Ravenglass Railway Museum acquires old 1950s negatives in auction lot

Old photos of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

The Ravenglass Railway Museum has acquired a new collection of photographic negatives which show an insight into the post-war life of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.

In December 2020, an auction lot came up that had a lot of negatives by H C Casserley. THe museum was keen to purchase the 44 negatives due to the perspective on life at the railway that they would offer.

Collections Assistant, Claire Winter-Moore said, “We are thrilled to have acquired this collection of negatives which gives us a more detailed and representative view of the railway during a decade that was to signal great change for the R&ER.”

Old photos of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Credit: Ravenglass Railway Museum / A Croughton Collection

Henry Cyril Casserley visited the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway on the 14th September 1950, which was a difficult time for the company, both money and materials were in short supply and the railway’s future was uncertain.

However, the negatives show a unique view of the challenging time and offer a unique view as they are taken from the back of locomotive NNG 39 Passenger Tractor.

The museum’s Volunteer Photo Archivist, Dave Simpson said, “Being taken from the back of the train, these images will enable us to produce some interesting Then and Now features.

“One of the future projects we wish to do at the museum is to show the tremendous changes in the valley, with vegetation creeping up on the line, almost hiding it from view in places.  This will contrast to modern views of the line in very good condition”.

Old photos of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Credit: Ravenglass Railway Museum / H Casserley Collection

A boost to the collection is that Alfred Croughton was on the same trip as H.C. Casserley, with some of Croughton’s photos already in the archive, the Ravenglass Railway Museum has already identified eight photos that complement the newly obtained Casserley images.

Also included in the collection are images of the standard gauge Kerr Stuart class of locomotives at work. Visitors will recognise the names Murthwaite and Beckfoot as stations on the line, but ‘Laal Ratty’ has industry in its history, with standard gauge track being on the line as far as Murthwaite Stone Crushing Plant.

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Ravenglass Railway Museum acquires old 1950s negatives in auction lot