P.D. Rendall became a Mechanical Engineering apprentice for British Rail Engineering's Swindon works at the age of sixteen. After nine years in engineering, he worked as a Signalman, rising to become Supervisor of the Bristol Panel signal box. He has a Honours degree in Social and Community History, and divides his time between work as a social historian and working in the mental health sector. He is a published author on many subjects, from the 1970 Bristol resignalling to the North Somerset coalfield, and has appeared on local TV and radio.