In the early 1950s I bought my first camera, having an interest in railways, particularly steam locomotives. I decided to record on film as many of the classes and variations still on British Railways as I could. Nationalisation soon resulted in pre-grouping designs rapidly becoming extinct. I was never interested in collecting numbers as were so manyenthusiasts.
Over the years I travelled extensively, fortunately the Southern, Western, London Midland and Scottish regions would issue shed permits but not the Eastern and North Eastern. I held lineside permits for considerable stretches of the Eastern and London Midland which were to prove extremely useful.
I would often travel to a particular area with the hope of catching and photographing a particular locomotive or class. On many occasions only to find them at the bck of a gloomy dark shed where it was impossible to get a good picture. There were of course times when I got a pleasant and unexpected surprise making the trip very worthwhile.
It was during the fifties that I also became interested in industrial steam, especially those on narrow-gauge lines. Companies were only too pleased to let you visit, although perhaps finding it strange that someone would want to take photographs.
When steam was withdrawn I had very little interest in diesel power.