The Friends of the
National Railway Museum

South of England Group
Vice Presidents: Richard Hardy; Sir William McAlpine Bt, FRSE, FCIT, FRSA

Last Update

Talk Synopsis

7 January 2006

The LCGB Ken Nunn Picture Collection
Charles Firminger
14 February 2005

Charles Firminger, one of our regular members, brought along 200 slides from the LCGB's Ken Nunn collection. Charles introduced the talk with some background information on the collection. Ken Nunn had worked for the GER (and later the LNER and BR Eastern Region), spending much time at Brentwood. This explained why there was a predominance of GER pictures in the collection! The collection of about 11,800 is fully catalogued and copies of the lists are available - on disc or CD for the computer literate. It includes collections bought by Ken Nunn of photographs by H L Hopwood, R P Angus-Lewis and others, as well as some by his brother Cyril. Copies of the pictures can be bought at a reasonable price from Graham Stacey, 11 Braywood Avenue, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9LY.

The picture sequence started in Scotland with pictures from the Highland and Caledonian Railways. We were then taken around the LNER, LMSR, SR, GWR and their constituent railways, not forgetting the Hundred of Man Steam Tramway. The pictures took us back to the end of the 19th century and forward to the locomotive exchanges of 1948 (a Bullied light pacific piloting a Liverpool express, on its way to trials in the Scottish Region).
Most of the pictures were from either the Edwardian period, or the inter-war years. Not all were as old as might appear - the pictures of the Hetton Colliery locomotive and Hackworth's Royal Sovereign were not from the mid 19th century, but from the 1925 Stockton & Darlington Railway centenary celebrations, another picture of which featured the latest LNER traction in the form of A1 pacific 2563 William Whitelaw and electric locomotive number 13.

The pictures showed some interesting workings such as an ex-GCR locomotive at Bourne End with the Northern Rubber Special run by our vice-president Alan Pegler. (Another picture showed the GNR Atlantics 990 Henry Oakley and 251 double heading what may have been a rehearsal for the famous Plant Centenarian of September 1953.) Also featured were a number of royal train workings, the condition of whose locomotives contrasted with the grimy subjects of many of the pictures.

Throughout the evening Charles was aided by comments and anecdotes by other members on the pictures. Some of these suggested that the information on the picture was not entirely correct: for instance one train seemed to be coming from Upminster, not going to it. This did not, however, spoil the enjoyment of the evening, more it enhanced it by encouraging discussion.
Charles has another sequence of slides concentrating on the London area which he has offered to show. We will be taking him up in a future programme.

Phil Brown

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