Just before his final passing out exam, Boettcher was being put through his paces by the line's signalling supremo, Donald McLeish, when another volunteer signalman turned up as a guest from the Bluebell Railway in Sussex.
It turned out that Derek Coe, who began his working life as stationmaster at West Calder, left the railways and Scotland to become a business studies teacher and is now a member of the dreaded OFSTED hit squads.
Coe is chairman of the Signalling Record Society and during his visit to Bo'ness he "inspected" Boettcher with a view to helping him in his final exam.
McLeish says the inquisition was thorough: "He even checked Ian's entries and writing in our train signalling book." Fortunately, no naming and shaming.