Jarrod’s homage to the ‘Hoover’

Jarod Cotter
Photo: Lee Hellwing
Jarod Cotter Photo: Lee Hellwing

A childhood infatuation has become the topic of the latest book by Morton man Jarrod Cotter.

His newest work, produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of the English Electric Class 50 diesel-electric locomotive, has just been published by Somerset-based publishing company Haynes, famous for producing specialist manuals.

Previously, Jarrod has produced books on his favourite aircraft - the Avro Lancaster, North American P51 Mustang, Sopworth Camel and Bristol Blenheim.

But this time he switched his attention from air to land, with the topic of his latest offering a train that he particularly liked as a child.

Jarrod, 50, said: “The Class 50 was a favourite of mine when I was a young lad.”

The engine was first seen on the railways of Britain in October 1967 and only 50 were ever built. Remarkably 17 of those still exist today in the hands of private collectors or railways.

Producing such a detailed book requires considerable research, and Jarrod began that research two years ago.

Not only does it draw on the experience of professional railwaymen, it also features photographs of each of the 50 locos.

“I bought the photos in a collection from a former driver,” Jarrod explained.

Whereas the original books for which Haynes became known were simply a series of practical manuals that primarily focused on the maintenance and repair of cars, the more recent editions offer much more than that.

Jarrod said: “The current manuals are a compromise and not like the original Haynes manuals.

“They are part manual, part history and part information on how the remaining models are being maintained today.

“The books now make a very good gift.”

Nicknamed ‘Hoovers’ by rail enthusiasts due to the distinctive sound made by the air-filters originally fitted, the Class 50 locos retired from British Rail service in 1994.

Jarrod’s book, English Electric Class 50 - Owners’ Workshop Manual, is available online from various outlets, including Amazon and WH Smith.