Payne Jennings Company

I’ve just purchased five GWR photograph panels featuring standard double black & white photographs in each panel of views in their territory. They were still in their original GWR frames. They would date c1905 based on examples I already have here. They are in their usual grey mounts with white margins with black location titles on the mounts. Considering they are about 117 years old, they are in very good shape!

Up until now I have always believed all these early black and white photographs were solely produced by the Photochrom Company for the GWR, during and after Photochrom were producing the beautiful colour-tinted photos for the GWR and other companies from 1895. I have four complete GWR company issued files “Views of the GWR” with all the hundreds of Photochrom 8 x 6 inch black and white images with dates issued between 1905-23 – a fascinating archive to research when I have the time!

Two of the purchased panels (4 views) were shown in my Photochrom file but, to my surprise, the other three panels contained views produced by the photographic company, Payne Jennings. How do I know? Simple -= they have “Permanent Photographs by PAYNE JENNINGS – Photo Works, Ashtead, Surrey” printed centrally on the mount, under the titles!


Payne Jennings were one of the early leading publishers of photograph views for the railways and particularly for the Great Eastern Railway who used the photos in their carriages and stations and in their guide books, too. The person behind the company was an expert photographer, John Payne Jennings…

John Payne Jennings, 1 April 1843 – 25 March 1926
Professional free-lance photographer, Photographic Publisher; Member of the Royal Photographic Society – RPS from 1878 to at least 1887. John lived at Gayton House, Park Road, Ashtead, Surrey from 1890 and previously: 1877 Dublin; 1878 & 1879 6, Rosendale Road, West Dulwich; 1882 Elm Grove, Rosendale Road, West Dulwich; 1887 10, Champion Grove, Denmark Hill, S.E.

He was an excellent photographer and a photographic pioneer and entrepreneur capturing particularly the pictorial attractions of East Anglia. The greater part of his work was done in the district of the Norfolk Broads, and he published two collections of reproductions, one entitled “Photo Pictures in East Anglia” and the other “Sun Pictures of the Norfolk Broads.” The latter, (in which he gives his address as ‘The Studio, Ashtead, Surrey’) was reprinted at least 3 times, and was first published about 1890. It contains 99 excellent photographs, any of which could be mistaken for a painting. Another example is “Summer Holidays in North East England” for the North Eastern Railway Company. This book contains over 140 of his photographs. He also performed commissions for the London Brighton and South Coast Railway amongst others. He also produced photographs to accompany the works of famous poets such as The Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1889). John became a considerable owner of property and land, including the entire Greville Park Estate. His property Gayton House at the southern end of Greville Park Avenue, a large Edwardian mansion, still stands today, though now split into three residential units. He died in 1926.

Hope this information is helpful to any GWR & GER aficionados!

Kind regards,

Spring Update – Travelling Art Gallery

Reviews of the new DVD Film Documentary Travelling Art Galleries have been very encouraging. The Artist Magazine, Best of British, Railway Magazine and several others were most positive and sales of this definitive documentary featuring BBC TV’s Coast presenter, Nick Crane, have gone very well. It is also available via Vimeo to stream and you can view the trailer here for free

Over recent months, Travelling Art Gallery has been involved in a very successful exhibition Places in Time featuring the artist, Kenneth Steel’s work at the Weston Park Museum in Sheffield. See a brief walkthrough of the exhibition here. I provided some of Steel’s original artworks, including those for carriage prints. It has shown yet again how much interest there is in commercial art and the artists concerned. The exhibition finishes on May 2nd.

Its been good to see exhibitions starting up again after Covid – we recently had stands at the London Model Railway exhibition at Alexandra Palace and were at the Talisman auction at the Newark Showground last week. If we intend participating in future events we will try to give advance notice on the news section of the website. It has been so good to see many old faces again even if some are looking slightly older [including us!]. My wife, Marie, and myself both had Covid in the darker days in October 2021. Quite ill for a while, but not dangerously so and a lot to be grateful for over the past two years.

Future improvements and enhancements on the website will see images of carriage advertisements, maps and notices from the collection appearing. From the pre-grouping railway days through to British Rail; there were many wonderful graphic designs and nostalgic adverts displayed in coaching stock.

Improvements have now been made to the landscape series of reproduction prints – the TAG logo at the bottom centre has now gone and we have reduced a good portion of the text at the bottom of the border – it all looks a lot tidier and less cluttered.

Don’t forget to enquire via the website if there is a particular original carriage print you are interested in. I can let you know availability, condition and price fairly quickly. Some prints (especially pre-war) are very difficult to find but in many cases I may be able to help you.

