How long have you volunteered at the NYMR? What roles have you had and current role?

I have always had an interest in railways and steam in particular, and whilst at Newcastle University became one of the first members of the NELPG in 1966, which purchased 65894 and 63395. NELPG had nowhere to run its locos and the newly formed NYMR had no large steam locos, so began a marriage of convenience between the two organisations which endures to this day.

I first came to the NYMR on 2 February 1969  to photograph Mirvale on its epic historic journey in steam from Pickering to Grosmont in the snow. A year later, in 1970, I became a loco cleaner, being passed out as a fireman in September 1973. In August 1997 I became a fireman passed to drive and in April 2004 was passed to drive diesels.

Combining my love of railways with my passion for photography meant that from the earliest days I have kept a comprehensive photographic record of the NYMR, so that when I wasn't working or driving or firing, I would visit the railway to take pictures, something that is undiminished to this day.

In the autumn of 1999 I took over the Editorship of Moors Line from John Meredith, and 94 issues later, am still doing it.

In June 2022, at the age of 76,  I retired from driving with both West Coast Railways and the NYMR.

What was your involvement on the 1st May 1973?

I was invited to participate in the lunch in Whitby and to travel on the train, but such was my love of photography I chose to record the auspicious event on film, and what a memorable day it turned out to be.

When did you first get involved with the NYMR?

2 February 1969 as related above.

What made you get involved?

A love of steam, both through photography and getting my hands dirty overhauling, maintaining and then operating steam locos. Also, because of the partnership between the NELPG and the NYMR.

Why you do you volunteer?

A love of steam, the rewards of doing voluntary work, and the merry camaraderie that you soon experience. In the early days, there was a good social scene amongst volunteers, with regular get togethers, such as the annual footplate awards at Christmas time and the Xmas dinner/dances, sadly all things of the past.

What is your NYMR highlight?

There are many!

  • meeting so many like minded people over the years that, otherwise, I would never have met, and most of those friendships have endured
  • over 50 years service
  • producing one of the best heritage railway house magazines
  • driving a King class locomotive
  • having the freedom to wander at will and take pictures on one of the UK's most photogenic heritage railways

Interesting fact

I have never kept a tally of the number of turns - or visits - but it must be in the many thousands. In terms of hours on the railway, you can probably multiply that by, say, on average, 8. However, I have kept a log, of sorts, of mileage on the footplate and, combined with my firing and driving turns for WCR, it exceeds 250,000 miles since 1970.