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This performed very well until superseded by a zoom lens model by Bolex which in my opinion was a very indifferent performer in poor light.The Agfa camera suffered a series of breakages of the main spring and each repair shortened the time that one 'wind' lasted and eventually it had to be retired. As mentioned above, the first camera I purchased in 1951 was an Ensign Ful Vue box camera but only a handful of images remain, including this shot of Class D49/1 62701 Derbyshire at Seamer in August 1952 and this shot (below) shows an unidentified WD journeying along the up main line under clear signals at Rochdale in 1953. The starting signal for the down main line is at clear but the Rochdale Goods Yard Box distant is at caution. Even odder still, railway photography - a natural adjunct to spotting - didn't come cheap either, yet it became one of the fastest growing pursuits for boys - and hallelujah for that! The talent to which I am referring are gentlemen born and raised during the 1940s and 1950s, who spent the best part of their youth dashing around the country in the pursuit of loco numbers or taking photographs of trains just for the fun of it. I'm talking about that quintessentially British 1950s curiosity called train spotting; a hobby demanding such high levels of commitment and pricey long-distance train travel, that it's surprising it ever got off the ground in the first place, especially during the penny-pinching post-war years.This engine was allocated to Bacup shed, which prior to closure in 1954, provided the power for the Rochdale station passenger pilot as well as the goods pilots.Until 1952 they ran over the direct Rochdale-Bacup line being the only traffic to use the Bacup Shed to Facit section. It wasn't until August 1958, on starting my first fulltime job, that I was able to afford an Ilford Sportsman 35mm camera with a 1/200th second shutter and f3.5 45mm lens.
The West Coast Main Line from Crewe to Carlisle was a magnet for North-West spotters as well as more serious steam locomotive admirers.The wan, midwinter, weak sunshine gives the shot a pleasing 'watercolour' effect, so much more attractive than the hyper saturated colour of some digital images. On the right is the Maltings of Magee, Marshall and Co, Brewers of Bolton.The colour is provided by the typical LYR signalbox with its window high in the gable end and the outside 'necessary' at the top of the steps. There is an enclosed canopy covering a crane from above the siding into the building.It had its limitations, of course, especially when photographing fast moving trains or in poor light, but it turned out some acceptable work.
In October 1959 my boss drew my attention to a special offer on Iloca Rapid 35mm cameras; these had a 1/500th second shutter speed, a f2.8 lens and integral (but not coupled) light meter.The locomotive was shedded at both Wakefield (56A) and at Sowerby Bridge (56E) during the 1960s.