B.R. AND N.C.B. 1960s STEAM MONOCHROME: 35mm - Ironroad

KEN GROUNDWATER

Ken Groundwater (nickname 'Spring') was one of my earliest railway acquaintances and as we shared many ideas about rail photography, spent many long nights in my grandmothers' kitchen producing our 'mastershots'. Ken was charming, a poseur and a ‘bullshitter’ of the first order. He would tell the girls in The Old George Yard he was 'Monsieur L’eau de Terre' in very bad Franglais (well before ‘Allo, Allo) while dressed in greatcoat, beret and goggles! On long nights at Carlisle you could hear his ‘wail’ and Acme Thunderer doing ‘banking whistles’ – till threatened with ejection by the platform staff. He was always positive and filled with enthusiasm, even when we ended up in a tight spot – he negotiated our way out of quite a few. We lost contact, sadly, when B.R. steam finished as I moved away to work, but he continued his railway career and ended up as Service Delivery Manager on GNER - I believe he would often help with the service in first class instead of travelling in comfort - no doubt his above-mentioned skills would have been employed! He also produced many railway titles and others about the Tyne and Byker. We were re-united at the turn of the Century and the old Ken still survived - bullshit and charm - he even coerced me to be a bumbling 'talking head' in a marvellous video he made about the MNA - who I had nothing to do with - and that did me no favours, whatsoever. But he got away with that too. Kens' untimely death in April 2007 cast a shadow on all who knew him and is greatly missed. This 1960s Steam Gallery is therefore dedicated to his enduring memory. Above is how I always remember him.