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Mr Cooper recalls that he was 16 years old at the start of 1967.“In the past, I have penned and illustrated the occasional magazine article on the fifth, 25th, 35th and 40th anniversaries," he writes.And while this is a book almost entirely of pictures from 1964-67, the final images are heartening shots from this year – Bulleid Pacifics back working on Swanage Railway.* Southern Steam Swansong by Paul Cooper is published by Crecy (uk) at £27.50.
In a new book, Southern Steam Swansong, he shares many of those pictures, as well as some recently discovered shots.
Locomotives from across the region were being sent to Salisbury, the dispersal point for a redundant steam fleet that was largely sold to a scrap merchants in South Wales.
Railway enthusiasts would be forever grateful for the fact that many were not scrapped promptly, giving volunteers the opportunity to buy some back for restoration.
The high quality images were taken on large format Kodak Ektachrome slide film, with vivid colours and the level of detail afforded by an image size more than four times larger than 35mm film.
Many of Mr Vernon’s photographs were accompanied only by the occasional pencilled note, but he also left behind a collection of railway tickets – and Mr Cooper did the detective work necessary to work out where and when the photos were taken.