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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Photographer of the the Year - Alternatives - David Quayle

As described in the post of 12th January 2014, the Photographer of the Year 2013, for the Alternative UK Pics section, was David Quayle. As we have done in the previous two years, below are some biographical notes of the winner, written by himself. The winner of the Winwick section, Jeff Nicholls, had his biographical notes posted on 11th March 2013, as he won the title in 2012 also. This post is dated 30th January 2014.


I was brought up at Egremont in west Cumberland and I came to be interested in steam trains as a result of having a railway line at the bottom of our garden. The line was built to move iron ore from the local mines to iron and steel works. It had two junctions, at Whitehaven and Sellafield, with the Furness line, which runs round the coast.
As there was more variety of traffic on the coastal Furness line, I used to cycle to a small station at Nethertown on a very regular basis, getting wet quite often, as is normal in Cumberland. It was amazing how often the wind was blowing against the direction I was riding in. At Nethertown, I became friendly with the signalmen and learned how to operate the box, including the token system, as the line was single track in both directions.
My elder brother had a similar interest and he and I travelled extensively in Britain, visiting loco sheds and places where we could see classes of engines that we were not usually able to encounter. This was helped by having relatives in strategic locations around the country. We were fortunate that steam survived for a long time in the area and Carlisle was one of the best places to see working steam locos until 1968.
My early photographs were black and white but unfortunately these have been lost when moving house at some stage. Whilst it is a disappointment that they are gone forever, I believe the quality of them was not very good.
I began taking photographs of engines using slide film in 1965. This was a challenge, as lighting was usually poor, with the subject either moving too fast or positioned in a very dimly lit shed. As film speeds improved, it became easier but by then steam was fast disappearing. However, I was able to build up a collection of photos of what are now termed heritage or vintage diesels and electric locos from around the country.
The one thing that I got right was that I sorted and catalogued my slides from the start so I now have good records of the photographs I have. It will be no surprise that I became an accountant.
My photographic interest continued but my interest in railways diminished, apart from a few visits to early preserved lines and facilities.
It was really only in 2009 that my interest was renewed whilst visiting Corfe Castle, where I saw 30053 running on the Swanage Railway. By this time I had two additional things working to my advantage – I was retired and I possessed a Pentax digital SLR. I now have a Pentax K7 which has travelled to many corners of the world with me.
I enjoy visiting steam galas on the heritage railways and looking for new photographic opportunities and locations. The major challenges are usually the weather and the “gentlemen” in high visibility jackets.
Thanks to all who voted for my photographs.

Here are a few of David's pics which have not been used on the blog previously.

No. 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and No.4965 Rood Ashton Hall at Tyseley in 2011.

No.5526 pushing GWR Autocoach W178 at Quorn & Woodhouse, on the GCR in 2011.

No.34028 Eddystone, at Swanage with class 33, 33111 (D6528); Swanage Railway, 2012.

No.80080 and No.80072 at the ELR, Heywood, in 2011.

No.4464 Bittern at Bewdley on the SVR , arriving from Southall, in 2012.

No.61306 Mayflower on the ELR at Burrs Country Park in 2012.

No.80080 and No.71000 Duke of Gloucester on the ELR at Burrs C.P. in 2011.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

ELR Re-visited

In this post, 25th January 2014, I am using eleven pics from four contributors. Three contributors have sent in pics of the recent ELR Gala  resulting in seven shots from this gathering of steam fanatics being shown in the Alternatives section.


First up are three pics from Jeff Nicholls. WCRC Class 47, 47580 County of Essex is pictured on the rear of a Carnforth - Tyseley empty stock working through Winwick on 15th January 2014. On the front was WCRC class 47, 47786 Roy Castle O.B.E.

Pic number two shows GBRf class 66, 66716 Locomotive & Carriage Institution Centenary 1911-2011, on an Ironbridge - LBT biomass empties working. The location, among the trees, was Winwick and the date, 22nd January 2014.

The fourth and final pic is from Bob McClellan. The location was Earlestown, the working was biomass empties and the loco was Beacon Rail liveried, now (GBRf) class 66, 66751. The pic is dated 23rd January 2014.


Our fourth pic features EWS (DBS) class 66, 66106 in a rather dynamic, diagonal composition from Jeff. The loco was returning to Wigan Springs Branch to pick up wagons after repair on 8th January 2014

The next six pics in this section were taken at the recent ELR Gala. The first three are from David Quayle. Pic number five overall shows ex BR 'Standard' class '4' 2-6-0, No.76084 and Peckett 0-4-0ST, No.1370 May at Bury, on 19th January 2014.

David's second pic, number six overall, features Stanier 'Black Five' 4-6-0, No.45407 The Lancashire Fusilier leading Thompson 'B1' class 4-6-0, No.61264, with the ex BR No.76084 (detailed above) arriving bunker-first into the station at Ramsbottom. The pic is dated 19th January 2014.

Pic seven, also from David shows 45407 and 61264 again, approaching Ramsbottom on 19th January 2014. 

