All images are copyright Ian Thompson or other named photographers

Guest Galleries

Featured here are images created by friends who share my love of steam railways and photography:

Steve Armitage of Leeds now has an extensive collection of images on “railpictures.net” - see Links.

 John Dickie is an old school friend currently residing in deepest Sussex but with his roots in Distington, West Cumberland. John was a late starter into the business of starting a family, otherwise these pictures might not have been taken! I first saw them in 2005 at a WGSRS reunion and was bowled over. But let him tell the story.....

 “So, yet another Colin Gifford tribute!

“Though we lost touch for many years, Ian and I go back to the days of the Workington Grammar School Railway Society, a rather grand title for a bunch of maybe up to ten lads who used to go off train-spotting to Carlisle and further afield. The ‘Society’ bit was all about making shed permits easier to obtain. As the final demise of BR steam loomed, Ian led the way in our conversion from train-spotting to railway photography, and introduced us to Gifford’s ‘Decline’. Had I owned a copy in ‘67, I might have studied it more diligently and learned all its lessons about location and composition. Too much time and film were wasted rushing off to Carlisle to catch the exotic locos and last of classes on the frantic succession of specials. The real stuff was there to be had on my own doorstep (Gifford’s own pictures prove it), with a bit of planning, and all the locations within cycling distance. It seems incredible now that I so carelessly wrote off several industrial gems within five miles of home, which lasted beyond the end of BR steam. By the time a vacation job had funded a second-hand Zenith 3M, university studies, cars and the opposite sex competed for my limited attention; and one precious roll of FP4 of steam at Whitehaven Harbour is all I got before that was gone too.

To 1979. With time to spare on a business trip to Calcutta,I almost idly ended up at the sheds at Howrah. Time travel kicked in and I was back in ‘67 as I caught sight of the unmistakeable outline and smoke pall of a large, working steam shed. Unlike the steam specials and preserved railways at home, this was different; somehow ‘the real thing’. Kingmoor’s Black 5s, 9Fs and Brits became Howrah’s WG 2-8-2s and bullet-nosed WP pacifics. I was hooked. Here was the chance of ‘another bite of the cherry’. The shots I took on the old Zenith that day weren’t much but, having no family commitments, I vowed to return and try to do the job properly. In fact, I went twice more to India, in ‘81 and ‘84, by then equipped with the Canon AE1 that I use to this day. Something made me stick to monochrome for most of my railway shots (FP4 and HP5), though I did some colour as well. What you see here is a selection of them. Often, the locos are not the main subject, certainly not particular types. I tried to record the whole scene, especially the people - try avoiding them! This does raise the question of the ethics of photographing scenes with people materially much worse off than I, for no purpose other than my own self-indulgence. I have no comfortable answer to this; except that I did try to send prints to my subjects, whenever I had their address. I wonder if Rani ever got hers - addressed to ‘Rani, Delhi Junction Loco’?

Follow the link.... 

JD Indian Odyssey