Sunday, 30 December 2012

where it all began ...

(Photo copyright Peter Martin)
It's hard to pinpoint exactly when I got interested in railways, but it was mainly disused lines that captured my attention first, with regular trips towards London crossing over the old Midhurst line at Fittleworth and holidays westward crossing the Bishops Waltham branch and, perhaps most importantly, the S&D.
I was brought up in Littlehampton and remember the early green electrics, and this photo says a HUGE amount to me! I used to practice in a band in a house behind the second carriage above, my uncle's company painted that big gasholder and in later years I took loads of pictures from the footbridge in the background. I travelled to school in these older units between 1967 and 1972, getting off at Durrington-on-Sea.
Perhaps a boring commuter line electrified since the 1930s wasn't the usual inspiration for a railway enthusiast, but we also had a short docks line at Littlehampton and a unique gauge steam miniature railway on the seafront.
I also caught main line steam (just once!) on the outskirts of Littlehampton when I saw a big Merchant Navy or similar pulling the through train to Plymouth in around 1963.