Wishing all readers the blessings of health and fulfillment and will be in touch again soon.


The new Travelling Art Galleries Documentary has now arrived…

See the Trailer

And buy the DVD, or Stream the Video in HD at

Travelling Art Gallieries DVD
When Trains were… Travelling Art Galleries

Presented by the enthusiastic, Nick Crane, from the successful long-running BBC TV Coast series and Greg Norden, art collector, railway historian (and long-lost relative of Charlie Chaplin). They take us on a fascinating visual journey around Britain, when trains became travelling art galleries and leading watercolour artists of the day produced wonderful landscapes for displaying in railway carriages.

During the mid-20th century, fine art became readily accessible to the majority of the general public – perhaps for the first time ever!

The railway companies used artwork from over 60 leading watercolour and poster artists of the era, including Rowland Hilder, Frank Mason, Norman Wilkinson, Leonard Squirrell, James McIntosh Patrick, Terence Cuneo, Claude Buckle, Jack Merriott, Frank Wootton, Henry Rushbury, Frank Sherwin, Stanley Badmin and Kenneth Steel to produce over 500 landscapes of Britain.

Nick Crane presenting Travelling Art Galleries

Nick takes a good look at the artists themselves, their often, unsung, commercial careers and recalls memories of his great aunt, Freda Marston – the landscape and poster artist and the only female contributor to the paintings for railway carriage prints. Greg covers the different watercolour styles used and some of the challenges the artists faced during their work for the railways.

Using many superb images from Greg’s unique collection and with several interjections of humour, the film covers and beautifully illustrates the history of the subject from 1884 until the present time. At first, using rare black & white, colour-tinted and sepia photographs of Britain, the video goes on to incorporate nostalgic images of advertisements and notices. Nick covers the development of maps through the years and the film also takes time to see the effect World War II had on the advertising in railway carriages and on the commercial artists.

Travelling Art Gallery DVD

Greg then uses many of the paintings and prints from his collection and takes us on a nostalgic scenic tour of Britain in the mid-20th century, before modern town planning and the motor car had changed the landscape forever. From fascinating views of towns and cities to pleasant villages in rural areas; from the rugged mountains of Scotland and Wales to the numerous ports and resorts around the coast of Britain revealing an era fast fading from memory.

Amongst the highlights of the documentary are examples of many of these artworks, transforming into equivalent modern landscape scenes, often including the use of a drone camera. The documentary finishes with a nostalgic look at the last days of British Rail and the end of this creative era.

Beautifully filmed by James Norden of Upbeat Image, and written, directed and produced by his ‘old man’, this hour long documentary is a visual feast of watercolour art, railway history and British nostalgia.

Travelling Art Galleries includes an extra bonus video on Collecting Prints.

See the Trailer

And buy the DVD, or Stream the Video in HD at


The lockdown has proved to be a busy old time for me despite the lack of live auctions and the cancellation of exhibitions. Firstly, we finally finished upgrading the website, which is now completely updated for mobile phone use and expanded and improved with new features including the best selling carriage prints, customer reviews, better search facility, slide shows and a special feature page.  Almost 3,000 panels are now visible in this growing image library.

Secondly, my youngest son, James, and I have been busy with editing and producing an hour-long documentary on carriage prints, the artists and the artwork, entitled Travelling Art Galleries. It is presented by myself and Nick Crane, the TV presenter of Coast (the most repeated show on BBC!). Nick is a relative of Freda Marston, the only female carriage print artist and we’ve had fun filming at Boston and Deeping St James in Lincolnshire and in a hand-built mock up carriage interior here in Northants! We also shot on the wonderful Llangollen Railway, where Paul Bailey was immensely helpful in letting us use his ex BR suburban Mk1 stock for some of the filming. The video has taken two years to write and film, including drone shots at several locations, but should be worth all the effort and will hopefully generate interest in the railway art genre. By the grace of God, we finished filming the week before the lockdown started in March! The editing takes a long time (especially if there’s only two involved) so the covid restrictions gave us a useful period to work on this aspect of production. I’ll keep you updated when it’s finished and we have found a distributor.

