It was while on holiday in the Isle of Wight that Edward White (1910–1994) saw some ancient steam engines that chugged along country branch lines, one of them bearing the name ‘Puffin’ Billy’. The chirpy composition which it inspired became familiar during the 1950s when it was adopted as the signature tune for the Saturday morning radio programme Children’s Favourites
. Largely self-taught, White was born in London and became a dance-band violinist and arranger in his home city, besides directing a ballroom orchestra in Bristol after the Second World War.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 1996