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Describing himself as a "full-time dad and part-time writer", life-long railway enthusiast Richard Long was born in Hampshire in 1972 and has lived in East London for the past two decades. A history graduate and former bookseller, he has written a number of books about railways in the south of England, including Ryde Rail: A History of Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight.

As a regular visitor the West Country, and to St Ives in particular, Richard has long been fascinated by the town, its history and its spectacularly scenic branch line.