Whilst visiting Nick, who was isolating in Norfolk, I thought I’d have a ride round and find a similar looking location to the LNER Norfolk Broads print by Frank Mason. I say ‘similar looking’ because I and others had never been able to trace the exact location of the 1947 print. We assumed the windmill shown in the picture had either been demolished since then, or that the image was a hybrid of different archetypal Broads scenes to give an overall impression – hence the vague title. I scanned the map at home and saw that the nearest mill to my destination was Thurne Mill, so I had a quick look at Google Earth on my PC at home. The view of the mill from the road didn’t look promising as a possible location but as it wasn’t too far away from where I was going, I drove there and walked from the road along the public footpath along the river. The weather was glorious. The closer I got the more it began to dawn on me that this was the location of the print. I was amazed! Even the renovated windmill sails were facing the same direction as those in the print and a sailing boat was passing by. Two ladies were painting the scene from nearby where Frank Mason sat many years beforehand! One more location ticked off and photographed.

A quick review of carriage print in auction over the last few years has born out my suspicion that prices, on average, have risen overall by a fair margin after decreasing for a number of years. The more common prints continue to struggle, which is hardly surprising, but middle of the range prints have risen in price. This is largely due to new collectors coming into the market. Rare prints have held their value and even increased slightly. Entrance to Portsmouth Harbour (Donald Maxwell) £900 +BP – GWRA July 2020; Marlow (Claude Buckle) £700 +BP – GWRA March 2020, Mousehole (Jack Merriott) £600 +BP – GWRA March 2020 are good examples.

We’ve certainly missed seeing many of you at the auctions and hope this will change soon, although at the present time this seems very unlikely.

Praying you all keep safe,

Greg Norden


Since the incomplete list of railway carriage prints shown in the last edition of my book Landscapes under the Luggage Rack, I’ve been asked many times by collectors to issue the complete and definitive list of carriage prints produced from artwork by leading 20th Century artists, which my researches have now made possible. I thought this would be a good time to publish this and generate a little more interest in the subject for current and future collectors – a sort of ‘Ian Allan ABC Train Spotters Combined’ but for carriage prints! Quite appropriate really, as my first job for BR at Waterloo HQ in 1971 was doing the same post Ian Allan, who published these famous books, had vacated some years before! My only other claim to fame is being a relative of Charlie Chaplin – my granddad’s mum and Charlie’s mum were sisters and my granddad knocked about with him in South London as kids before Charlie went to the States. All the male members of the family (including muggins) have Spencer as our middle name. Probably the reason I walk funny – all in the D.N.A. And – yes – I do know what the initials ‘D.N.A.’ stand for: National Dyslexics’ Association. Anyway, I’m waffling…

The previous listing I made back then was by series according to company. This time I have sorted all the prints into individual counties in alphabetical order giving the artist and also a code specifying the issuing company, date of issue, size of print and whether mounted. The initial code I use for each print (i.e. L001) is purely a reference to the image which is viewable on the website

For further interest I have now also added known artworks produced for, but, [for whatever reason], never issued by the railways as carriage prints. Again, these un-used artwork images are viewable on the website. I have been fortunate enough to acquire more of the Western Region artwork examples, especially some of Gyrth Russell’s paintings of Cornwall. It baffles me as to why they didn’t produce one or two of them in the WR Series as they would have been worthy additions. As mentioned in my book, the Western Region seemed loathe to follow an LNER idea and dragged their feet producing artists’ carriage prints. Here I show artworks of Mevagissey and Polperro, Cornwall by Gyrth Russell and South Shields by Edgar Thomas Holding… 

RAILWAY CARRIAGE PRINTS MASTER. This is the definitive list of carriage prints in PDF format.

Whilst on the subject of un-used artwork, it’s surprising what sometimes turns up when taking a closer look at items in the collection. Going through the original artwork for the LMR Historical series recently, I noticed that Bill Sawyer had produced two separate artworks for the John Peel, Fox Hunter carriage print…   . The artwork for the un-issued print is shown here   with the issued example –   perhaps the uniforms were found to be wrong on the first one – who knows? Anyway, to save years of wasted effort by collectors – don’t go looking for original prints of this, or any of those I have listed with a grey surround – there aren’t any!

In the past year I was delighted to have finally collected and sorted all the early GWR Series of 15 Cornwall carriage prints issued in 1923 by the Great Western Railway. These were issued in collaboration with the Cornishman Group of Newspapers and the images of the artworks also illustrated the GWR Cornish Riviera book. The artist was Claude Montague Hart (1869-1952). He was a painter of landscapes & seascapes. One of seven artistic children of painter, Thomas HART. Claude was born at the Lizard in 1869, Landwednack, Cornwall, and died 6 Nov 1952. ‘Monty’ studied painting in Antwerp but returned to the Lizard which provided the subjects for many of his seascapes. Many paintings were sold locally to visitors, but by 1940s demand had dropped and he ceased painting. He was deeply involved with the Lifeboat Service, and for thirty-nine years was Secretary for the local Lizard rescue boat. The carriage prints were small and narrow on card with large grey titled mounts ,     and have been only occasionally seen on stalls and in auctions. I first noticed a few of them when I first went through the NRM collection and have been tracking them down since. Does anybody know which stock they appeared in or which routes? – they certainly were displayed outside the west country and probably in main line stock. Detail of one of the images can be seen here…

