#1363. Just what I needed…

By Paul Perton | Travel Photography

Jun 04

Regular DS readers will be familiar with my lifetime interest in railways and especially steam locomotion.

Couple that with a love of photography and industrial archaeology and last Friday’s photographic session at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) was an ideal opportunity to give me and my camera an early summer outing. 

The GWSR runs 14 miles from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway in the magnificent Cotswolds, with the motive power headquarters located at Toddington, midway between the two termini. Here, the railway repairs, restores and operates a comprehensive fleet of steam and diesel locomotives, cycling their overhaul and running schedules to ensure availability and funding are balanced to give the visitor the optimum experience.

Most of the steam traction has its heritage in the Great Western Railway, whose former (pre-Beeching) main line from Birmingham to Cheltenham ran via Stratford upon Avon. Six of the Society’s seven main line steam locos share a Great Western heritage, the seventh – a former Southern Railway, Merchant Navy class express engine.

All seven locos were shining in their Brunswick Green paint, being prepared for the Gala, offering a rare opportunity to get in amongst them to photograph. A few paces away, the nearby sidings housed carriages and a large variety of goods wagons, many long overdue for restoration and presenting lots of opportunities for photography.

Which is really enough explanation from me. If you are interested, you can find the GWSR here: 


  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    what a collection!

    fascinating variety of colours, surfaces and textures. can only dream of such in our run down world.

    the last image really grabs me

  • pascaljappy says:

    Brilliant, Paul. Thank you.

  • Philberphoto says:

    Brilliant, Paul! All the fun, but without the annoying smoke, steam and racket! Gorgeous pics, but then what else is new! My faves are the top two. Congrats and thanks!

    • Paul Perton says:

      Thanks Philippe – I shot about half of these images with my much loved Zeiss 25mm Biogon on an adaptor. Didn’t mention it in the text as I think Pascal has suffered enough for selling his!


  • Beautiful work, this.

    We were just over there visiting friends and had the chance to visit “Old Warden” and the old aircraft “Shuttleworth Collection.” Early mechanical works such as your locomotives and our friend’s aircraft can be so incredible.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Paul Perton says:

      Hi Christopher – thanks for the comment. Old Warden is just a couple of miles from where I sit writing this reply and top of my daily must visit list, yet I haven’t made it in the three years I’ve been here.

      My bad.

      BTW, if you search DearSusan, there are two of my posts with images from nearby Duxford – one featuring their 13 Spitfires.

  • Jon Maxim says:

    What a superb collection! You are a a master of of colour and texture. Miksang enthusiasts would be proud of you. I cannot pick just one as being my favourite. They are all delightful. Thank you for the visual feast.

  • Michael Fleischer says:

    Hi Paul, What a splendid collection – well done.

    The colours, textures and details/legacy of human efforts! Oozing your love & passion for the subject (which I don’t share btw),
    but who cares.. ;-). It’s all about transferring your life with it, and it’s contagious.
    Ohh, and that Zeiss rendition; I’ve been a secret “Zeissmolog” since them old analog days.

    Rust never sleeps…a crush that last 4-ever!

    • Paul Perton says:

      Hi Michael. Thanks for the comments – I shot all the pics with my Hasselblad X2D, about half with the lightweight 43P lens, the rest with a 25mm f2.8 Zeiss Biogon, with a viewfinder crop to square, or the equivalent of 24mm x 36mm. It’s a great performer.

  • jeanpierreguaron660@gmail.com says:

    Quoi? I wonder if we shouldn’t send them some anti-rust, and some paint!
    My friend in East Croydon left Australia after he completed his architecture degree, and spent his working life in the architect’s office on the Western Region of BR. So he’s a full bottle on this stuff.
    And when we were younger, although he spent the first 15 years of his life in Leicester, his older brother was a GWR fanatic. Something I found hard to understand, given the amazing iron horses on the LMS & LNER.
    I’m afraid that when I hooked up with them and started trailing around behind them, taking photos of steam, I found narrow gauge vastly more interesting – everything from the Ffestiniog & Talyllyn in Wales, to the “cane trams” of Queensland.
    So while I’ve moved on to other things and given him all my photos, it’s easy to understand your passion for these creatures.
    It’s a shame you don’t still have any of Brunel’s broad gauge locos!

    • Paul Perton says:


      If memory serves, there is a full-on 7′ 0″ gauge leviathan called Iron Duke on display at the Great Western Society’s HQ at Didcot. The Centre has a shortish length of broad gauge track and run the Duke on high days and holidays.

      I visit the Centre occasionally as my work on 4709 () is done under the auspicies of the WGS. I’ll get a pic for you.

  • Pascal O. says:

    Dear Paul, as usual, brilliant set, carefully curated.
    I gennuinely appreciate the way you achieve such a great set based mostly on single items, as opposed to my own “global view” and thus frequent usage of wide lenses.
    Thank you for sharing.

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