Saturday 16 July 2016

Guest Post: Trainspotting Live - Another View

If you look down the links section you will see a recent addition is Steven Carty's personal blog. Steven, known as Cheggs to his mates, is a rail enthusiast, an Admin on Railcam, and is one of those people who makes a difference to your life from the moment you meet him. Cheggs asked me if he could write a rant, loosely disguised as a post for the blog as he has a bit of time on his hands at the moment. You see he was so excited at the prospect of the 3rd Trainspotting Live that his heart couldn't handle it and decided hospital was a better option. Still awaiting test results Cheggs sent this to me earlier, and it is his take not so much to the programme itself, but the reaction of the hardcore enthusiast world to it. Those of you who know me well will know I have little patience with the hardcore enthusiast, who think they are the font of all knowledge above those actually working or who have worked in the industry, for whom the word "humour" is from an alien galaxy, and all of whom are Doctors of Pedantology. So I'm delighted to publish this post from Cheggs, show's I'm not the only one! Get well soon mate, and thanks for getting this, erm, off your chest and speaking, erm, from the heart......Hope the blood pressure is normal again.

Dear World.

I am writing this piece as by means of an apology. For what exactly, I will divulge shortly. As many of you will know, last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday saw the airing of in my opinion a very bold and brave show.........TRAINSPOTTING LIVE. Broadcast on BBC4 at 8pm on said evenings was a simple production without hundreds of thousands of pounds of budget behind it attempting to bring the world of both trains and trainspotting to the general public at large who for countless decades have sniggered, sneered at and derided our love of trains, railways and all things flange wheeled.

So, were we delighted this was happening?
Were we heck! Naaay, naaay and thrice naaay. From minute 1 when it was announced it was doomed to failure. And I shall tell you why.
Because of the very same people who want everyone to like our hobby, but don't want anybody to either criticise it or dare get anything wrong associated with it. Those who want it to appeal to a mass public, but want it to be on THEIR terms. Those who think you can only be 'indoctrinated' by them and what they think or don't bother at all.

I had my doubts, I made quips and jokes beforehand. I had horrible visions of being laughed at by friends etc. And you know what, I wouldn't have blamed them for laughing. But not at who you think.
Peter Snow, Dr Hannah Fry, Tim Dunn and Dick Strawbridge fronted up to live cameras and attempted to do a job that these so called enthusiasts could only dream of! And my hat is off, and my heart goes out to them for doing so. State for the record your honour that I really enjoyed the programmes (well 2 of them as I write this as a certain health issue stopped me from seeing the 3rd one live haha) and would really like it to appear on our screens again and hopefully soon.
See the thing is, I don't care if they got fooled by a month's old clip, or they got one or two bits of terminology or factoid wrong, there was 3 hours of non-stop talking and showing and explaining trains / railways.

However, I would have been laughed at by my friends because of one thing........Facebook. Just before 8pm on Monday 11th July, Facebook should have carried the following.........

For the next 3 evenings and possibly beyond, you are about to be subjected to behaviour of extreme smugness, high-almightiness, all-knowingness and petty proportions that will make you cringe and possibly want to vomit. No, not by the show, but from the hundreds of grown people who see their hobby as exclusive and to which only they know what's best. Who hang out of train windows looking like they're about to give a Nazi salute. Who wish to be photographed 'almost touching' a loco. Who pounce on any mistake anyone makes about anything railway related that you don't ever dare to question them ever again, I mean how could you!?
For this, the trainspotting and railway community would like to say a huge sorry. Because despite anyone's best efforts nothing will ever be good enough to those who would undoubtedly be able to bring you THE best ever live production the WORLD has ever seeeeen!!!

We are trying to get rid of stereotypes etc etc but all we did was feed them this week with all the holier-than-thou attitudes. How about some of US actually got together seriously and put a show together? No, not broadcast it! And not one that's an hour of trains going by with someone telling you what the damn things are! I meant a show that we think would appeal!? And pitch it to someone. Go on then.

So, my sincere apologies world. We really do want you to like us and like our hobby and passion, but only when we're ready, and only how we see it, okay? Cool, nice one.

But keep spotting ;-)



  1. Go Cheggs!!! Get well soon mate!!

  2. Well said, Totally agree with what you said.

  3. Very, very well said! get well soon.

  4. They should have had railcam on for an hour instead would have been much better

  5. Well said Cheggs and all the best for a quick recovery

  6. As it was the BBC, the chances of promoting Railcam was IMHO, nil. What we can do, the ones who enjoy Railcam is to ensure we post positive things on the Web that will encourage people to come and look at what I for one enjoy, it's Railcam, the best £10 I think I have ever spent.

    Seriously can you imagine Railcam on the BBC for an hour? There would have been no one left watching and most certainly no Tuesday or Wednesday programs.

    Railcam is different for every single user, that is the magic.

    What Trainspotting Live tried to do and I think it did a good job, was to give a brief overview of this hobby we call Trainspotting.

    Could it have been better ? Yes.
    Will it return ? I certainly hope so.

    Why has England become so bloody negative?

    Every show is derided for something or other.

    I enjoyed it, I recorded it and will watch it again. I just hope that if and when they try again, we can all try to be positive about the 95% they got right and forgive them and stay silent for the 5% they got wrong.

    Let's be positive, let's share the fun and the friendship that comes from it and let's have a bit less of the negative, please.

  7. The Aviation world is just as bad. I know people who will not post sightings for fear of being jumped on just they because they make a mistake.