Railway publisher Ian Allan died on June 28, aged 93.
Allan started his career in 1939, working for the Southern Railway as a junior assistant in the PR department. He dreamed of becoming general manager, but was told it was impossible after he had lost a leg in an Officer Training Corps exercise at the age of 15.
After working at Waterloo station, he decided to collect useful information for ‘locospotters’ into a book, which resulted in the first Ian Allan ABC book in 1943 - the ABC of Southern Locomotives.
The book quickly sold out its 2,000 copies, at one shilling a copy. Allan said: “It hadn’t been hard to put together. I knew all the Southern engine details by heart.”
He maintained his interest and involvement in his business for many decades, claiming that retirement was the worst course of action for someone with a passion for the railways.