The W.B.Greenfield MBE
LNER photographic negative collection
This Collection was bequeathed to NELPG following Bryce Greenfield's death in 1977. It consists mainly of photographs, albums and negatives, the LNER negatives being the subject of this Web Page.
Bryce was NELPG's first Chairman and remained so until he resigned in 1971. He was born in 1918 and lived most of his life at Low Fell, Gateshead where many of his photographs were taken. He was awarded a M.B.E. in 1951 for services to the Army Cadet Force, where he attained the rank of Major.
He first started taking railway pictures in 1934, his first subject being A1 Pacific no. 2581 "Neil Gow" on the 4.42pm to Edinburgh at Newcastle Central Station in February of that year. In the following 6 years Bryce became a prolific photographer of the LNER scene in his local area. There are even some Wartime shots which are quite rare and daring considering that he could have been arrested for taking pictures of trains at this time of conflict.
Many of the photographs were taken from the foot crossing at Low Fell just south of the station. Some of the moving express trains are inevitably blurred to some degree but many are OK considering the equipment used (a Brownie "Ihagee" F4.5). The slower moving freights are especially good.
Bryce was obviously attracted to the express passenger locomotives and named trains such as the "Flying Scotsman", "Silver Jubilee", "Coronation" etc. and photographed them extensively both at Low Fell and Newcastle. Many superb photographs exist of LNER Pacifics standing at Platform 8 at Newcastle Central Station at the head of named expresses bound for the north. Some of these were taken at night with surprisingly good results.
He did, however, travel further afield and Bryce pointed his camera at subjects ranging all along the main line from Kings Cross to Dundee. His main field of interest were the locomotives themselves rather then the "scene" and shed / signal box visits feature from time to time. Some of the best photographs in the collection are taken from the signal boxes at Manors Station and King Edward Bridge Junction at Gateshead.
Bryce considered his most memorable year to be 1938. As a junior draughtsman with a local engineering company he was able to travel beyond his native North East to pursue his hobby. The highlight was a week in London where he was able to visit many LNER locations such as Kings Cross, Marylebone, Stratford and Liverpool Street where the streamlined B17' s made a big impression. A wonderful holiday was completed by returning north to Newcastle in 4 hours by the "Coronation", the last hour of which was spent in the rear of the beaver-tail Observation Car.
The full catalogue of the negatives is available. We hope you enjoy the following selection of Bryce's photographs. Enquiries and further details of the collection can be obtained from Dave Whitfield.
A selection of the photographs