Roger Palmer has no idea of what stimulated his interest in railways. His earliest recollections are of seeing blue Duchesses flashing past a gap in the houses at the end of the street where he lived and of the first two engines he “officially spotted” when he started collecting train numbers and duly underlining his sightings in his Ian Allan ABC.
His parents gave him a Brownie Cresta camera when he was 14 and two years later, when he had started full time work he bought a 35mm Agfa Silette which itself was replaced by an SLR Pentax some ten years later. From the 1970s he travelled extensively over the British rail system accumulating photographs all the while and for a brief period from the mid-1990s he wrote book reviews for the magazine British Railway Modelling. In 2006 his first book Southern Electric Slam Door Stock – The Final Years was published.
His photographic activities continue, and whilst highly sceptical about rail privatisation, believes that the post-Nationalised railway will be a golden era for railway historians of the future as train operating company’s franchises come and go and the units themselves are in a constant state of flux due to changes in liveries and various upgrades and refurbishments.