Laurie Golden

My interest in railways really began when I started secondary education in 1951 at Surbiton Grammar School, which was located very close to the Southern main line to Bournemouth and the West Country.

I started to photograph steam trains a couple of years later, and have continued to do so ever since.  My interest is primarily UK steam only.  In the mid to late 1950’s, I travelled to most parts of the Southern Region of British Railways (BR), photographing from the line-side with a track pass for all non-electrified lines of the Southern Region.

I took my B.SC Chemistry degree at Kings College, London, travelling to Waterloo by train every day from my home in Surbiton.  This enabled me to keep an eye on the steam activity on the main line, including getting many photographs of the remaining workings of the ‘King Arthurs’.

I worked in black and white until 1963, when I started taking in colour, which I have been using ever since.  My early cameras were a couple of 35mm format Periflex, which was a form of single lens reflex with interchangeable lens.  I then moved to a Practika, which I continued using until I stopped taking still pictures in 1988. I closely followed the run-down of steam on BR into 1968, broadening my horizons to most areas of England, Wales and Scotland. Preserved steam on the main line started in 1971, which I have been photographing ever since.

I purchased my first VHS video camera in 1985, and started to concentrate on video only from 1988, progressing to S-VHS when semi-professional systems came available in the early 1990s.  I moved over to a digital tape camera in 1998, and to a high definition tape cameras in 2007.  My latest camera is a Canon Legria HFS30, which records HD onto built-in memory and SD cards.

In 2001, I resumed still photography and currently use a Canon EOS5D Mark II.  I use this with a remote shutter release cable, enabling me, with both cameras tripod mounted,  to take still and video simultaneously.