10 May 2019.
Chime Whistle Publishing has been established by professional photojournalist, and former editor of Today's Railways UK, JonathanWebb. Influenced by the likes of Cuneo, Jonathan's books, with his unique style of railway photography, convey so much more than just record shot after record shot.
Whilst others may make their way to Kinchley Lane or Foley Park, Jonathan is more likely to be found within a shed or depot, photographing everything from the oiling around of a loco to the ash pit being cleaned out. When he is not photographing the more grimy jobs, Jonathan will often be seen on a platform, but not making 3/4 fromt views, instead he will be photographing drivers, shunters and guards, to name but a few. Jonathan explains :“Raiways are about people, in so much that they cannot run without them, be they staff or passengers. The 3/4 front view has its place, and I've taken a few myself, but to capture the true essence of a railway, one has to look beyond the trains.”
Chime Whistle books are lavishly illustrated with only the best photography, ensuring they will be treasured for many years to come. All pictures are accompanied by detailed captions, containing a wealth of information.
All books are limited print runs.
28 May 2019.
Chime Whistle Publishing's first book - Block Bells, Buttons and Dusters - is a candid record of signallers and their signal boxes in the 21st century.
Back in 2000, it was obvious that many signal boxes, both manual and PSBs, were due to be closed over the next 20 years. With this in mind I set out to record not only the signal boxes, but the signallers who worked them. At 200 pages and with around 300 colour pictures, the book mainly focuses on those boxes that are kept out of the limelight, although Blackpool and Banbury both put in an appearance. Boxes covered include Stafford, the North Warwickshire line, Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street, the Trent Valley, Leicester to Nuneaton and the Cannock line.
Printed on quality paper and produced as a hard back, it is a comprehensive look at many of the important routes that have been, or will be shortly be, re-signalled.
2 June 2019.
Well, it's been a busy few weeks since Chime Whistle was launched. I've spent the last couple of days visiting the Battlefield Railway and the Northampton & Lamport Railway, making pictures for Soot,Steam and Smoke and the two weeks prior to that visiting Kidderminster depot to make more pictures for the Kidderminster depot book, due out in September.
Trains are great,however, I always try to include people (staff or passengers) in my pictures, as I feel their inclusion adds an extra dimension to any picture. The Battlefield Railway and the N&LR are both great railways, with friendly staff. It's a pity that they are often overlooked by the enthusiast, as they have a lot to offer and the staff are great. I managed to make some wonderful candid pictures for the book at both lines.
15 June 2019.
It's been another week of fun packed days, as I've visited the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway and the Midland Railway - Butterley, making pictures of volunteers for my upcoming book Soot, Steam and Smoke that pays homage to the work of volunteers in keeping our heritage railways alive.
At the GWSR I photographed the class 117 DMU (including driver and station staff) and 35006 “Peninsular and Oriental SN Co” at both Toddngton and Winchcombe stations. The latter locomotive involved making pictures of the guard and signaller. Now, I like trains (obviously!) but, wherever possible, I will always include the human element, as railways and humans are intertwined. The book, which is nearing completion and will soon be sent to the printers, has been, and continues to be, a pleasure to put together. Judging by the number of advance orders, readers also like to see books that show more than just trains in isolation. Long may this continue.
25 June 2019
As ever, it's been a busy couple of weeks, with more visits to make pictures for the upcoming book Soot, Steam and Smoke.
This included a visit to the delightful Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, followed by attending the Tyseley open weekend, where I was allowed in before the public, so that I could make pictures of the volunteers cleaning locos etc. Having reviewed the results from both locations, I am very happy indeed with the images, which will add considerable interest and variety to the book.
16 August, 2019.
It has been an absolutely hectic last two months!
Block Bells, Buttons and Dusters has been finished and sent to the printers. This now means that work can really get underway on the Kidderminster diesel depot book. It's a marvelous facility, with great volunteers. On my last visit a few days ago I photographed a sea of blue traction, comprising of D1013, D1015, D1062 and D7029, all being worked on. It really was just like Old Oak Common depot in the 1970s. In addition, 40106 was having a new steam heat boiler installed.
The depot book is not a conventional railway book full of 3/4 front views. Instead it looks at the work carried out at the depot, which ranges from cleaning locos to full body lifts, and the volunteers who do it. In it you'll see D1015, D1062 and 37688 being repainted, along with all the preparations that go into the process before a paint brush is even lifted. It's much more involved than most people realise. Readers also get to see the million and one jobs, not all of them particularly pleasant, that have to be done before we can all enjoy seeing these classic machines in action. To say Kidderminster depot is fascinating is an understatement.
Away from Kidderminster, I've also been working on Dirt, Soot and Smoke. This looks at the people who keep the steam railway heritage movement alive, ranging from the heritage railway loco cleaner to the main line driver. To this end I've visited many heritage railways during the last few weeks, along with main line stations, to make some beautiful images of people working with steam. There has already been a lot of advanced orders for both books, so obviously it's a style of photography that people appreciate.
As with all my books, I don't involve myself with posed 'wooden' pictures of people, much preferring the candid approach. Main line drivers Graham Ward and Ray Churchill are but two who have been photographed in recent weeks, with both men enabling me to make wonderful candid images of them on the footplate. I never ask staff to pose, and such naturalness shines through in my pictures. This is something that is always lacking on photo charters, and don't get me started about the 'man with a lamp' syndrome that appears to be on the tick list of every photo charter!