I was looking for a card kit the other day, working my way through a bookshelf, and I tripped over an old scrapbook. The pictures were falling out so I stuck a couple under the scanner. Both date from the 1980s - sadly I can't be more precise than this.
The first shows a Class 47 diesel pulling flat wagons through Leamington Spa station. The view today isn't very different as the building is listed so can't be altered much. The loco is probably long gone and even if it isn't, won't be pulling bogie flats on the main line any time soon. This was a last gasp from the "good old days" for train spotting when every train was headed by a proper loco and there were lots of different classes to look for.
For several years, we took our summer holiday on a campsite in Kent. One of the attractions was the relative proximity of the Kent & East Sussex Railway. At the time it was a very friendly line and my father and I were so enamoured that we became members. This wasn't with any real intention of becoming volunteers, just to be part of it.
The photo shows an Austerity being filled with water at Tenterden station. In the background is a Pullman car that as I recall, was part of a dining set that did good business at the time.
Sadly, we gave up our membership a few years later when I found myself refused access to the station during a Thomas the Tank day. I'd travelled down to Kent camping and hadn't realised it was a special weekend. This didn't worry me and I wasn't expecting to have a ride, but not being allowed to go to the shop and buy some binders for the magazine incensed me.
Later on the same day, I followed the line to Robertsbridge where the Rother Valley Railway is based. There I found the friendly attitude that, at the time, had gone from the main group. At this time, the two organisations were at loggerheads despite trying to re-build the same railway. Apparently all this has now been resolved, maybe one day we'll be able to take a train all the way along "the farmers line".