In search of Great Eastern steam in the Penny Salon Gallery19th June 2018
Arranged to coincide with the historical nature of the forthcoming Victorian Weekend of 30 June and 1 July, the latest photographic presentation in the Penny Salon Gallery at Ongar station is "On the trail of Great Eastern steam..." by resident The Penny Salon photographer and author Geoff Silcock. Some of the early photographs that Geoff took, mainly in black and white, date from 1961 and 1962 with various views of the last Great Eastern area steam hauled urban cross-London line from North Woolwich via Stratford Low Level and on to the peaceful tree-lined station setting of Palace Gates nestling at the east side of Alexandra Palace. This cross- London line from east to north at that time utilized the last working steam engines from the "Jazz" and other surburban steam services from Liverpool Street, after the majority of those locos were withdrawn when the services were electrified in June 1960. Other individual pictures show the hustle and bustle of Liverpool Street itself, as well as Stratford shed, before steam finished from into the Eastern Counties from there in early September 1962.
The main part of the presentation consists of framed mostly A3 size colour prints brought together for the first time, that show the few Great Eastern area steam survivors back at work into preservation over 30 years later, including several locos which Geoff funded into their 1950s liveries again, and even assisted in bringing back to their old haunts, at the time he describes as an extended third childhood. Some of the original cameras and equipment used are also on display.
Malcolm Root Painting
For those unable to view Malcolm Root's personal collection of original paintings, which broke the viewing records at the gallery over the Steam Gala Weekend in early June, the widely acclaimed picture of the new Epping to Ongar 1950s "Push and Pull" train, "In the bleak mid-winter", will now be on show in the The Penny Salon throughout 2018.