It also had the added attraction that by swapping the information you made you new friends and a shed load of new knowledge.
That said it was never a passion of mine which I suppose was because of the competing interest of the Tower of London and my own train set which grew every birthday and every Christmas.
Still lots of people did and it and it is still popular today although I guess it will always have been the magic of steam which made the difference.
Standing on the platform at Queens Road station watching the green Southern Region trains rumble in on the way to London Bridge hardly compared with the smell of warm steam and oil and the chunk and chudder of a steam loco pulling out of a mainline terminus.
All of which explains the swarm of lads in matching raincoats and caps standing at the end of a platform with note pad and pencil at the ready.
To her they just pushed out smoke and cinders which got you clean washing dirty.
But I still love the smell of steam and oil and whenever I am in the Science and Industry Museum the Locomotive Hall is one of the first places that I visit.
Thinking about it perhaps I should have made the effort but I am not sure how many I would have seen on the South East Region and I was too young to take off to the big London termini.
So, a lost opportunity but as these two pictures of my old friend David Harrop testify, train spotting was part of the 1950s and early 60s for many kids.
He tells me he the first was taken around 1961 and the second a few years later by Edgeley goods shed in Stockport.
And of course along with the school blazer it is the bike which pretty much went wit train spotting.
And that is about it.
Pictures; courtesy of David Harrop