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British Rail Around the Derbyshire Peak District 
by Peter Gater.

ISBN 978-0-9562706-8-9
Published 2020 - 96 pages plus covers, illustrated, maps.

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20058 is seen at the rear of the 0950 Derby to Matlock, departing from Cromford with 20087 at the front on 28th August 1990. Normally a DMU turn, a shortage of serviceable units during the summer of 1990 saw numerous trains from Derby to Matlock feature locomotive substitutions. ‘Top and tailing’ avoided the need for time consuming running round of the stock at Matlock.

Presented in this album of Peter Gater's splendid photographs - many of which have never been published before - are representatives of most main line BR diesel-electric locomotive types found in England.
Classes 20, 25, 31, 37, 40, 45, 46, 47, 50, 56, 58 and 60 all feature plus several DMU types and a few steam specials for good measure!
So immerse yourself in a nostalgic look back at how the British Rail network around the Derbyshire Peak District looked from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s.

Ch.1 - The Wirksworth Branch
Ch.2 - The Matlock Branch
Ch.3 - Derby to Clay Cross
Ch.4 - Dore to Chinley
Ch.5 - New Mills to Buxton
Ch.6 - Around Buxton

Royalties from sales of this book will be paid to the Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield who provided invaluable palliative homecare to Peter and also supported his wife for nearly 2 years after his death.

Peter Gater 1929-2009 

Peter was born in Wolstanton in the Potteries, the only child of Harold and May. Harold worked in railway management, an ambitious man whose successive promotions occasioned a number of house moves at significant times in his life. In 1942 at the age of 13 the family relocated from Newcastle-under-Lyme to Dewsbury. The family moved again when Peter was 16, this time to Wolverhampton where after finishing school he started work in the railway drawing office in nearby Walsall. This was a happy time for Peter in which he had the freedom to indulge his love of the railways. He once told how he loved nothing better than after work on a Friday, using his concessionary travel pass, to take the ‘Night Scotsman’ to Perth and he would spend the weekend travelling between Inverness and Glasgow, recording the rail traffic he saw. The carefully observed record of one such weekend is recorded in an article Peter wrote called “The fun we had” which has been published. As a young man, Peter’s father said that he was ‘crackers’ for spending as much time as he did away at weekends on his rail trips!

He loved the bustle of the railway, particularly at night, when he said it was much more romantic. At this time, his idea of romance was listening to the wheeltappers in the dead of night at Carlisle.

Working as a local government officer, Peter - by now married to Dorothea - successfully applied for a position in Truro in Cornwall. This was the start of a very happy chapter in Peter’s life; initially living in rented accommodation on a little creek off the Helston river before moving to Truro where they resolved to settle, but they eventually moved to Matlock via a change in employment to the Peak Park Planning Office in Bakewell.

Much as Peter loved Cornwall, Matlock turned out to be an ideal location, central as it is to many of the rail networks. His job had the huge advantage of requiring him to spend much of the time out of the office on site inspections, these more often than not coincided with the timings of railway engines he wished to photograph and Peter had many pictures published in books and magazines. His great wish was to have his own book published, to leave something to posterity as he put it.

This album of photographs of British Rail around the Peak District of Derbyshire is that work. Sadly Peter did not live to see it published but he saw some early proofs and had the satisfaction of knowing his wish would come to fruition.

Peter lived to see his 80th birthday and was well enough at that time to still enjoy getting out and about around the Peak District. Peter valued his friendships and the fraternity of the railway world and the wonderfully companionable weekends spent with the Railway Nameplate club of which he was amongst the inaugural members. His enthusiasm, depth of knowledge for railways and the easy companionship with his railway buddies was always impressive.