With the very kind help of visits by the Kilvington family, we have now catalogued all the pre-grouping, grouping, BR & LT carriage adverts, notices, maps and diagrams in the collection and this past month has finally seen the completion of sorting and cataloguing all the photographic carriage panels dating from the 1880s through to the end of the grouping period when they finished producing them. Sounds daft, but this is the very first time many of these panels have been properly examined by myself and the data and measurements obtained has given me a far greater understanding of what formats many of the railways used in displaying them. I’m sure some interesting articles on specific companies with illustrations could follow at a later date.

One last random question to throw out to you before finishing, relates to the commonly seen print River Wharfe near Ilkley, Yorkshire by Gyrth Russell. We originally thought this was an amalgamation of views along the river around Addingham. A café owner there told me it was definitely a view of Burnsall Bridge further up the river and the bridge with its 5 arches certainly fits the bill although, having been there to photograph it, the artists viewpoint for the painting seems impossible to find! A correspondent has recently told me the location is Bolton Bridge further downstream, but this bridge only has 3 arches, so I’m none the wiser or convinced! Any reader’s clarification will be gratefully received!

RAILWAY CARRIAGE PRINTS MASTER Click for the definitive list of all the carriage prints in PDF format

Kind regards,
Greg Norden

BLOG, OCTOBER 22, 2016

Notice of an exceptional special auction on Tuesday 13th December- a private collection of railway related artwork coming up for sale at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, Newbury. Many of the original paintings for posters in the sale had been stored behind a wardrobe by an elderly lady in London for decades!venetian-nights-southport-1937-fortunino-matania

Amongst the highlights in the collection are a number of original artworks produced for the LMS in the 1920-30s, an era (rightly or wrongly) known as the Golden Age of the railway poster, depending on your taste. One of the highlights is Venetian Nights, Southport, by accomplished Italian artist, Fortunino Matania, set on the Marine Lake, Southport in 1937. This large canvas, by the artist responsible for several classic LMS poster views of Blackpool and Southport, is something of a mystery as the poster has never yet been seen, despite an accompanying letter between the LMS and the printers showing a print run of 5000.a491-bexhill-danvers-new-frame-2

Other highlights include Norman Wilkinson’s superb and iconic, LMS artwork of Iona, Scotland; Verney Danver’s Southern Railway poster artwork of Bexhill, (the art deco De Le Warr Pavillion) (also never seen before); the original LNER poster artwork of Teesdale by Ernest Haslehust and Algernon Talmage’s view of Bournemouth for the LMS. Wartime poster artworks, including a train crash in France by the White Star Line artist, Montague Birrell Black and other artwork by Rowland Hilder also appear in the auction.iona-cathedral-1928-wilkinson-45x30ins

Railway Poster original artworks include:-

Iona Cathedral, Scotland by Norman Wilkinson CBE, PRI, ROI, RSMA, HRWS  [LMS, 1920s]
Venetian Nights, Southport by Fortunio Matania RI [LMS, 1937]
Edinburgh (Scott Monument) by Claude Buckle RI [British Rail 1950s]
Castle Rushen, Isle of Man by Reginald Grange Brundritt RA, ROI [LMS 1920s]
Morecambe [Bathing Beauty] by Benjamin Ostrick [British Rail 1953]
New Brighton by Verney L Danvers [British Rail 1952]
Bexhill [ Art Deco, De La Warr Pavillion] by Verney L Danvers. [Southern Railway, 1930s]
Teesdale, Co Durham by Ernest Haslehust RI [LNER 1930s]
Bournemouth by Algernon Talmage RA [LMS 1920s]
Llandudno- John Yeend King, ROI, RI, RBA, [LMS, 1920s]
Llandudno – Warren Williams ARCA [LMS, 1920s]
Castle Douglas, Isle of Man by Anthony Brandt [LMS 1930s?]
Southport by Peter Collins [British Rail 1950s]a250

Fine Paintings Auction date: Wednesday 7th December 2016
Auction location: Dreweatts, Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
Preview at Donnington Priory:
Sunday 25th September, 10am – 2pm
Monday 26th September, 9am – 5.30pm
Tuesday 27th September, 9am – 4.30pm
Wednesday 28th September, 9am – 4.30pma352-close

I have been fortunate to be able to obtain nine more original carriage print artworks recently, including two of my all-time favourites: Whitby, Yorkshire by Rowland Hilder and Sible Hedingham by Leonard Squirrell. I’ve often wondered where some of the artwork got to after going to the printers many moons ago and the paintings do surface from time to time, especially in batches. Most have been stashed away, unframed, and have never seen the light of day for decades.

