In his own words...
During the late 1950's, Rowney organised a painting competition for all the schools in the Eastleigh area. As painting was the only thing I was good at when I was at school, I was encouraged to enter. Much to my surprise, my painting of two trains passing in a cutting won the age group prize of an oil painting set. It was suggested that I should take up commercial art when I left school which would mean going on to Art college for three years.
Sadly, circumstances at home made this impossible. Coming from a railway family, I decided to go onto the footplate as a locomotive fireman, giving up art altogether – I didn’t touch a pencil or paintbrush for another thirty years!
When I later wrote of my time on the footplate I had very few photographs so decided to paint my memories. I enjoyed it so much I wondered why I had ever given it up in the first place. I am entirely self taught and the only advice I ever had was from the art master at school who said “Paint what you see”.
In his own words...
Destination Ocean Terminal
The Cunarder Boat Train passes St. Cross Signal box, Winchester on its way to the Ocean Terminal with passengers for one of the 'Queens'.
As a young fireman in the early 1960s I spent about a year on these pits in the ashpan gang, which was the bottom rung of the ladder for a fireman. The Nelson has just run back light engine from the docks after bringing a boat train down from London.
The Last One
Two permanent way men watch as 35022 ‘Holland America Line’ darts under the flyover at Battledown with the very last steam hauled down Atlantic Coast Express on September 5th 1964.
Papers Are On Their Way
35020 ‘Bibby Line’ roars through Winchester in the early hours with the fast paper train for Bournemouth. When lighting up the B4 at night, which was kept at Winchester to shunt the yard, I would always go on to the platform to watch it go through.
Salisbury Tunnel Junction
My father was a signalman here during the War and I was born a few miles further up the line in the Railway Cottages at Porton. As an Eastleigh fireman in the 60’s I worked to Salisbury on the lines behind the box from Southampton or Eastleigh via Romsey.
Time For A Chat
St Cross signal box just south of Winchester in the late 1950’s. The track was the road up to Badger Farm which is now a vast housing estate and supermarket, the crossing and the box disappeared in the late 1960’s.