I was born in 1951 at South Kirkby in the South Yorkshire coalfield and the sight and sound of steam engines made a big impact on me from a very early age. One of my earliest memories is of a day's shopping outing by bus to Doncaster and shouting to be lifted up for a glimpse over the road bridge by the station. Coming towards us was a magnificent streamlined locomotive, the like of which I'd never seen before. Many years later when I discovered Ian Allan's abc spotters books I fancied the engine had been Gresley's unique 4-6-4, the number 60700 seemed to spark off some distant memory - I like to think it was and it may well have been as Doncaster was it's home shed. No-one in the family knew anything about railways and my interest was a source of puzzlement to them, but my younger brother was destined to share my enthusiasm.
 
Luckily for us, our grandmother lived close to an interesting stretch of line near Moorthorpe and didn't seem to mind spending hours perched on a fence by the approach to the station watching the trains go by - Jubilees, A3s, B1s, V2s and the austerity WDs. Occasionally we'd be lucky enough to see a Patriot. In 1959, my parents moved to Haxby, near York, our house was close enough to walk to the York-Scarborough line where a group of village kids enjoyed the B16s, B1s, V2s and occasional highly-prized 4-4-0 engines before the despised dmus took over.

No-one seemed to have much money in those days, there weren't many cars around and our only outings were shopping expeditions by bus and the annual summer holiday. But there were quite a few York-Moorthorpe trips from 1959 and I still have vivid memories of waiting on dark wintry evenings at the gaslit station with it's roaring coal fire in the waiting room, probably little-changed since Victorian days. The stock was exclusively compartment, with leather straps to operate the door windows, no idea of it's origin but probably LNER. I remember the general disgust when open stock started appearing, probably Mark 1 but my technical knowledge was confined to locomotives.

The Deltic shots are the first railway photographs I took, they're undated but must have been taken around 1960, when I was nine years old. I remember the moment very clearly, my grandmother had taken my brother and I for a day's outing to Doncaster as she often did when we visited. Doncaster station was a magical place for us in the days when LNER Pacifics still ruled the East Coast Main Line but the only photographs I took were of this mysterious blue beast which occasionally was stabled in a bay platform with it's engines shut down - I never saw it in action. Little did we realise that it foretold the end of steam's dominance on the ECML.
The top photograph is of an Austerity WD class 2-8-0 passing South Elmsall, I took this on a trip back to visit my grandmother in the early 1960s.
Footbridge to Platform 2