David Wood's shot from the ELR Gala is up next, pic number eight. The ex BR class '4' No.76084, is pictured again at Ramsbottom on 19th January 2014. 

The next two shots are from Jeff Nicholls, both taken at the ELR. No.76084 (detailed above) is pictured approaching Rawtenstall on 18th January 2014. This is shot number nine.

Pic number ten overall, from Jeff shows 'Super D', ex L&NWR class 'G2' 0-8-0, No.49395, on a freight working at Burrs with No.76084 banking. The pic is dated 18th January 2014.

The eleventh and final shot is from David Quayle. Featured are No.76084 and No.1370 May (details above) at Bury on 19th January 2014.

FOR SALE - Canon EOS 450D body, with battery hand grip containing 2 batteries, also with 3 spare batteries, alternative drawer for 6 x AA batteries, battery charger and instruction manual. Ideal second system for railway photographer.  All in excellent condition. £165.
Email Dave at the email address at the top of the blog if interested. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Fifteen Pics to start 2014

Here we go again for another year. Our blog is four years old would you believe with over 97,000 hits to our credit. This post, 20th January 2014, includes fifteen pics sent in by seven contributors; it's late though as I have been busy sorting out the competitions. Voting is good for the latter so keep it up. Voting closes on 31st January 24.00hrs.


First up is a pic from Ieuan Wood showing EWS (DBS) class 92, 92030 Ashford on the Tesco Express. Location was Winwick and the date, 2nd January 2014.

Pic number two is from David Wood.  Pictured is class 66, 66751, in Beacon Rail livery (now GBRf) taken at Rainhill on 13th January 2014. The working is Ironbridge - LBT empty biomass hoppers.
Note: Beacon Rail is a rolling stock leasing company serving the UK, Europe and USA.

Bob McClellan has sent in pic number three. GBRf class 66, 66705 Golden Jubilee is pictured at Earlestown with empty biomass hoppers, Ironbridge - LBT. The pic is dated 14th January 2014.

Bevan Price has sent in the following two pics taken at different locations. Pic number four, overall, features another biomass empties working, taken at Earlestown on 3rd January 2014. The loco is GBRf class 66, 66740.

Bevan's next pic, number five, features a departmental service, Crewe - Carlisle, headed by class 66, 66434, in Malcolm livery. The pic is dated 2nd January 2014 and the location was Winwick.

Jeff Nicholls is up next, pic number six on a wagons-for-repair return service from Springs Branch. The location was Winwick and the date, 15th January 2014.

Pic number seven is from Ieuan Wood. Pictured is Gresley 'K4' class 2-6-0, No.61994 The Great Marquess taken at Newton-le-Willows on 3rd January 2014. The weather was awful for Ieuan but he got his shot. The working was Castleton Hopwood - Crewe Heritage Centre.

The eighth and final shot in this section is from John Smith and is a repeat of the Crewe - Carlisle engineers' working with class 66, 66434, at the head. The date was 2nd January 2014 and the location, Winwick.


Pics nine and ten are both from David Wood.  Pic nine shows GBRf class 66, 66705 Golden Jubilee, on yet another Ironbridge - LBT biomass empties working. The location was Whiston and the date, 16th January 2014.

GBRf class 66, 66718 Sir Peter Hendy CBE, is shown on that working yet again - Whiston was the location and 9th January 2014 the date.

Jeff Nicholls has sent in the next pic, number eleven, taken at Bamfurlong on 18th December 2013. The working was wagons-for-repair; Arpley - Springs Branch.

Bob McClellan's shot of Stanier 'Black Five' 4-6-0, No.44806, was taken on the last weekend before the 'Mickey' left for the NYMR. It was photographed on the way to Bonwm, on the new Corwen extension, on 4th January 2014. This is pic number twelve.

The final three pics in this section are all from Geoff Monks. They were  taken at the weekend's ELR Gala. Pic thirteen features two locos at a night shoot at Buckley Wells on 17th January 2014. On the left is 'Super D' ex L&NWR class 'G2' 0-8-0, No.49395; alongside is ex BR 'Standard' class '4' 2-6-0, No.76084.

Ex LNER Thompson class 'B1' 4-6-0, No.61264 is pictured next, pic fourteen, taken at the same night shoot as described in pic number thirteen.

The fifteenth and final shot in this section, and in this post, features ex BR 'Standard' class'4' 2-6-4T, No.80080, taken at Burrs on a Heywood - Rawtenstall passenger service on 19th January 2014.

Other shots taken at this gala will be used in the next post.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Best Alternatives Pic 2013 - Entrants

This post, 15th January 2014, features 16 pics - the winning entries from the 2013 monthly competitions for the Alternatives section. There are no entrants from December due to lack of entries. There were joint winners in September, hence two entries for this month. There are also two entrants from May and June, as there were over 25 entries in the section for each month (1st and 2nd are included).  For February, three entrants are included as there were joint second places and more than 25 entries in the section (1st and 2= included). Photographs are numbered 1-16 so please email me your first three choices only.

Voting for both Winwick and Alternatives 2013 winners will close on 31st January 2014, at 24.00hrs.