A two day trip to the NRM recently, to go through their carriage panel archives with that most helpful of curators, John Clarke, was something of a challenge, but thoroughly enjoyable and, hopefully, beneficial to the museum and myself in exchanging useful information on the collections. The most interesting by-product of going through the NRM collection to add to the catalogue information was how important the measurements of the adverts, photographs, notices are in ascertaining the frame size and therefore the company likely to be responsible for the panel, particularly if there is no other information to go on. Some pre-grouping companies panels survived in large amounts, whilst it is exceedingly rare to find anything from other large concerns.

Talking of going through collections – a heartfelt thanks to the Kilvington family from Walsall who visited here and were a great help in the long-overdue task of sorting my own collection of adverts, maps & notices recently. Most items hadn’t been looked at since purchasing! The next task is to catalogue the lot!

Several years ago I finally got to the bottom of what the grouping and BR companies had actually issued as carriage prints and the complete and definitive list is on my website with dates, artists, series and a separate list of any discovered carriage print artwork produced by the artists, but never issued as prints by the railways.

Kind regards,


Wishing a happy and healthy new year to all readers.

New Years eve and two drunks at Clapham Junction station had wandered off the platform and were staggering along between the railway tracks. One of them said, “This ish the longest shtairway I have ever been on.” The other replied, “It’sh not the shtairs that bovver me, it’s the low balushter rail….”


EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES We have had an exhibition stand at several model railway exhibitions recently and are due at the Glasgow Model Railway Exhibition in February and the London Show at Alexandra Palace in March as well as at Stoneleigh. As I mentioned in the last blog, Marie and myself are keen to explore other avenues this coming year to introduce the genre of railway carriage prints, posters and commercial art to a wider audience, including the fine art market.

In November I travelled up to the N.R.M. to hear a lecture on their carriage panel collection by a university student, with a couple of other talks on railway subjects by speakers arranged by head curator, Ed Bartholemew. Mike Priestley was there [thanks for the interesting recent article in RAG on modern BR posters, Mike] and I was encouraged by the attendance and the evident interest shown, as well as how many people I talked to afterwards who were unaware of the subject or the ‘Landscapes’ book – now 8 years out of print. It all helped to give me the kick up the backside I needed to get moving and produce the 3rd edition next year!

Prices of rarer carriage prints have held up reasonably well in the past year, but, as auction reviews show, post-war prints struggle – most railway collectors have the particular ones they are after. However, it does make it a great time to fill in any gaps or to collect new areas. As I mentioned, we are keen to introduce new collectors into the marketplace and new books and a video are planned. I’m hoping to do some filming this spring with Nick Crane, the TV presenter on a short video on the subject of carriage prints and commercial artists. Having a professional video maker as a son helps me of course! Nick has recently been appointed President of the Royal Geographical Society and is a busy man but hopes to be involved.

Having purchased quite a few original artworks for carriage prints in the past year, I have finally got round to scanning and examining my collection of paintings. Some interesting observations came from this. Red Hill Tunnels, Trent by Kenneth Steel has the title in capitals ‘Watford Tunnels’ on the cover of the artwork! (It looks like the artist’s writing, but I can’t be sure). The watercolour of Crafnant Valley, Caernarvonshire by Charles Knight solved a long-standing puzzle: I have always thought that this was a composition of several views by the artist and, despite a couple of expeditions to the end of the valley, have never been able to see any view comparable. In pencil on the back of the painting I found the words “Crafnant Valley from Trefriw” and, lo & behold, looking at the great blessing that is now ours through Google Images, saw the same landscape from the exact viewpoint, showing Klondyke Mill, visible in the painting. Google Images/ Earth is so helpful in research – indeed, you wonder how on earth people managed without the facility of the internet in days gone by. I actually purchased this painting a couple of years ago from a friendly man in Holland near the German border who had contacted me via the internet. I never did find out how it had ended up there.

