ellyBelly Publications

ellyBelly Publications has replaced Lineside Photographics

ellyBelly Publications is replacing Lineside Photographics…. It has been obvious for some time that the Lineside Photographics doesn’t really encompass what we want to do. So, in 2021, we have changed our name to ellyBelly Publications. Moreover, with the change comes some exciting news for the future.

In November 2020 we launched our first book (‘A Railwayman’s View – The Photographs of Ronnie Gee’ by Eddie Johnson & Ian Simpson). This is the first of what will be a series of books showing the photographic collections of ex-Railwaymen. They were often best placed to know when that special working would be running, or had access to places not available to the general public. The second book is in the final stages of editing, so look out for some news on this soon!

I have known John Stiles for many, many years. His photos often appear in the railway press for his steam photography. John rekindled his love of aviation and all things vintage, and he has a vast collection of images we hope to bring to you in the future. A small collection of his photos are available through the website.

John also has a love of portrait photography. So, we will also bring some Glamour to our collections, as well as some vintage recreations.

However, our love for railway photography remains, so we will be adding to our collections throughout the year.

In addition, don’t forget our Scan & Restore service. Many of the older negatives we have in our collections require restoration. When photographs were taken seventy years ago, they need some tender love and care to bring them back to their best. Contact us if you have any queries on our service, or have specific requirements.

Please don’t forget that we are always on the look out for photographers. We can sell your images or help you publish that book! Please contact us at ellybellypublications@outlook.com for details.

Ronnie Gee Book now Available

A Railwayman’s View – The Photographs of Ronnie Gee
by E.M. Johnson & I.Simpson

The rear cover of the new Ronnie Gee book shows experimental AL3 loco E3100 working through Burnage station on 1967.

We have now launched our first book, A Railwayman’s View – The Photographs of Ronnie Gee. The book has 96 pages of Colour and Black & White images taken by Ronnie during his time on the railway in the South Manchester area. Some profits will be donated to a leading UK Cancer Charity who looked after Ronnie towards the end of his life.

The book features steam and electric traction between Manchester London Road (now Piccadily), Stockport and Wilmslow stations. Ronnie had a knack of being in the right place at the right time. There are some real gems within the book. The distance between Crewe and Stockport/Manchester was just right for running-in turns from recently outcropped locomotives from Crewe Works. We featured one such photograph in a previous post.

The photographs are of a high quality, and have been restored to their full glory, despite being nearly 70 years old in some cases. It is hoped that this will be the first volume of Ronnie’s photographs. His collection totals 2,500 images, some from the 1940s, and some that were taken in his last days as Station Master of Stockport Station.

Pricing and Ordering

The book can be ordered through our website for £15.95 plus £4.00 Posting & Packing. We will ship to most parts of the world (already to Australia), so if you don’t see an option for you then please contact us at ellybellypublications@outlook.com. Payment is through PayPal. If you don’t have an account then there is an option to pay by Credit or Debit Card too.

This book has been a long time in the making. Both Eddie and I are very pleased with the production of the book and feel we have done Ronnie proud…

A Railwayman’s View – Photos from Ronnie Gee

A Railwayman's View - The Photographs of Ronnie Gee by EM Johnson and Ian Simpson. Cover photograph of Rebuilt Scot 46137.
Rebuilt Scot 46137 ‘The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire) storms past Longsight Carriage Sheds on April 30th 1959 with an express for London. Copyright EM Johnson.

This magnificent view of “Rebuilt Scot” No.46137 ‘The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire)’ sees the engine “hard at it” as it storms past Longsight carriage sheds on April 30th 1959 at the head of the 12-coach 2.00 pm express to London Euston. The photograph forms the Front Cover of the first in a series of books titled “A Railwayman’s View”. This first book showcases a snippet of the fine images taken by Ronnie Gee, a railwayman for nearly 50 years in the Manchester area. His local knowledge and ear to the ground meant he captured some

A good head of steam and a hearty exhaust makes for a fine picture, though doubtless such emissions would be frowned upon by today’s environmentalists!  In its 41-year lifespan 46137 had spent three periods at Longsight (9A). The loco is into its last allocation to the Manchester shed; next year, on April 30th, it will be transferred across the city to 26A – Newton Heath. Looking closely at this scene and Longsight is changing: notice the LNWR semaphores – sturdy sentinels that stood here for so long, their place now taken by BR semaphores and they, too, will soon disappear. Just visible in the distance – an early DMU heads along towards London Road.

