David A Flitcroft
Railway Photography
The Early Years



It was in 1961 that I began to take an interest in photography and again borrowed my father's Kodak Brownie 620 box camera, to take on holiday to Skegness in August 1960.

This shot shows 'B1' 4-6-0 61006 'Blackbuck' of Sheffield Darnall shed waiting to leave Skegness station with a train for Manchester Central.
Taken with a Kodak Brownie 627 box camera which of course was not really suitable for anything on the move or in less than good light.


At Christmas 1960 my first proper camera arrived - A secondhand 35mm Ilford Sportsman with a three speed Vario shutter {1/25, 1/50 and 1/200th sec.) in a Dacora Dignar f3.5 50mm lens. A simple camera which performed surprisingly well. Unfortunately most of my ngatives from the 'Sportsman' period have been lost so the following shots are taken from prints, most of not very good quality. Railway photographs tended to be taken during the school holidays as on most Saturdays during term time I was playing either soccer or cricket.
The following shots were taken at Manchester Victoria at various times during the year, apparently usually in less than ideal light.

February 1961 Black Five 4-6-0 No. 44827 is about to leave platform 12 with an afternoon train to Blackpool

The empty stock from a train from Southport is heading for Red Bank carriage sidings behind Black Five 4-6-0 No 44742

Patricroft Jubilee 4-6-0 No 45559 British Columbia brings the empty stock of an express for Blackpool into Victoria from Red Bank sidings
The line nearest the camera led to platform eleven at Victoria which was continuous with platform 3 at Exchange, forming the longest platform in the UK. The next two tracks were the through tracks from/to Exchange sation

'Black 5' 45209 is about to take the old L&Y route away from the easternmost third of platform 11 with a train for Liverpool Exchange.The long platform shared by Victoria and Exchange stations being effectively divided into three. This train would take the turnout immediately in front of the loco and pass behind Exchange station.

There were always plenty of 2-6-4 tanks to be seen at Victoria. Here one of the Fairburn variety, 42235 passes beneath the signal gantry at the east end of Victoria passing in front of the old Victoria East L&Y signalbox. The new power box is behind, I don't recall if this was yet in operation but it wasn't long before the old box was removed. The bank to Miles Platting disappears out of shot to the right.

'Jubilee' 4-6-0 45574 India of Blackpool shed (24E )waits to leave for home from platform 12 with an afternoon train.

'Black Five' No. 44988 about to leave platform 12 with the time approaching 2.45pm

Bank Hall Jubilee No 45698 Mars gets away from platform 13 with the 10.30 am Liverpool Exchange to York train. For many years this loco along with sisters 45717 Dauntless and 45719 Glorious had been the regular performers on this train. At the time this photo was taken the trio had been joined by unnamed 'Patriot' No.45517 (oor was it 47 ?) which became the most regular performer.This shot was yaken later in the year than most of the others as the old signalbox has been removed.

Station pilot/banker 2-6-0 No.46411 drifts back down into the station having given an eastbound freight a shove up the bank to Miles Platting.

Stanier 8F 2-8-0 No. 48745 runs along the through road and sets off up the bank.

Eastern Region B1 4-6-0s I never found to be very common at Victoria, in fact this is the only one I can recall seeing, although I know that there was a regular York B1 passenger turn which left Victoria at 5pm. I used to go to see it at Moston a mile or two up the line towards Rochdale.