The painting of The Groves at River Dee, Chester by Reg Lander solved the reason why the artist hadn’t appeared to have signed his artwork on the smaller 20 x 10 prints – he had, but the printer’s crop marks left his signature outside the print area! The identity of the artist responsible for Penrhyn Castle and the Lledr Valley, nr Bettws-Y-Coed still remains a mystery – nothing on the artwork for the latter to give a clue. The Penrhyn artwork was sold in a railway auction years ago – a bit of a long shot – but does the owner know of any clues on the artwork as to which artist was involved on this painting? One other surprise was finding two different paintings of John Peel, the Fox Hunter by Bill Sawyer from the LMR Historical series in the collection! One must have been rejected for an unknown reason – possibly the wrong uniforms shown on the huntsmen?


Twixt Christmas and the New Year, we spent a few days in the post-flooded, but still sodden, Lake District at Keswick. It was great to see the old station and canopy standing and used – the last time I was there was just after the line had closed). We had just got past Glenridding on the way out before the road flooded again. Both the exact locations for the carriage print locations of Coniston Water (Frank Sherwin) and Lake Windermere (David Cobb) proved very difficult to identify and photograph. Having driven completely around Coniston Water and slipped up to my ankles into a furrow of liquid mud after a walk, I wasn’t too keen to explore too wide an area but we got some idea of the landscape. I suspect that the view is from the south eastern side of the lake near Crake Valley looking across to High Nibthwaite and the Water Park buildings. Definitely, needs another visit unless anyone can confirm?

The Lake Windermere painting is either a fabrication by Cobb or a view of another lake (there is nothing written on the original painting to suggest either). The closest alternative I can see would be from the south east part of Grasmere looking northwards towards Fairfield Peak. Any wisdom from readers would be appreciated. Thankfully, the other central Lake District views are rather more straightforward.

Always good to find out more information on the poster and print artists – someone emailed me with comprehensive details of the poster artist, Kerry Lee, renowned for his detailed artworks for city map posters. Richard Furness’s excellent research into poster artists, combined with my earlier research on the carriage print artists has produced a very useful database of commercial artists – an area with surprisingly little available information to hand, even on the internet.

Ebay occasionally turns up a gem and last month produced a lovely panel with gilt edged mount with triple photographs from the Metropolitan Railway with ornate scripted title at the top. The first of its kind I had seen. I was delighted to get it close to my initial bid, despite completely forgetting to leave a higher bid in case of later competition!

I’ve set a target to finally get round to sorting the advertisements, maps and diagrams in the collection this year. Should be interesting! All the images of the carriage prints and photograph panels are on display online, now at larger sizes with larger maps to view, too. For example there are over 350 LMS sepia panels (with another 50 on the way) and over 2,500 photo panels overall – as well as all the carriage prints – a useful database of information, so do browse the website – no cost involved!.

All the best for 2016,



Latest Update 20 March 2015


Enjoying a coffee at the Scottish Model Railway Exhibition at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow. Very successful time and many new and friendly people met over the three days. We’ve tried to explore new avenues of sales possibilities over the past year and have introduced the genre of railway carriage prints and railway posters and commercial art to a wider audience. Next target area will be the fine art & craft market. Difficult to know where to start in this field. Does anyone know of any recommended exhibitions to go to on national or local (East or North East England preferably) level that will fit well with this genre? Will all be grist to the mill.

The BBC One Show have just contacted me and are using the original artwork of the Stealing of the Crown Jewels by Colonel Blood by Harry Winslade in a forthcoming programme on the subject of the audacious thief. It’s surprising the types of request from the media that arise – one day it can be for an image of Whitby for a Dracula movie, then this!

I am currently working on a short video on the subject of carriage prints. Buying a camera drone for my youngest son’s documentary videos for his church has given me a certain leverage – (ok – yes – its a fair cop, it’s blackmail). Some footage of the landscape above the cliffs at Robin Hood’s Bay and Old Harry Rocks in Dorset will be spectacular, I’m sure! I’m hoping Nick Crane, TV presenter of Coast, Town and other programmes will lend a hand at some stage. He’s very enthusiastic about the subject and has a vested interest, in that he’s a relative of the carriage print artist, Freda Marston, and collects her work.

Found another item of original artwork for carriage prints – Britannia Tubular Bridge, North Wales by Kenneth Steel RBA, SGA. The paintings are gradually coming out of the artwork.

Not sure whether I’ve mentioned this already, but I have a facebook page on the subject of carriage prints which (confession time again) I am also awful at uploading frequently. As my school reports frequently said: Must do better, can do better, should do better….

