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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Booth

A Nostalgic Journey

Yesterday I found myself tracking steam trains or rather one in particular, the Flying Scotsman which is currently operational on the North Yorkshire Moors railway over the next week. Rather a pleasant job you might think, and yes it was, apart from the struggle of lugging around many kilos of camera equipment on foot, and over moorland in an attempt to find a good location from which to photograph this famous locomotive which has undergone a 10 year, £4.2 million refit.

More importantly, the assignment brought back fond memories of my childhood and my late father who was very a big aficionado for all things steam train related. This included a vast collection of photographic negatives and positives (slides) of locomotives, modelling, and not the mass-produced kits, he would work out the scaled-down dimensions from real engines and build them from scratch, and dragging me along to museums and exhibitions around the North of England to see memorabilia associated with these coal-driven means of transport.

I recall on the odd occasion being with my father in his car following the route of a railway line in the pursuit of a particular locomotive. We would find a place to park and quickly get into position to photograph the train as it sped along the line before returning to our vehicle and repeating the whole process again and perhaps a couple more times. As I was possibly seven or eight years of age at the time, this was an exciting experience but sadly, perhaps more from my dad's point of view, my love of trains waned, and as far as I remember was replaced by guns and war at that time.

It saddens me that my father was not alive to see me settle in the North East, a region so rich in railway history, and I like to think that he would have been pleased and proud of me in my efforts to try and capture a decent image of such a famous locomotive that he too would have photographed years before.

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