Saturday 26 February 2022

Keighley; a walk in the December fog

With the prospect of a new day job in the offing, I (Ben) hadn't been doing much photography in the run up to Christmas 2021, instead focussing on clearing the decks with the model-making stuff.  However, after dropping Younger Child off at school one December morning, I found myself needing to just go for a walk and get some pictures.

I hadn't got my SLR with me, annoyingly, but the camera on my phone is very good.  With some heavy fog rolling in, I started just randomly snapping away. 

Naturally, I thought I'd try for some train pics in the fog.  There wasn't anything 'special' coming along, even any goods trains, so it would be unlikely I'd get anything into print.  That said, I haven't done any shots of the normal, everyday services for a while, so it would give me an opportunity for some more up-to-date photos of the local railway scene.

Vexingly, Network Rail have installed a load of new, heavy-duty palisade fencing along this stretch, ruining a lot of the angles I'd normally use.

Up on the bridge, which at least gives some angles.

Further down towards the spot where the old level crossing used to be, near the cemetery bridge, the fencing has obscured things again, but at least the old stone wall has been left.  With a little precarious balancing atop it, you can still just about get a decent angle.

Of course, you're constantly aware that if you slip a little, you'll be impaling yourself, so this probably isn't a spot I'll be bothering with much in the future.

Slightly dissapointed, I headed back into Keighley.  The Worth Valley didn't have any machines moving, but as the fog was only slowly lifting, I thought I'd get some landscape shots.

By the time I neared Ingrow the fog had all but cleared.  Still, it had been nice to get out for a walk as a break from all the self-employed stuff, and I was aware that this might be the last such stroll just randomly taking pictures that I'd be doing for a while, with the new job about to start.

Monday 14 February 2022

KWVR in the snow; November 2021

On the rare occasions it manages to snow at a time whilst trains are running, I (Ben) always try to make the effort to get some shots on the Worth Valley.  It helps living close to the line, though I admit the snowstorm which hit on the last weekend of November 2021 slightly caught me by surprise.  Expecting only a light shower, I stopped off at Keighley on the way out of town to get some shots of the 4F pulling out of the station with an "Elf Express" service.

The snow coming down looked a little unreal.

I'll be honest, this was as much snow as I was expecting, and was a little disappointed this was as well as I expected to do for snow shots in 2021...

...however, in Bingley, the snow just kept coming.  Me and Elder Child headed out to the station, as a Network Rail Test Train was due, and I thought it would make for a publishable picture, a yellow train with all that white.

However, the snow was getting sufficiently heavy that the services were getting progressively more delayed, and they canned the test train in Leeds rather than risk it up the Settle-Carlisle line.  We did manage a few pics of the 333's crawling through, but decided with the snow getting heavier we probably ought to head for home just in case we got stuck.

After slithering back to the Worth Valley later in the day, the sky was clearing, so it was time to don boots and head out for some pics..

The sky was looking good and dramatic, at my usual spot in the woods, but there were Naughty Teenagers Up To No Good, and I didn't fancy getting mugged and thrown in the river, so headed back towards Ingrow.

Luckily I was just in time to see the 4F making another pass, as the sky clouded over again, producing a very monochrome shot...

...the Ivatt 41241 adding a splash of colour on the way back, though not the best angle for it.  I considered waiting for it to come back, but it was getting miserably cold, and I decided I needed a brew instead.

Whilst walking Younger Child to school the next morning, the unmistakeable sound of a diesel locomotive came drifting up the valley, and indeed the visiting Railfreight 26 was sat in the yard at Ingrow, waiting for a lorry home to Derbyshire that evening.

I had business over at Vintage Carriages Trust, which gave me a nice chance to pop into the yard and get some snaps later in the morning.

The lighting was a tad strange, but good, and the loco looked great in the snow.  I love this colour scheme anyway, and the snow really made it stand out.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, being snowy shots these pics did rather well for publications in the Christmas issues of the mags.  Rail, above (which admittedly caught me a bit by surprise, they hadn't said they were picking up a shot for publishing).

Heritage Railways published four shots!

And the KWVR themselves used a shot online to publicise the Mulled Wine trains.


Saturday 5 February 2022

Severn Valley, Bridgenorth Shed, Autumn 2021

Back to the train photography from last year... Having had to travel to the West Midlands at the end of October for a family funeral, Amy and I found ourselves with a few hours spare in Bridgenorth, so wandered over to the Severn Valley Railway for a brew at the station cafe, and to take a few pics.

It's a bit of an odd spot for railway photography; trains tend to be so long you can't easily get an angle on the service locomotives as they're right at the end of the platforms, but by contrast you can get an excellent view of the engine sheds.  The Ivatt 'Flying Pig' was taking on coal and water in the yard.

I tried zooming in for a few close ups on the mechanical gubbins.

75069 arrived light-engine in the drizzle, which created a slightly strange effect with the odd lighting on the day.

Trying for an arty monochrome angle.

After we'd done a shop in the town, we arrived back just before the Class 40 "Atlantic Conveyor" was due out, so we nipped back via Hampton Loade, on the off chance the sales coach was open (I've often picked up interesting bargains there).

Sadly the sales coach was closed, but I at least got a few shots of "Atlantic Conveyor" stopped at the platform.

It's been something we've missed with these Covid times, the traditional walk alongside the paths that run beside this stretch of the line with family and friends at Christmas, hopefully we'll be able to do it towards the end of 2022...  No shots published from this visit, but then it was just a quick visit on a day with odd lighting and nowt newsworthy happening.


Tuesday 1 February 2022

Greenery around Utley

Somewhat aware that the blog has been a bit railway photography-heavy of late, as something of a palette-cleanser, here's some greenery.  The outside world is a bit grey and dead at the moment, so here's some from a late-Spring/early summer walk to Utley.

After a few weeks of working from home, I (Ben) decided to go for a walk to clear my head one morning, and went a different way to normal, walking a road I don't usually do.  My eye was drawn first by this very old-looking path climbing the hill from the road...

...and not far away, a stream that had been artificially channelled into a pool at about chest-height to flow between these stones, to drop into a culvert next to the road.

All I had on me was my phone, but it did allow me to get in close.

Shame the light was a bit harsh though, slightly burned-out the pics, but I reckon coming back with the SLR on a nicer day to get some long-exposure shots.

Not strictly related, but whilst going back through folders I found some flower and wildlife shots taken as well, and given it's pretty grim out there at the moment, it seems worth posting something a bit jollier.  With a new Day Job on the horizon, the opportunity for strolls out to photograph stuff like this will probably be limited in 2022.

Wild garlic; oddly enough, something I associate with the 2020 Lockdowns, as the old railway embankment nearby was within our 1 Hour Walk, and was covered with these plants, so we'd walk past it most days.

And finally, a couple of shots from the garden, just more greenery.

Back to the railway photography next time, with a bit more from the surprisingly large number of shots (with published pics) from the end of 2020.