A final thought – when is the best time to buy the carriage print of Cley windmill in Norfolk? Answer: When the sales are on…

Blessings to all readers,

Greg Norden

Finding Original Artwork for Carriage Prints; Alan Gray, Artist; Old Bishopsgate Station

I’m sitting writing this latest epistle from a model railway exhibition at Peterborough. One of my targets this year has been to try exhibiting at several new and different events to bring the world of railway and commercial art into a wider sphere of influence, outside the usual railwayana marketplace. It’s quite interesting to meet the many people who are unaware of the existence of the world of carriage prints and railway posters – even people from a railway background. The next event will be our first attempt at the National (Warley) model railway exhibition at the N.E.C. in November, which promises to be a busy affair. We hope to venture into some art exhibitions next year.
I was very sorry to hear of ‘the clock man’, Ian Lyman’s passing away recently. He was local to me in Northants, living not far away in Kettering, although I only got to know him in the last few years. He was more than helpful in putting me in contact with collectors and finding local items of interest and struck me as being a very genuine man.
A few original carriage print artworks have turned up recently. I have been notified of the River Thames, Kings Reach by Frank Mason, Hitchin, Herts by John Moody, Cley, Norfolk by R E Jordan, King’s Lynn by Gyrth Russell, Blythburgh, Suffolk by Henry Denham, all in private collections and Norwich, Pull’s Ferry by Kenneth Steel appeared in auction in Norfolk recently and was purchased by an aging and eccentric enthusiast – many thanks to that most helpful of Norfolk collectors, Paul Thurtell, for collecting it for me!
An interesting development recently has been hearing about the possibility of one of the 60+ carriage print artists still being with us. I am currently trying to ascertain if Alan Gray (the artist responsible for Arundel, Sussex and Eynsford, Kent from the Southern Region ‘B’ series prints) is still alive. A customer contacted me recently and sent me an article by Alan from a local Walthamstow art magazine, dated 2010, giving a potted biography of himself and his work. I have just started to make an attempt to trace him. He was born in 1927 and I believe he still lives in the Walthamstow area. Any information from local readers on Alan would be much appreciated. Gray had an unusual style using strong dark lines of body colour or charcoal, differing from many of the other carriage print artists who used a more traditional watercolour approach. I have the original painting of Arundel here and a couple of other artworks by him – one (Abridge, Essex) is on sale on my website
I know of only two other living carriage print artists – David Cobb, the former President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists (R.S.M.A.) and Ronald Maddox, President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (R.I.).
Much of my time in the past month or two has been spent sorting a large deceased estate. It has been a sobering (and pretty exhausting) exercise going through countless boxes of railway ephemera, hardware, books, clocks, cutlery, chinaware etc. amassed over many years. Many of the boxes look as if they had been brought home over 50 years ago and never or rarely sorted or looked at. It has been with somewhat mixed emotions as I’ve gone through each box – a sense of real gladness that someone had bothered to save so many items that would have otherwise been destroyed; feelings of sadness that the owner never saw or enjoyed the fruit of many of their labours; and the excitement and sense of privilege in sorting an historical treasure trove of railway history. The phrase “You can’t take it with you” is an oft used and, sometimes, trite expression but, nevertheless, a simple fact that often gets neglected in its implications.
Much of the material I sorted probably originated in the early 1960s from the old Bishopsgate Stores – a massive archive of GER, GNR, GC, LNER, BTC and early BR ephemera and documents housed in the old former Eastern Counties Railway, London terminus at Shoreditch. It was latterly a goods and stores depot and was destroyed by a massive fire on 5 December, 1964. 40 fire engines were unable to save the buildings and the stores and archives were destroyed with it. I have many official railway press photographs of the fire which give some idea of the size of the area, which later lay derelict until 2003 when cleared for building work, including a new station.
Having re-read this month’s BLOG – it seems a little on the serious side, so how about finishing with a brain teaser. I have explained above what R.S.M.A. and R.I. stand for, but
Q) do readers know what the letters D.N.A. stand for?…….
A) National Dyslexic Association
Regards to all readers,
Greg Norden

5 May 2013 – Nick Crane, Artists’ Relatives, Cyril Barraud’s 1936 Etchings, Photographing Kent Locations

Phew… a long time since the last post – my April wedding arrangements took priority I’m afraid… oh dear, what a poor excuse!

