A personal colour odyssey by an author captivated by steam, like most of us, at an early, highly impressionable age and in his case the introduction was grander than most – the Royal Train passing through Henley-in-Arden in April 1950 headed, memorably by two Castles.
‘I lived in Stratford-upon-Avon at the time the photographs in this book were taken and there were London Midland Region main line strongholds within very easy reach. My father worked in Birmingham and I would sometimes spend a day at New Street station which was still divided by Queen’s Drive between the ex-LNWR and Midland Railway platforms before it was ‘modernised’. I was particularly fascinated by the Harborne Branch which was worked at the time by Johnson Midland Railway 2F 0-6-0s from Monument Lane shed. There were also visits to local Midland Region sheds, Saltley, Aston, Monument Lane, Bescot and Bushbury, as well as, in retrospect, logistically quite complicated trips. I recently found details of one of them, on Sunday 14 June 1959, when I visited Nuneaton, Stafford, Stoke, Alsager, Uttoxeter and Burton. Phew!’