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Home / Photographers / Nick Nicolson

Nick Nicolson

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Born 10th December, 1934 in Glasgow. From a very early age my parents were on the move, and I went with them to Plumstead in South London via a stay at Thurleigh in Bedfordshire.

World War 2 broke out in September 1939 and it was only a few months later that our house lost all its windows and some of the doors. The Germans were trying to destroy Woolwich Arsenal part of which was only a few hundred yards North of where we lived. The house was boarded up but my father stayed on to look after the property and to continue his job.

My mother together with myself and a younger brother moved to relations back in Glasgow only to be bombed out of that house. We were on the move again to Fort William Then Onich on Loch Linnhe and finally to Lower Largo in East Fife.

The claim to fame for the village is that a much earlier resident named Alexander Selkirk was the basis for Daniel Defoes novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’. From what we were told at Primary school it was obvious that Selkirk was a pretty terrible member of the crew and the rest of them put him ashore on a small island in the Eastern Pacific. They sailed off and left him and he waited six years to be rescued.

After the War we returned to South London and I stayed there for quite a few years before moving to Reading in Berkshire and then to Bodenham in Herefordshire. My wife and I have been here for the last 31 years.

On leaving school I got a clerical job at the District Traffic Superintendent’s Office at Orpington Kent, Southern Region of B.R. After a few years I left and had a number of other jobs before re-joining British Railways on the Western Region at Paddington. I was there for 10 very interesting years. Very happy times and for most of which I was part of an office group investigating all form of accidents to members of the public and staff on railway property. The most interesting part was all sorts of site visits to ascertain the causes of passenger and freight train accidents and derailments. Reports then had to be prepared for submission to the Railway Executive and the Ministry of Transport.

In the end Dr. Beeching appeared on the scene and very quickly everything changed out of all recognition. I made another move to the Reading Branch of Lloyds and Scottish Finance as the Office Manager. It was here that I met my wife Jennifer. In 1974 I was promoted to Branch Manager at the Hereford Branch. A really good move and I stayed there until redundancy struck in the late 1980’s.

Finally I joined a local Ford Garage in Bromyard to run the office plus new and used car sales. Work was a pleasure and I met some really great characters over the years until retirement in 2003.

My interest in railways and transport comes from my very early long distance train journeys with my mother. My brother Andrew became a professional photographer and introduced me to the whole thing. My first camera was a Kodak Bantam taking 8 pictures slightly larger than 35mm on 828 roll film. I then moved on to a Kodak Retina 1a for colour transparency work and for B/W an Ensign Selfix 820 taking 8 exposures on 120 size film. The only problem with this beautiful camera was the 1/250 sec shutter speed. I soon progressed to B/W developing and printing. After trying many 35mm cameras I ended up with a Minolta X700 and batch of lenses plus a Rolleicord Vb for large transparencies and B/W. My own two favourite cameras of everything I have seen and used over the years is the Leica 111g and the Kodak Retina 1B. Of this latter camera only about 50,000 were made by Kodak for Worldwide sales.

I have now gone completely digital and use a Panasonic FZ30 which has a Leica lens of 35 to 430mm [ 35mm equivalent]. A brilliant camera and I am 100 per cent satisfied with it.

Hope you get as much enjoyment from any of my photographs as I have obtained over the last 50 years in taking them.

Nick Nicolson

Sadly, Nick passed away on 1 October 2015 in Bodenham, Herefordshire aged 80 years but his photographic work will live on.