I have spent some enjoyable times recently with Nick Crane, the TV presenter of Coast, Town, and several other travel programmes. He’s a relative of Freda Marston, the only female carriage print artist and I have been helping him in his collection of her artwork and prints. Like many other artists just after the war, Freda had to take on commercial work to survive. Nick is a very genuine and enthusiastic chap and a real pleasure to be with. We are hoping to do a small TV feature on Freda’s work at some stage, whilst visiting the carriage print locations she painted.

Other artists’ relatives visited recently have been Claude Buckle’s son, Terence, and wife Andrea – again, very enthusiastic collectors’ of the artist’s work and good friends. Wenonah Driscall, Jack Merriott’s daughter, has been in contact, too, and with the families, we have managed to get together a fair collection of Jack and Claude’s paintings over the years. When I have finished the now long-overdue, hopefully improved and definitely expanded third edition of Landscapes under the Luggage Rack  I aim to finish and produce books on both Buckle and Merriott.

I met Alasdair Macfarlane’s granddaughter a couple of times recently. I had purchased an original oil painting of his “MV Loch Seaforth at Armadale“ and then found out that it was the original artwork for the BR/ Caledonian Macbrayne “The Fast Route to Skye” poster which delighted Rosemary and Peter, her husband, no end, especially when it ended up in their possession.

Continuing on with artists, it was a great surprise to see the studio of Cyril H Barraud come up for sale in Canterbury recently, considering he died in 1965. I successfully bid on the phone for several lots of his non-railway etchings. He was a prolific etcher , mainly for book illustrations, and many of his views, especially of London, are quite  stunning. Etching was a real skill and some of the carriage print artists such as Frank Mason and Kenneth Steel had a real grounding in this form of art. Included in the sale were a few of the original copper plates where Barraud’s scenes were engraved before the application of ink and the production of the finished pictures.

One of the great treasures in this sale was two examples of his original coloured etchings for the pioneering 1936 LNER series. Both these images must have been rejected by the LNER as, as far as I am aware, they were never published by the railway. I recognised one immediately as Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire but Richard Furness helped me to identify the other as Harrogate, Yorkshire [aysgarth barraud - Copy (1024x385) harrogate barraud - Copy (1024x385)]. Fascinating to see these two views and I can only assume that the locations were omitted to leave a simple balance of eight views each by both Mason and Barraud in this series. I have added these two etchings to my listing of un-issued carriage prints which is now visible and available via my Travelling Art Gallery website.

One of the interesting aspects of the materials in the sale was the use of different trials for colour washes used by Barraud in the production of his etchings. Colours of trees and mountains were changed to get different effects before reaching satisfactory results. Whereas the lithographed carriage prints varied little in colour and tone (unless the printer had dozed off during the process!), most etchings of the same subject can vary in tone and colour and it is unusual to find two exactly the same. Far fewer etchings can be produced from a plate than the later lithographic process. They are a great scarcity anyway, despite the fact that the LNER advertised and sold them through the Railway Magazine in 1936 and through their travel bureaux. Not surprising really, as they cost 10 shillings and sixpence each, unframed – more than a week’s wages then. It is generally recognised now in the art world that etchings are relatively undervalued compared to other limited edition artworks.

SRA at Derby and GCRA at Stoneleigh seemed quite buoyant and saw relatively good prices for carriage prints considering the economic climate. Several new collectors helped things along and it’s been great getting to know some new faces. The continued female interest in the subject is a large factor in maintaining popularity for the genre and this was certainly demonstrated at the successful exhibition stand we had at the recent London Model Railway Exhibition at ‘Ally Pally’, despite the arctic blizzard conditions.

Due to the need to visit Kent recently, it gave me the opportunity to photograph some of the carriage print locations in the county. Many of the subjects are clustered around Romney Marsh and it didn’t take long to drive around most of the places and photograph them on what was a rare, sunny day in February. The only really awkward location turned out to be the Cinque Port of Hythe. The Martello tower featured in the image is still there, close to the fishing huts but, unfortunately, it now lies within the M.O.D. firing range and is fenced off out of bounds! I went as close as I could to the perimeter fence to photograph the foreshortened view and managed to attract some fierce and concerned looks from the guards in the security building! Perhaps in my next BLOG I may list all of the ‘awkward’ carriage print locations where photography is limited or involves restricted access, permission to enter a site, or the use of a boat to photograph the view! (Frank Mason was the chief culprit of the latter scenario, without doubt).  I would be happy to pay for any successful photos of these places if photographed from the exact spot the artist was placed for the painting or as close as you can get if circumstances dictate or your life is in danger in the process! Anyway – more of this in the next BLOG.

Kind regards to all readers,

PS I have listed a lot more artwork and prints on my website recently, so do visit to see what’s available.