A day with Allan was always a joy, for he was such great company. He very much shattered the stereotypical image of solitary, socially challenged railway modellers – especially when he cranked up the volume on his Fender Strat! Even though I’d visit every few months, Allan would have built a huge number of new buildings in that time, and quite often layouts too. His techniques might be speedy, but the finished products never looked rushed. Using layers of PVA glue to replicate water was one of the first techniques I learned from Allan – gone were the days of messing about with smelly yacht varnish. Allan’s use of Halfords primers for speedy weathering has rubbed off on me too. I have a humble signal box that Allan gave me on one of my first visits. It lives on my mantelpiece and it’s the only model that’s ever been allowed to take up a permanent position in the living room – it’s that good!