Allan, who has amassed a sizeable pile publishing those mind-numbing books of carriage numbers that are the sine qua non of the serious platform haunter, is busy these days denying a Daily Mail story thathe called the species 'utter bores'.
The article, published before Christmas, has provoked a flood of complaints to the normally quiet company in Shepperton, Middlesex. One letter read: 'You bastard. You're so clever. You've stamped on your roots.'
Allan has wisely written to Steam Railway magazine to set the record straight. 'I never stated that I loathed anyone or described anyone as an utter bore. I never use either of those words, so certainly I would not have described our customers as such.'
But after this solid piece of damage limitation, Allan, 71, then careers dangerously off the rails, admitting: 'What I did aver was that . . . there was a 5 per cent fringe of Sellotape-spectacled, multi-badge, dirty-anorak, beret-wearing puffer nutters who did take the hobby over the top.'
Well, that's all right then.
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