I live in Braintree, Essex and have been interested in steam locomotives as long as I can remember. My introduction to steam engines were ex-GE 2-4-2T and 0-6-0T tanks operating on the local branch line. It was on a trip to the GE main line that I saw my first Britannia. From that moment on I was really ‘hooked’. The rest is a fairly common progression.
I was introduced to the delights of London stations. I followed the well trodden path to Willesden shed then down to the canal, under the fence and into the back of Old Oak Common. Then followed frantic attempts to record as much of the rapidly disappearing scene in the 60’s as I could afford. Before the end of BR steam I had developed an interest in industrials and foreign steam which kept the interest alive in following years.
Like so many others, my first camera was a Kodak ‘Box’ Brownie. I quickly found that it was only possible to photograph stationary subjects. As soon as I could afford it, I changed to an Ilford Sportsman 35mm camera. All subsequent cameras were 35mm including my current Minolta which I bought just before I retired in 1992. From the mid-1960s, I gradually switched to colour slides which I stuck with until the increasing difficulty in purchased film and this triggered my switch to prints.
Apart from photography, I also get my hands dirty and spent over 9 years helping to restore 80151 to running order. I still travel to the Bluebell Railway in the summer to take part in the effort to create an ’84’ 2-6-2T from a ’78’ 2-6-0.