6070 Sittingbourne 10.8.1973
1205 Redhill 10.8.1973
7794 Littlehampton 11.8.1973
7048 Littlehampton 11.8.1973
Back in August 1973 I'd just turned 17 and was beginning to explore the rail network in southern England. I think the Rover ticket cost about £15 (well over a week's wages back then!) There were two choices from where I lived in Littlehampton - westwards to Weymouth, up to Yeovil and across to Salisbury or eastwards into East Sussex and Kent.
These were a few shots taken on an eastwards trip over a couple of days. The top pic is Sittingbourne, I'd also covered the Sheerness branch and remember finding a disused miniature railway down by the seafront (no photos unfortunately - film was expensive!), and obviously returned via Redhill as that's where the second picture (of a 'Tadpole' unit) was taken later that day.
The next day I was back at Littlehampton for my onward trip - no doubt more pics will follow as I've found an old album from the attic!
These pics remind me that back in 1973 I was still cross I'd just missed the steam period - ten years earlier and who knows what lines I'd have travelled on and what shots I'd have got? At the same time looking back on these it strikes me just how much has changed since, and also just how much classic steam-era infrastructure still remained. I was lucky in a way that the glamour stuff didn't really interest me (then or now) but rather the everyday, and I hope my pics manage to convey some of the ordinariness of the times. Following on from that I think we should all be out photographing the everyday on our rail network - believe me you won't regret it. Forget steam specials, heritage lines and the obvious locations - your local line will have plenty of interest even now, if you look closely enough!