Industrial Railways in Colour – South

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Industrial Railways in Colour – South

Enthusiasts Club and the Birmingham Locomotive Club-Industrial Locomotive Information Section fuelled the explorations. Other locations rapidly followed in the same year. The enchantment of visits to the Millwall and Royal Docks, Dagenham Dock, Beckton and Purfleet spread to Barrington and Wissington, the ironstone country of the East Midlands and the Lancashire Coalfield. In the ensuing years most corners of the United Kingdom were covered. It was in 1960 that I switched from black and white film to colour. However I later returned to pursue the craft of using black and white alongside colour film. London has a particular appeal as my city of birth. In the sixties the capital was still affectionately known as ‘The Smoke’ and with good reason. Amidst the close knit housing of East London; gas works, power stations, chemical and tanning works still gave freely of their toxic vapours. Most of the industry was concentrated along the Thames which still provided an economic means of transport despite the advent of railways. Confluent with the Thames are the Medway and the Lea whose banks were also home to heavy industry. Taking the Docklands Light Railway through a panorama of familiar names like Custom House and Gallions Reach it was hard to recognize remnants of the past. The dismal marshes at Beckton were a reminder that this terrain was originally purchased for the sprawl of Beckton Gas Works. Nowadays with the countrywide shrinkage of sites boasting industrial locomotives there is only a sprinkling to be found in Greater London. Nevertheless, on a visit to Ford’s of Dagenham in August, 2009 it was heartening to enjoy their diesel locomotives still bedecked with the Ford logo and royal blue livery reminiscent of steam days. The focus of the book is on the old County of London and the Home Counties with an excursion into Hampshire and a cross border visit into Cambridgeshire from Hertfordshire.