Last in this series…

One thing that I have noticed on trips abroad or even on a visit to central London, just down the road so to speak, is that tourists themselves are potentially a good photographic subject when travelling. I am an inveterate street photographer! Capturing the locals as they go about their business is great and can really give an understanding of the atmosphere of a place. Catching the tourists – and they often outnumber the locals at historic sites – can be a rewarding study of human behaviour 🙂

The Forum in Rome is always full of tourists and people selling water (it gets hot down there). As an historically important site it is special but I wonder how many other visitors were surprised like me at how small an area it actually covers? On my first visit I was expecting something on the grand scale of Ben Hur or Quo Vadis. Of course, when you look beyond the Forum and go up to the palaces on the hills around then you start to get a cinematic sense of scale. But down in the bottom of the valley, it all seems rather small. Much here is about the detail – the carvings on individual stones – the inscriptions – because the buildings have long ceased to be imposing, now just shadows of their former grandeur.

As we walked amidst the ruins, admiring those details and trying to avoid spending too much time in direct sun, I came upon these two young ladies posing for each other…

…In many ways they were bringing life to an otherwise dead world. I wonder if they knew they were posing in the Temple of Vesta and the conotations of being a Vestal Virgin? But then I wonder if they were students putting together a portfolio of images for their course. Tourists, like locals, can be fascinating subjects 🙂

I’m still not back on the tracks as we try to reduce the risk of spreading Corona Virus. So this response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is archive shots from quite a while ago.

A couple of friends and I visited the railway lines on the Derby-Nottinghamshire border back in 1978. We were there to witness a dying industry though we didn’t know it at the time. The Coalfields in the area were a major industry and the main reason why the railways were built here in the first place. These images were taken near Tibshelf on the Erewash Valley line before the collieries closed in the 1980’s. In both photos we see Class 20’s being used as prime motive power for stock being moved back to Tibshelf sidings in preparation for the next week’s work. These locomotives, operating in pairs, formed the backbone of much of the freight traffic in the area at the time because their combined 2000HP and low axle weight meant they could go anywhere, even on poorly maintained tracks.

In this shot, 20173+20068 arrive at Tibshelf Sidings with a train of empty mineral wagons. They will continue under the bridge before setting back into the sidings which are visible on the right behind the semaphore signals. The tracks on the left are the main line from Sheffield. Tibshelf Sidings, along with Blackwell Sidings and Westhouses Depot served the many collieries in the area.

Here, another pair of 20’s come off the Alfreton-Sheffield main line as they approach Tibshelf Sidings with another rake of empty mineral wagons. The line to Blackwell Sidings from Blackwell South Junction is visible on the left. On the top left are wagons in the private siding of Alfreton Explosives’ Rough Close Works. With the closure of the collieries in the 1980’s the Blackwell Branch closed and the tracks have been lifted…

Yesterday is written down
Kept for posterity
From Today
True is tarnished
Its ink corroded
A metallic presentation of a past
Controlled records hide fact
With convenient truth
The RAM is corrupted
And the memory is lost

Martin Addison: 28/11/2019