One cannot help but think that Ronnie “tipped the wink” to the engine crew to put on a special display for his benefit. Whatever else, this striking image of a steam locomotive hard at work with a lengthy train  – 12 carriages are strung out behind the tender – is one of Ronnie’s finest. Significantly, the year 1959 would see the beginning of the end of steam power over this route. On July 7th Ronnie was out with his camera at East Didsbury station, there to capture D217 en route to Longsight shed and the first of the Type 4s to arrive there. Thus would begin an interregnum that would see the arrival of electric traction from September the following year.

The Cover photo shown above is from the forthcoming book “A Railwayman’s View – The Photographs of Ronnie Gee” by Eddie Johnson and Ian Simpson. There are some fabulous photographs of the railway scene from Manchester London Road station (now Manchester Piccadilly) south to Wilmslow, via Stockport and the Styal lines.

The books will be available from our website, subscribe to this blog for news about this and other upcoming books.

Future Publications

It’s been too long since we updated the website and the Blog, so I have taken time to give myself a kick up the backside and start things afresh. Please subscribe to the Blog (using the form on the right of the page) and follow us for more updates in the coming days and weeks. We have a number of publications in the pipeline, and will be adding many more photographs for sale.

I’m working hard on a number of future publications, and we’re using the enforced lockdown due to Coronavirus to get them in a state where they can be published as soon as normality returns. The first two are Railway publications, both feature photographs taken by railwaymen. Ronnie Gee was a signalman and then part of station staff in the Manchester and Stockport areas. Ronnie captured many images in the North West, but also travelled extensively around the UK on holiday with his camera. Some of his images have already been featured in this blog.

The second book features photographs taken by Peter Collins. Peter had various Operational jobs in London during the 1970s and 1980s, and his camera wasn’t too far from his side. Travelling extensively on the rail network using his Privilege Pass, he captured the BR Blue period at its most evocative (some might say ‘grotty’) in Black and White images. Most of his images were in London and the surrounding suburbs, and again we have featured one or two in this Blog. The first book will be based on the Western region, covering Paddington and lines to the South West and Wales.

Finally, I worked hard early on during Lockdown on getting a revamped newsletter out (in PDF) for the Rougham Tower Association, home of the 94th Bombardment Group during World War 2. We at the RTA have been working hard over the winter months to refurnish the Tower exhibitions, and update some of the information boards. The Tower finally reopened in July 2020, and the new exhibits have been received very well by our visitors.

Dutch in the Desert

Dutch F-16AMs J-0010 (ex 88-0010) and J-366 (ex 84-1366) of the 148th FS based at Tucson Arizona fly in close formation over the desert on 6th December 2017.

Dutch F-16AMs J-0010 (ex 88-0010) and J-366 (ex 84-1366) of the 148th FS based at Tucson Arizona fly in close formation over the desert on 6th December 2017.

Dutch Air Force F-16s train all year round in the US Desert

In November 2017, our aviation photographer John Stiles visited the West Coast of the United States with a COAP (Centre of Aviation Photography) visit to a number of airfields and aviation sites. A few days were spent with Dutch pilots who train with the 148th Fighter Squadron based in Tucson, Arizona.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force aren’t blessed with the best climate to train their pilots, so it has relied on partnerships with other air forces to provide a base suitable for training pilots all-year round. The most obvious place is the desert areas of the United States; and so, the current training partner is the Arizona Air National Guard’s (AZ ANG) 162nd Fighter Wing based opposite the commercial terminal at Tucson International Airport. Tuscon lies in the Sonoran Desert and is surrounded by a number of mountain ranges that provide an environment perfect for training pilots in various combat scenarios that mimic their most likely theatre of combat operations.

The 148th Fighter Squadron currently hosts the traininee F-16 pilots from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The 148th FS flies ten F-16 aircraft; five F-16AM single-seat fighters and five F-16BM twin-seat fighters all owned and operated by the Dutch Air Force. All aircraft within the training wing are identical to those aircraft flown by the 306 and 322 Squardrons back in Holland, and any modifcations are immediately made to the US-based aircraft so that pilots do not need to undergo any further training when they move to an opeartional squadron back home.

