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The pair of us have had a quiet weekend at home for a change, mainly because Dawn’s been recovering from a bout of the lurgi and migraines, another two of which struck last night leaving her feeling drained today. Even so, we’ve managed to get some things done – if not everything we intended.

I’ve found myself concentrating on scanning old slides which is good in one way as I’m finally getting the pictures onto my website. I’ve almost finished an album of images from 2003 and it’s been a nostalgic experience as I was a rookie pro photographer who’d suddenly found themselves doing all sorts of unusual stuff with famous people like Richard Branson, Stirling Moss and Prime Minister Tony Blair to name but a few. It was the year before I made the leap from film to digital and looking back, I wish I’d done it sooner, but isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? 2003 was packed full of really interesting events. Here’s just a small selection from the ones I’ve been scanning over the past few days

On the 27th September 2003 the first section of High Speed 1 from Fawkham Junction to the channel tunnel was officially opened by a press trip from London to Paris on a Eurostar. When passengers arrived we were greeted at Waterloo International by acrobats performing on the concourse.

We were then whisked across to Paris on a Eurostar set specially branded the ‘press express’ and fitted with TV screens which relayed the view from a camera placed in the cab. Here we are passing through Kent on HS1.

Then, in October…

Virgin Trains were maximising the publicity they could get from rolling out their new Pendolino train fleet. On the 20th October their PR people commissioned me to accompany Richard Branson and the Virgin team up to Liverpool where 390031 was to be named “City of Liverpool”. Amongst the VIPs joining in on the event at Liverpool Lime St station was the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Louise Ellman MP (2nd left) and Miss Merseyside (right).

It’s funny looking back at these pictures now and seeing just how the railways companies starting to regain their confidence after the turbulent Railtrack days and the spate of fatal accidents that helped see the organisations demise. It was still a rocky road as tragedies were still to happen but it was clear that things were improving. How different things look now, when the main problem the railway face is the lack of capacity!

I’ve added over 60 slides to my Zenfolio website this weekend. You can find out which galleries the rest of them are in by following this link. There’s still another 40 slides from this album to add which should be done this next week. After that, it’s time to delve into the storage box and see what comes to hand next…