The next generation of railfans

kevsmith Aug 10, 2020

  1. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Everybodies interest in railways starts somewhere. In my case, as the son of a railway photographer, my hobby was mapped out from a very early age. we seemed to spend what felt like endless sunny summers having picnics by the lineside as the steam locos started to fade out.

    my dad, Ken Smith was a member of the Railway Photographic Society sharing his photographs with luminaries like Eric Treacy, H C Casserley, Derek Cross etc and as a sales rep for a tobbaco firm had lots of opportunity to park lineside when out on his rounds.

    in 1964, when I was nine years old I was first allowed to use one of his cameras. He had a selection but all of them were medium format, mainly twin Lens reflexes like Rollieflex or Yashicamat shoooting 2 1/4 square black and white Ilford film. All of them were heavy lumps of kit for a kid my age!

    some of my earliest ever photographs were of a Jubilee class 4-6-0 45590 Travancore at Sheffield Midland station in May 1964

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    framed by fine gantries of semaphore signals and waiting to depart to Leeds

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    my younger brother never took to railways like I did and I must be honest I spent a few years away from the hobby when I discovered cars, girls and beer! But i came back to it and as i was then also working as a sales rep in the record industry and then working as a sports photographer I had every opportunity to photograph the incredible diversity of British railways all over the U.K as well as the USA, Far East, Central Europe etc.

    Currently the image count stands at 31.790 pictures which means I'm able to add something interesting to my Flickr channel nearly every week.

    So what of the future? Well I've mentioned our Brooklyn before, our Chelsea's boy, who seems to share my interest in railways so I'm encouraging him. He's already got one video he shot on my youtube channel of a LMS Black V 4-4-0 on a charter train.

    With the Covid 19 pandemic all the schools over here are still closed so to give his mother a break I took him with me on Friday to look at the Summer heritage hauled charter trains running on the Settle to Carlisle railway. These are running return journeys from Appleby to Skipton on weekdays and Saturdays with a class 37 on one end and a Class 47 on the other end

    We went to Kirkby Stephen first to catch the first return working from Skipton. LSL owned 37 521 has been finished in the classic Britsh Rail green livery and carries its origonal Pre-TOPS number D6817

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    At the other end LSL owned 47 593 has been repainted in the British Rail large logo livery and carrying 'Galloway Princess' nameplates

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    Now our Brooklyn had his Grandma's Canon Ixus camera and Toshiba camcorder which typically had flat batteries when we got them out so he didn't get anything at Kirkby Stephen sadly.

    so..
     
  2. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    Kev, you obviously had quite a photo talent as a youngster, nice shots. It's great that you have become a mentor to Brooklyn. Got to keep interest in the hobby.
     
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  3. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Like my dad before me I let him have the spare Panosnic HVC 500 and tripod when we got to Appleby

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    Camera in one hand, Honey ice cream in the other!

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    And wearing the correct Hi-Vis vest

    His first bit of video was a bit shaky and the Class 66 on the New Biggin-Tees dock stone train caught him by suprise but after that he really got the hang of it. so the edited footage has gone onto yoube on my channel and to be honest for an eight year old it is really rather good



    Kev
     
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  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    That's so awesome!!(y)
     
  5. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great stuff! the safety vest is a nice touch. Always great to see kids of any age enjoying railfanning. (y)
     
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  6. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    He did very well with his videos. Looks like you have the seed of the hobby firmly planted with him.
     

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