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: "55 years behind the lens - a transport history in photographs"

55 years behind the lens by Malcolm Batten - at the Penny Salon gallery from May


The latest exhibition will be starting from Saturday 18 May. 55 years behind the lens - a transport history in photographs is a personal look back by photographer and author Malcolm Batten at how public transport and transport preservation has developed during the 55 years that he has been taking photographs. The nationalisation and then privatisation of bus companies, the privatisation of the rail network, the re-emergence of trams, changes in shipping are among the topics covered along with the boom in transport preservation.

Future Exhibitions

The final exhibition of the current season is expected to be 'Off the beaten track'. This will be a selection of railway photos from the Penny Salon presenters Geoff Silcock and Malcolm Batten featuring unusual locations, many of which can never be repeated. Expect 'one-off' events, railways and museums that have since closed, private sites and sections of heritage lines before they opened to the public. This is due to be displayed from mid- July to the end of September.

The start and end dates for each exhibition will be dependant on other activities happening on the railway but will be advised here. Other ‘pop-up’ displays may also feature at times, particularly in connection with Gala events.


Malcolm root painting of last push pull service at Epping

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.

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

Penny Salon Exhibition

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 exhibition. The 2017 season concluded with a selection of images from by long- time steam photographer, troubadour writer, and former Sentimental Journeys charter organiser 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

The 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 artefacts 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.

Fry's Chocolate Cabinet