Welcome to the DSC02104 Vign web pages:

100_0019 Vign3   Robert and Barbara Darlaston  

Birmingham childhood, family scenes and steam railway photographs,;  compiled by Robert Darlaston


PHOTOGRAPHS     To celebrate our Golden Wedding in June 2019 we set up an album of eighty photos of our family and

                                                a few of its activities during those years.   You are welcome to view the photos:  please follow this link:


                                                       Fifty Golden Years  1969 - 2019

                                                                                     Note:  with some browsers it is best to right click and open in a new window.

                                                (When the page displays, click on the down arrow, and again on the first photo. Use the further arrows to view other photos).


                                                There is a further album with eighty steam railway photographs, taken from 1953 – 1968 which may be accessed via:

                                                                                                Photo albums.htm


                                                            You may also like to view our Album with one photo from each year from 1953 (when Robert

                                                                                    first had a camera) to 2015:   Click here > One a Year: .






    Meet the Darlastons : Family photos from the 1940s to date, plus our selection of “Desert Island Delights”

                                                (from music, art and literature).   Updated 2/4/2018


    Harebells on the Common:       -Birmingham in the war and 1940s:  rationing, hospital, early days at school,

                                          trams, wireless, schoolboy nonsense, Welsh farm holidays, and Robert’s first pin-up. Updated Sep2023


    Amberley.                  Memories of Amberley Prep School, Birmingham, illustrated by childhood mementos  Updated 3/9/2017


    KingEdwardsSchool:    A memoir of Robert’s school days at King Edward’s School, Birmingham in the 1950s

                                                 with contemporary photographs, plus an account of a return to K.E.S. in 2006  (updated, 6/3/2008)


    Trams:                       Memories of the last years of Birmingham trams, 1947-1953, with photographs and press-cuttings plus

                                          details of tram 395, preserved in Birmingham.  A glimpse of Birmingham’s 21st century trams Updated 24/10/18


    1959 - Revisited         Colour photos from the Midlands, South Wales and Scotland, taken in 1959   Added 7/9/2009


    Birmingham Pictorial:     Photos of the city in the 21st century, including a few bits of history.   Additions, 6/4/09


    Goostrey:                  Pictures of our Cheshire village with Goostrey weather statistics from 1987 to 2017  Updated regularly


    Family Trees:            The family back to the de Harlastons in 1373.   Seven generations of Hopkin Smith, plus our link

                                          with Ivor Novello.  Historical narrative about the family with photos from 1890 – 1958  Additions 25/1/09


    CruiseHolidays. :     Ships and cities from Canberra at Istanbul, Aurora in New York to Arcadia in Cadiz (Updated, October 2018)


    Banking Years:         Some mildly humorous incidents from Robert’s career, with rather embarrassing photographs




RAILWAYS        image147 About 400 photos by Robert Darlaston of steam trains, mostly from 1953-1965

    Railways 50years ago:  Steam in the 1950s:  Birmingham and West Midlands, South Devon, Swindon, Wales; GWR Slip Coach   (new 14/2/08)

    Railways1:                    West Midlands;  train-spotting at Birmingham Snow Hill;  South Wales (incl Llantrisant and Afan valley) 1953-62 Updated 23/10/14

    Railways2:                    Mid-Wales railway journey via Brecon in 1959 and West Country railways from 1957-62 

    Railways3:                    Railways in the Scottish Highlands in 1959 - 1961 and the Isle of Man Railway in 1965       New material added 23/7/08.

    Railways4:                    Birmingham New St; steam scenes from around England plus the GWR in North Wales from 1961 to 1963.   New material: 16/3/08

    Railways5:                    The decline of steam from 1964 to 1968.  Closure of the old Birmingham Snow Hill.   New material added 13/7/08.

    Moor St and Tyseley:    Scenes at the GWR stations and loco depot in Birmingham, 1953-2010.  (New material 12/12/2010)

    SevernValley&LlangollenRlys.   Scenes on two preserved GWR lines, 1957 – 2017 

    Welsh Narrow Gauge 1  Talyllyn Railway from 1955; Welshpool & Llanfair from 1956, Vale of Rheidol 1953 -1985

    Welsh Narrow Gauge 2   Ffestiniog Railway from 1955, Welsh Highland Railway, Snowdon Mountain Railway.



Railway Chronology of Birmingham and the West Midlands, 1954-2017

A year-by-year account of changes to the area’s railway network since 1954

I have compiled this Chronology to form a supplement to that compiled by Mr C.R. Clinker and published in 1954.

It is available in three sections accessed by these links:

RAILWAYS of W. MIDLANDS pt 1.  Modernisation and Reshaping, 1954-74

RAILWAYS of W. MIDLANDS pt 2.  Recovery and Sectorisation, 1975-93

RAILWAYS of W. MIDLANDS pt 3.  The Privatisation Years, 1994-2017

                                                (pages added 22nd June 2015, updated 1st Sept 2017)



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HOME  PAGE              This page was last updated on 24/10/2018.       





OUR E-MAIL ADDRESS:   robertdarlaston[at]btinternet[dot]com (for security reasons this is not a link:  please re-type replacing [at] with @ and [dot] with .  )    




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Photographs © Robert Darlaston unless otherwise stated


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