Tag Archives: Swanage Railway

Another passing year

The Santa specials are almost run, Flying Scotsman’s return to active service is now just a fading memory; 2016 is about to become history. 2017 will, amongst other things, see the 50th anniversary of the ending of Steam on the Southern, taking a little bit of my own history with it. The commemorative events and publications are all in the pipe line from the Nene Valley event, with the return to steam of 34081 92 Squadron, to the Swanage Railway’s Bulleid homage at the end of March. Later in the year a new book is due to be published revealing, in detail, some of the highlights of those last few years of main line steam power on the Southern.

For three fantastic years, (1963/4/5), I was very much a part of the daily operations of the former LSWR routes out of Waterloo – working on all types of services  expresses to Bournemouth, ECS to Clapham carriage sidings, milk trains, banana trains and ballast jobs on engines great and small – ‘those were the days’.

The photo shows Ex-LBSCR 0-6-0 No. 662 (Martello) shortly after leaving Winchcombe on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway.

A further selection of my photos can be seen here: http://steamagedaydreams.co.uk/?page_id=3378

If you enjoy my photographs why not have a look at my 2017 Calendar, which, for the first time, is being published by calendar company Calvendo and sold on line or by order at your local bookshop using this ISBN number: Steam Age Daydreams (Wall Calendar 2017 DIN A4 Landscape) / 978-1-325-22545-3

Here are the online links to it.:


and on Amazon at:


If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:


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The Barry 5


An almost intact No.35009 Shaw Savill makes a forlorn sight in the scrap line at Barry. In 1966, when these photographs were taken, I was a fireman at 56A Belle Vue (Wakefield), six months earlier I was at 70 A Nine Elms and working on these very engines. It was very strange, after working hundreds and hundreds of miles on their footplate, seeing them  sitting there, in Barry, awaiting their fate which, in May 1966, was a great deal  less than certain.

The other 4 of the ‘Barry 5’ photographs are all of West Country Class 4-6-2s. One of them is of No.34010 Sidmouth, which, for some reason, I seemed to get on the 08.35 Bournemouth duty, more than most. However, despite being ‘saved’ from the gas axe No.34010 Sidmouth is one of the ‘unrestored’ – for many years I watched her, rusting slowly, at the end of the head shunt at Grosmont MPD. This was before she was acquired by her latest owners Southern Locomotives, who, in 1997, moved her to  Sellindge  before moving her again, this time to their new base at Swanage. Southern Locomotives, according to the latest information I have, are  beginning her restoration, to running order, once they’ve finished work on No.34072 257 Squadron, which is due to be completed in the next couple of months or so.

The other 3 engines No. 34016 Bodmin, No.34028 Eddystone and No.34039 Boscastle, have all steamed in preservation. No.34028 has only recently run out of boiler ticket, No.34039 Boscastle is slowly making here way back, at Loughborough on the GCR, and No.34016 Bodmin is now awaiting overhaul at Carnforth.  And as for No.35009 Shaw Savill, well she is now a kit of parts at Ian Riley’s workshops in Bury; with a long term goal of restoration to main line condition – maybe, one day, she, like No.34010 Sidmouth, will steam again.

The photos of Nos.34010, 34016, 34028, and 34039, can all be seen here: http://steamagedaydreams.co.uk/?page_id=850

If you’ve enjoyed my photographs and blog, you might enjoy my book “Gricing: The Real story of the Railway Children”

These are some of the totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing:  ‘ treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’  ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot.’  ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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