After leaving junior school, I was faced with a lengthy journey to my new school in Catford by tram (route 74). I soon discovered that by using Southern Electric – just one stop – I was able to cut about 15-20 minutes off the journey.
At school, it was possible to see trains go by from some classrooms taking great care to avoid the eagle eye of the teacher. I recall seeing The Sunny South Express on several occasions hauled, I think, by a Brighton Atlantic.
My appetite for train travel was whetted and I tried extending my one stop journey out to Shortlands and Bromley South, where steam was in abundance. Unfortunately, these trips were not recorded on film, and even when borrowing my Dad’s Box Brownie camera the results were disastrous.
Following school I moved on to the School of Building in Brixton where the main line to Victoria passed by.
The great day eventually came when I was able to afford my own camera – a Selfix 820; this camera had a fine lens but a poor shutter. I then tried a Thornton Pickard Ruby Reflex but this was a cumbersome camera and used glass plates so I quickly moved on to an Ensign 12-20 which was compact and also economical. However, my favourite was an Agfa Record 11 which I still have tucked away in a cupboard. Apart from rail tours I confined my travels and railway photography to the southern part of England.
I joined the RCTS photographic portfolio where I learned a lot about railway photography from fellow members such as Richard Riley, J C Flemons and Les Elsey. I am pleased to make my work available through The Transport Treasury and hope that you will find some images to interest you.