We are slowly making photographs from John’s trip available to buy, and the photographs from John’s trip to Tucson as well as a visit to the ‘Top Gun’ school at NAS Fallon can be found here.

If you would like receive updates when new photographs are available then please subscribe to our blog using the facility on the right of this page.

Introducing ellybelly pictures

Introducing ellybelly pictures

Introducing ellybelly pictures

Introducing ellybelly pictures

We are proud to introduce a new brand within Lineside Photographics called ellybelly pictures. Our photographers are not just interested in railways, and whilst the theme of transport may always be strong, we hope EllyBelly Pictures will allow other subjects to be covered; including transport, wildlife, military and the odd person or too!

Our first new photographs available for sale are from a well known steam railway photographer, John Stiles! John has had many images featured in many railway magazines over the years; but more recently has concentrated his efforts on vintage transportation, vintage re-enactments and mainly military aviation, both historic and modern.

For those of our customers who favour railway photographs, don’t worry! We are working through a large collection of negatives and slides to add to those currently available, and we intend to keep adding!

In addition to John, Ian Simpson will be showcasing some of his none railway images too. If you feel that you would like to sell some of your images, but don’t want the hassle of the sales process, then make contact with us through the form below and we will see how we may be able to help.

We have also decided to move back to Loxley Colour laboratory for prints. Whilst they are a little more expensive, their attention to quality and detail means that customers are assured of a high quality photo or product at all times. This switch will not be instant, but will be completed over the next few weeks.

The move back to Loxley allows us to widen our product offering too; although some products will not be available directly through the website, we will be giving details on how to order things such as wall products to show images off to their maximum potential. Look out for further announcements in the coming weeks!

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Updates to recent posts on the Lineside Photographics Blog

Its always great to get constructive feedback on our posts, and more importantly to gain additional information on the photographs as well. Using FaceBook and Twitter is a great way of getting in touch with ex-railwaymen and enthusiasts who are far more knowledgeable than myself!

Our last two posts raise some questions about locations, dates and services, so its nice to be able to put up another post with some updates to the accompanying information relating to the photographs.

Please feel free to add any additional information about posts on the Blog, or any photographs available to buy at Lineside Photographics.

A Rural Deltic

Class 55 Deltic, 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' arrives at Gainsborough Lea Road station during ECML diversions some time in 1981.

Class 55 Deltic, 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' arrives at Gainsborough Lea Road station during ECML diversions some time in 1981.

This image was posted without any information on the location, train or date. Well thanks to some folks on Facebook I can say that the train is a northbound express from King's Cross which is arriving at Gainsborough Lea Road station where passengers for Retford will take another connecting train. 

I hope to be able to identify the possible date some time in the future, but the nose markings on 55019 date the photograph to 1981, the last year of the loco's service with British Rail.

A WD in Darlington

WD 2-8-0 90149 of Mexborough shed (41F) sits at Darlington Works presumably after some attention. The date is Tuesday 19th November 1963, and judging by the shadows it appears to have been taken during an organised shed visit!

WD 2-8-0 90149 of Mexborough shed (41F) sits at Darlington Works presumably after some attention. The date is Tuesday 19th November 1963, and judging by the shadows it appears to have been taken during an organised shed visit!

After yesterday's posting of the WD 90149, which I had been photographed at Darlington Shed, local folks have identified the photograph as being taken on the roads used to steam locomotives recently out shopped from Darlington North Road works. 

I have still to confirm the date as 23rd November 1963, so if this doesn't match up I'll let folks know!

Its always nice to get more information about our photographs, so if you can provide any information please get in touch.

Deltic Finale 35 years on…

An un-dated view of Deltic 55019 ‘Royal Highland Fusilier as it heads north through Retford with a train from London King’s Cross.

An un-dated view of Deltic 55019 ‘Royal Highland Fusilier as it heads north through Retford with a train from London King’s Cross.

