Photography was not encouraged in my family; in fact the opposite was true most of the time. It was seen as a rich man’s hobby, and we were not rich. My Dad had an old bellows camera which looked as if it had been made in Edwardian times.

It only took 8 photos on a roll of film; but because my Dad took maybe 2 or 3 photos a year, by the time the film was finished he had forgotten where the first few had been taken.

The general view locally to railway photography was “you don’t want to waste your film on those old things; they will be all gone in a few years”….

However, those old things were exactly what I did want waste my film on; and when one day in 1966 I cycled by the village chemist and saw a camera for sale in the window, and priced at 37/6 ( about £1.80 in new money), I just knew I had to buy it and a roll of film to go with it.

That took a while as I had to save up, but after a few weeks I managed it (and the roll of film) in the strictest of secrecy, because I knew the reaction I would get. The products of that first roll of film are not the ones here, because the processor refused to print them – too dark, blurred, out of focus etc.; but I did get the negatives which I subsequently lost.

However, I persevered unfazed by the professional dismissal,

and these are from the second film in 1967 –


I think you can see their point, but time and my nostalgia makes them important to me.


Above; this was the view from the back of my Dad’s garden. You may have to take my word for it but a pair of 25s (one green one blue) head east on a Colwick to Boston goods. Judging by the state of the field, it is probably late May/early June 1967. The locos are just passing one of the GNR somersault signals which survived for many years along this route.

Below; looking in the other direction, at least 3 class 114 dmus approach Heckington station on a passenger service from Grantham. This photo is later than the first one as the crops have grown, and this use of 3 or 4 2-car units was only the case on summer Saturdays or Bank Holiday Mondays, and I suspect a Saturday in this case – late June or early July.




A class 31 on a parcels train heading west, and has just come through the station and over the level crossing. The end of Heckington signalbox can just be seen above the third parcels van.



In those days, trains to Skegness and Mablethorpe were mainly in the hands of class 25s, with 31s being regulars as well. Despite what may be the current belief, pairs of 20s were not used on these trains at this time – or for the next 5 or 6 years. That was a mid 70s addition. Here is one 25 heading for the East Coast probably at Whitsun.



Class 37s were not common on these trains at that time, although occasional ones did appear, and here is one of those. It is difficult to know where this train is heading, because Nottingham, Derby and Leicester were the main destinations. Trains for towns further north took the route to Lincoln via Woodhall Junc.



Another goods working to Boston, most likely from Holmes Yard Lincoln, because of the class 31 in charge. By this time goods traffic had dwindled to 3 return services a day.