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Today’s been one of those mixed days, full of promise that never quite lived up to expectations. I was up early in order to edit another batch of old slides that I’d scanned the pervious evening. Whilst I kept one eye on them the other eye was on the weather forecast, which was all over the shop! Whilst the thermometer genuinely hovered around zero we were promised anything from snow to lightning storms by the weather reports. Sadly, neither arrived, despite my constant trips from my office to keep a watchful eye out across the Calder Valley from the bedroom. The camera bag and I stayed in the warm, whilst my mind was cast back 20 years as I looked at pictures where many of them I hadn’t seen since I took them.

All in all, it’s been a productive day as it wasn’t just about scanning slides. My email inbox is now several pages lighter whilst my diary’s put on weight. The most bitterly frustrating thing is not to know how to reply to a press invite to an event in Austria at the end of April. Neither I nor some of my UK colleagues have a clue how to respond due to the Brexit shambles as our status as accredited EU journalists is up in the air. Will we need work permits? We haven’t got a clue and no-one can tell us. We’re just another group caught up in the infernal Brexit mess that shows every sign of ending badly for the UK.

I’m so utterly pissed-off with those of my fellow citizens who see this all as some jingoistic game that we’ll ‘win’ purely because we’re British, so obviously ‘superior’.  After all, didn’t we ‘win’ two world wars? The political and economic illiteracy is frightening, as is the hubris. Part of me has got to the stage where I really can’t blame the other EU members for wanting to say “oh, just f**k off then” in order that we get the reality check we richly deserve and Parliament desperately needs. Because, whatever Brexiters claim, we’ve not taken back control – unless you think deciding when to blow your own brains out is ‘control’. The EU’s in the driving seat now and will be for the discernible future. Very soon the penny’s going to start to drop that we’re the supplicants. Not only that, but we’ll be the country at the mercy of everyone else as our weakness will be obvious to everyone but the jingoists. And the really dumb thing? This is just the start of our problems. The ‘divorce’ from the EU should have been the easy bit! Now we’ve got to negotiate a new relationship, which isn’t easy when you’re the ones who’ve just shat in the bed…

OK, enough of this political and economic omnishambles for now. Here’s one of the latest batch of slides I’ve been scanning. This is Barnetby (Lincs) on the 3rd August 1999.

06999. 56063. 6D66. Immingham - Doncaster Enterprise. Barnetby. 3.8.99crop

This is classic ‘old railway’ despite the change of traction power from steam to diesel. Class No 56063 heads West past the impressive array of old semaphore signals at Barnetby East with 6D66, an Immingham – Doncaster ‘Enterprise’ mixed freight working. The semaphores and signalbox lasted until December 2015 when they were finally replaced with modern colour-light signalling controlled from York ROC.

Tonight I finished the last of the slides from the 1999 album I have to hand. They’ll appear on my Zenfolio site tomorrow. Next I step back in time to 1995…