The Deltic Finale

January 2nd 1982 was the final day of Deltic haulage for British Rail. Much has been written about the ‘Deltic Scotsman Farewell’ railtour and the last service trains, none of which I managed to see because of illness…

The ‘Deltic Scotsman Farewell’ railtour was hauled from King’s Cross to Edinburgh by 55015 ‘Tulyar’, and the return by 55022 ‘Royal Scots Grey’. The arrival at King’s Cross made the national news, probably due to scenes reminiscent of the end of steam.

The last service trains had run on 31st December. 55017 ‘The Durham Light Infantry’ worked 1L44 16.03 King’s Cross – York service and would be the final Deltic to depart King’s Cross in BR service. A special headboard (“Deltic City Tribute & 20 Years Service”) was carried by the locomotive. Unfortunately the train was terminated at Grantham due to a broken rail. The headboard was removed and was driven north to meet 55019 ‘Royal Highland Fusilier’ which was working 1E26 16.30 Aberdeen – York (from Edinburgh).

55017 returned with the 18:58 Grantham – King’s Cross, running in the path of 1A26 15:50 ex York, but the locomotive failed at Knebworth. 47426 hauled 55017 and its train, now designated ECS, back to London.

With the headboard fitted, 55019 arrived in York at 23.06, before going on shed at York MPD.

An opportunity missed, or sound economics?

So was the withdrawal of the Deltics an opportunity missed, or sound economics. With the introduction of the High Speed Train by British Rail, they heralded a new era of rolling stock on Britain’s railway network. Multiple Units were the way forward (apparently), and nothing was going to stop the mass withdrawal of coaching stock in favour of smaller units that could be run in multiple.

I always thought that they could have been switched to other services on a particular route, just like the A4s were, but with a heavy heart I always knew they needed to be run for long periods at high speed, and that really was the East Coast Main Line.

Twenty years, even for a complex piece of machinery, is hardly a lengthy lifetime; just look at the classes of locomotives that were introduced before the Deltics. Did they ever recoup their investment?

Just like other ‘cult’ classes of locomotives, such as the Westerns, the Deltics developed a huge following just as they were about to be withdrawn. Thankfully, and unlike the larger class of ‘Westerns’, 6 of the class were preserved by enthusiasts and the NRM.

Thankfully, the Napier roar is still alive 35 years on from their last days in service with British Rail….


Exciting news from Lineside for 2017..

Class 40 40145 approaches Chapel-en-le-Frith. We've got some exciting news for 2017, and lots more Class 40 photos too!

Class 40 Preservation Society’s 40145 approaches Chapel-en-le-Frith station with a railtour

We’ve been through many changes in the last year, but with a renewed vigour we’re back in 2017. We will also have some exciting news in the coming weeks, so please watch this space…..

We have brought a new photographer onto the team too. Peter Collins has allowed us access to over 1000 images taken mainly in the 1970s. Mainly Black and White, Peter took some evocative photographs around the London suburbs as well as the regions.

As well as adding some of Peter Collins’ photographs to the Lineside Photographics website, we will continue to expand the collection available for purchase as well as reviewing our product offerings and services.

To keep up-to-date with events please subscribe to this blog or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Would you like to sell your photographs?

We are still looking to add new photographs to our collections, so if you are interested in working with us please contact us through the form below.

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Railway Photographs

Lineside Photographics – Bringing you the best in Railway Photography

Lineside Photographics aims to offer the best in railway photography from the 1950s to the present day. Working in conjunction with quality photo laboratories, we have available railway images for the enthusiast and publishers alike, and offer many exciting products from which you can choose and have delivered straight to your door.  All of our images are held in our digital library and are either from digital cameras or are scanned from the original negatives or slides; none are scanned from photographs.

We also hold a Stock library of images that can be downloaded for use by publishers and private individuals. These are still copyright protected, but are Rights Managed. If you have any questions then get in touch.

We are always interested in working with photographers who might like to sell railway related images through Lineside Photographics, or who would like us to care for their own collection. If you are seeking to sell your orginal negatives, slides or digital images then please contact us to discuss what we may be able to offer.

All our images are copyright protected, so unless agreed by ourselves and the copyright owner are for personal use only. Publishers or other commerical organisations should contact us first when seeking to use any images.

In addition to providing images for sale, we provide a service to scan, restore (where possible) and produce a high quality print and digital image.

Please look around our Blog for useful information on our products, and the additions to our collection as and when they are made.