The Penny Salon Micro-Gallery at Ongar Station

Free admission! Gallery open whenever trains are running!

The Penny Salon Gallery Award winning Malcolm Root Painting


Latest Exhibition

4 May - 7 June: The Last Beasts of Man

British Railways dispensed with main line steam locomotives in 1968 and imposed a ban on any steam locomotives working on their tracks. For some enthusiasts, that was the end of steam. But steam engines continued working in some industrial locations like the South Wales coalfields throughout the 1970s. Geoff Silcock was one of the few photographers who visited the coalfields and captured the last years of real everyday working steam in Britain - an atmosphere almost impossible to recreate on the heritage lines of today. 

This is the second part of a trilogy of Geoff's black and white work. 

Beasts of Man Beasts of Man

Coming Next

During our steam gala on 8 and 9 June you can meet renowned railway artist, Malcolm Root FGRA, who will be showing a selection of some of his original transport paintings. 

15 June - 14 July: Railways in the 1930s and 40s

In the 1930s the railways were the main means of transport for long-distance passenger journeys and most freight traffic. But faced with growing competition from road transport the railway companies sought faster, more glamorous trains. These were the days of streamlined trains and speed records.

But war put an end to all that. The railways concentrated on moving troops and their supplies, while children were evacuated to the countryside. Maintenance was curtailed and the railway network suffered heavily from air attack.

The railways had been placed under state control for the duration of the war. Then in 1948, the ‘Big Four’ companies were nationalised to form British Railways.

Future Exhibitions

An interesting and entertaining programme of presentations is planned for the coming year. Watch this space or our news pages for further details.

Geoff Silcock's trilogy featuring the best in black and white photography concludes with the continuation of the first episode Into the morning. June also sees an exhibition of steam in the 1930s and 40s whilst we are excitied to present a special exhibition celebrating 25 years since the closure of the line by London Underground in 1994 and the rebirth of the Epping Ongar Railway throughout September and October. 

Look out for further details of these exhibitions here or on our news pages and via social media nearer the time. 


Meet renowned transport artist Malcolm Root F.G.R.A.

We welcome the return of Malcolm Root, showing an exhibition of some of his original transport paintings at the Penny Salon Gallery, Ongar Station

Saturday and Sunday 8 and 9 June during the steam gala.

Malcolm root Painting in the Penny Salon

The Gallery

The Epping Ongar Railway opened the ‘micro-gallery’ at Ongar Station on Saturday 27 May 2017. The gallery is in the Ladies Waiting Room at the station. A railway volunteer and professional photographer who specialises in steam photography, Geoff Silcock, has worked alongside the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society members to transform the room into a place to display photographs and pictures. Mr Silcock has worked with local photographic and historical societies to bring a programme of interesting and relevant exhibitions to the Railway.

Penny Salon ExhibitionThe free bijou exhibition area has been named "The Penny Salon" and will be open whenever trains are running to provide interest for passengers.

The output of "The Penny Salon" consists partially of the well established work of Eastender Reg Batten, who achieved his 100th birthday before he passed away in 2014. Reg spent much of his leisure time from the 1930s until he was well into his 80s, recording images from the now bygone world around him, especially from around Essex; Malcolm Batten is the custodian of his fathers work, and continues the family tradition, with countless photographic images published in magazines, plus several articles to his credit, and with published books on related transport subjects; and Geoff Silcock, with well over 50 years overall involved in the pursuit of his passion for especially steam trains, including  its related photography and railway journalism content, with over 100 published articles in specialist magazines over the last 25 years... Plus he assures everyone that he also found the time to spend over 45 years in the photographic "D&P" profession from the early 1960s... 

The inaugural month through to 18 June 2017 hosted The Essex Monochrome Society with Black and White images mainly from in and around Essex, including steam trains. This was followed by an exhibition by the Ongar Historical Millenium Society titled "The Railway Comes to Essex". "Bygone Essex" was the third exhibition to be held in the gallery, and a further selection of Reg Batten's iconic images will appear in a future exhibtion. The 2017 season concluded with a selection of images from by long- time steam photographer, troubadour writer, and former Sentimental Journeys charter organisor Geoff Silcock, entitled Steam in the Frame, taking viewers on a journey from 1961 right through to the present day Epping Ongar Railway. 


Fry's Chocolate Cabinet

Fry's Chocolate CabinetThe c.1890s "Frys Chocolate" glass cabinet,that was gifted to the Epping Ongar Railway, and refurbished by Malcolm Batten forms an important part of The Penny Salon's presentation of artifacts allied to the main displays.


Why "The Penny Salon"?

The name "The Penny Salon" is taken tongue in cheek from the c. 1865 built station rooms other use as its original Ladies Waiting Room.