9th March 2020 · ‘Memories of a Sheffield Trainspotter’

Presenter: Ted Parker

A night of nostalgia was promised when Ted Parker of Yarm visited on 9 March with his presentation ‘Memories of a Sheffield Trainspotter’. Ted, born in Sheffield in 1949 and son of a railwayman, met Ken Horan, a Rotherham based Scotsman, over 40 years ago at a SMRE meeting and they became lifelong friends and jointly produced ‘On Parallel Lines’, a book documenting the years leading up to the replacement of steam locos by diesel and electric.

Ted opened with photos taken with his first box camera, a Coronet 66. We saw many evocative shots of Sheffield in his early days of photography – Wicker Arches with a Sandringham passing over, Rag and Tag Market, last tram in 1960, Atlantean buses, Dixon Lane, Sheffield Illuminations, Master Cutler (train that is!) and the infamous Barleycorn pub.

Ken Horan featured prominently along with his favourite Black Five, 44888 and one Monday Ken was asked by a photographer friend to produce plenty of smoke on the approach to Millhouses with the result that lots of washing on Buttermere Road were ruined by the smoke, with Ken being subsequently reprimanded!

We saw locos awaiting the torch at Beighton, BoBos and CoCos, Barrow Hill and Canklow sheds, Sheffield Victoria and Midland stations and an atmospheric shot of Brookhouse Colliery where Ted, as a 15 year old school boy, had an industrial visit down the pit. Ted was an industrial scientific photographer at BSC and is an accomplished painter, being a member of the Guild of Railway Artists.

Our very grateful thanks to Ken for making the long journey in incessant rain, an excellent evening enjoyed by all.

A potential crisis was averted on 24 February when we arrived to find our new projector screen had been ‘misappropriated’. However, help was at hand as our fixtures secretary, Jim Bryant came to our rescue as he raced home to collect his own!