additional charge for this and you will be advised at the order fulfillment stage if this happens.
Overseas orders are charged based on weight, and postage will be automatically calculated at checkout. For a postage quotation, please add the items you want to your cart and proceed to the checkout. All orders are usually sent via Air Mail - this is not tracked. If you required your order to be tracked or sent by a different service, please contact us, preferably before checkout.
Royal Mail will only accept parcels up to 5kg in weight (2kg for Canada). If you are ordering multiple items that exceed these limits, please contact us first so that we can advise you of the appropriate shipping rate.
Due to the high volume of parcels going missing, we are no longer able to send untracked orders via third party mail handling services such as Parcel Motel. We are able to send untracked parcels to bona fide PO Box addresses, friends and family members and to work addresses.
Some countries charge import taxes and we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.
Please note that courier services are unable to deliver to PO Box addresses. If you usually use a PO Box address, you will need to supply an alternative address if you require shipping by courier.
Updated: 1 June 2020