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After the past few days glorious weather up North the rain’s reappeared and today’s forecast is less than optimal. Because of this I’m heading down to London to fulfil a more unusual commission. One of my clients needs pictures of Buckingham Palace. No, I’ve no idea why either, but ours is not to reason why…

Whilst I’m in the capital I’ll be getting some library shots of the ever changing railway scene, so expect a few bits of interest to appear throughout the day…


I’m on the road slightly later than planned as I had to send a batch of pictures one of the rail magazines had requested. To speed up the trip I’m getting a lift into Huddersfield with Dawn so I can take the direct TPE route to Leeds rather than walking to Halifax for the meander via Bradford. Typically, just as we left the house the drizzle started! Not only that, but a few minutes before we drove past, this came down on our road.


Normal service has been resumed on TPE. I’m stood in the vestibule of a packed Class 185 on it’s way to Leeds. On the drive across I was scanning the news about the latest Brexitshambles and BBC story that Johnson is about to ask the Queen to suspend Parliament, thus enacting the political coup that will allow him to crash us out of the EU with no deal, rendering Parliament powerless to stop him. Truly, this country has become a dictatorship and the effects are going to be appalling. The Brexit zealots have no idea of the consequences of what they’re doing. They want Brexit at any cost, no matter how damaging. I fear the UK isn’t going to survive if they get their mad way.


I’m now speeding my way to London on LNER’s 10:45 Leeds – Kings Cross. The train’s not too busy but I’ve drawn the short-straw as I’m now surrounded by a group of middle-aged women on a jolly to London, one of whom insists on showing the rest of the group the video contents of her phone. Why anyone would want to watch video’s of a baby screaming is beyond me! We’re just calling at Doncaster, so I expect the train’s going to get even louder. I’m kicking myself for not packing my iPod this morning, especially as I had it to hand just before I left the house. Instead, I’m taking refuge in work and trying to thin out the contents of my email inbox.


We’re on our way from Peterborough now and the weather’s looking a lot more promising than at home. Although there’s high cloud it’s very broken. If this keeps up I should be able to get the pictures I need. Meanwhile, I’m making the hoped-for inroads into my inbox and clearing a backlog of pictures filing so it’s been a pretty productive trip so far…


Would you ‘Adam and Eve’ it! Despite dashing across London to Buckingham Palace, I arrived at the same bleedin’ time as clouds and a brief shower. This was despite leaving Kings Cross which was baking in sunshine! So, there was me, sitting on the steps of the Victoria statue across the from the palace, pondering the place on the day of our deepest political crisis since world war 2 and thinking ‘kin ell! Eventually the weather played ball long enough that I could get a couple of shots that were fit for purpose. I’m now off to Victoria to head across London to hunt a different quarry: Class 710s.


After travelling on my old friend the Victoria line I’ve emerged from the foetid atmosphere of the tube into the fresh air at Blackhorse Rd, North London. The station is an interchange with the ‘Goblin’ (as the Gospel Oak to Barking line’s known to locals). After years of difficulty with delayed electrification, cancelled services and late-delivery of new trains the line’s beginning to settle down and look forward to a reliable and prosperous future. In a scene replicated across so much of this area, the station’s overshadowed by a multitude of tower cranes building new high-rise blocks of flats, although who can still afford to rent them is a mystery.


Whilst I was on the ‘Goblin’ I saw the last of the day’s sunshine in which I managed to grab a couple of decent shots at Blackhorse Rd and Harringay Green Lane before deciding to call it a day and begin my trek back to Yorkshire. As I was back in an old haunt I couldn’t resist getting one of the Turkish flatbread stuffed with minced lamb and spices that are popular fast food on Green Lane.

The area may have gone more upmarket from when I know it in the 1990s-2000s but there’s enough that’s familiar and the area still holds some wonderful memories for me. Wandering up the ‘ladder’ as the streets there are known I caught a train from another old haunt, Hornsey station and hopped between a few of the tired old workhouse Class 313s and their shiny new replacements, the Siemens Class 717s. The rush-hour hadn’t begun to bite so there were plenty of spare seats. At Potters Bar I changed once more, this time to a Siemens Class 700 which will carry me to Stevenage where I’ll pick up an LNER train. The weather across the Northern suburbs has turned dark and dismal with small showers, hardly ideal for photography so the camera’s getting a rest!


My penultimate train if the day’s an ancient HST working a Kings Cross to Harrogate service. If there’s many typos in this part of the blog I apologise, the rocking and bouncing on this train at speed is awful! They may be liked by enthusiasts but the ride quality’s not a patch on an Azuma!


We’re just leaving Wakefield under some exceptional skies as the edge of a heavy band of cloud is meeting the setting sun which is picking out a few stray clouds like a search light. It’s glorious! The effect was the same in Leeds but there was no chance of ne getting in a place to get pictures I was straight on to my last train of the day, Northern’s 20:06 to Huddersfield via Halifax which is worked by a neatly kept but tired Class 156.


The final trip of the day’s begun and I’m looking forward to getting home and relaxing for a few hours as tomorrow’s going to be another much-travelled day…