I believe that this steam locomotive came from the scrapyard that we saw in yesterday’s post, so after rusting and mouldering for many years in South Wales, and after thousands of hours of restoration work it is seen in pristine condition on the Severn Valley Railway in this photo from the 80s.

Another scanned negative, itself restored, and seen for the first time.


Barry Scrapyard

Barry Scrapyard '72

Barry Scrapyard in South Wales was where many of my favourite steam engines ended up when the decision was made to replace steam with diesel and electric locomotives in the late 60s. Fortunately the owner of the Scrapyard decided that it was easier to cut up redundant wagons and the locomotives remained here for many years until preservation groups raised the money to restore a large number of them, making the UK one of the best countries for preserved steam railways.

This photo was taken in 1977.




This is a view of a departure from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England on the Severn Valley Railway that was taken on black and white film in the 1980s. I have recently been scanning some of my old negatives, so this is the first time this picture has seen the light of day.


Lichfield Trent Valley Departure

Lichfield Trent Valley Departure

A picture taken in about 1961 of a south bound departure from Lichfield Trent Valley Station in the days before the West Coast Mainline was electrified.

This location was a popular destination for me and although I visited here frequently with a school friend Mike Sambrook on his motorbike, I think on this visit I travelled by train.


Steaming North

Steaming North

This is one of my favourite photos taken in 1961 at Snow Hill station, Birmingham.

The photo took me a long time to restore as the negative was badly scratched but I feel that the effort was worth it. I am always surprised at how much detail can be extracted from these old pictures and am pleased that the sky plays an important part in the success of the image.

The small boy gives the whole scene a sense of the excitement of the 60s as steam came to an end on the railways of Britain.


Smoking Giants

Smoking Giants

An evocative scene taken in the locomotive yard at Wankaner Junction, Gujarat, India in 1997.

These engines were working the service to Morbi and shared with Chittorgarh the distinction of being the last two steam services on mainline railways in India. These engines were all gone by the year 2000.

Wonderful animate machines of true grit….




A photo taken in 1997 in the engine yard atĀ Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, India.

This loco was being prepared to work the service to Mhow in Madhya Pradesh. Steam services on the metre gauge did not have long to run and these engines disappeared soon after and were replaced by diesels.

I was made very welcome by the shed foreman who plied me with cups of water as I stood and completed a drawing of one of the engines.



Steam in ’61

Steam in '61

This is a picture from my misspent youth and was taken at the wonderful Snow Hill station in Birmingham in 1961. The station had a splendid overall roof and was built as such by the GWR in 1912. Unfortunately it was closed in 1972 and then demolished along with much of inner Birmingham when the city was redeveloped. The current station on the site is more like a bus stop than the glorious edifice seen here.

Okay, I have to admit that I was a railway anorak and carried my duffle bag and notebook with pride. The scene has a strong period flavour with its smokey atmosphere and the line of train spotters with their notebooks at the ready to take down the numbers of the engines that passed through these hallowed grounds.

The loco is a Great Western Railway 5600 class 0-6-2T engine that was built in September 1925. Initially they worked mainly in South Wales but by this time quite a few were working in the Wolverhampton Division and this freight is almost certainly heading north to Wolverhampton in this view. Steam on the former Great Western ended early in 1966 before most other regions of British Rail but surprisingly more locos from the Great Western have survived into preservation than all the rest of the old companies.

In the left background is the Catholic St Chad’s Cathedral that was consecrated in 1841 and was designed in the Gothic style by the renowned Augustus Pugin.

I miss those times.


Embsay Station 1

Embsay Station 1

If you have visited here before you will know that I like steam trains and there are plenty to choose from in the UK. This one is in the Yorkshire Dales near Skipton.

Over the past few days I have been going through my old black and white negatives and scanning a few of the better ones and some of these are of puffing billies. They will appear in forthcoming posts. Sorry!

Can’t have too much of a good thing!