NEVER-before seen pictures of steam locomotives during the 1930s through to the 1960s in the North-East are being published in a new collection.

Retired publisher and railway enthusiast Brian Dickson came across the thousands of negatives of photographs taken by RJ Buckley, who turns 100 this year, when he wanted to use some of his photographs in another book.

The pictures show some rare locomotives in the 1930s which date from the “pre-grouping” era, before 1923, when the companies joined together into the “big four”.

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These included designers such as Wilson Wordsell and Vincent Raven of the North Eastern Railway. Mr Buckley’s later photographs, from 1946 onwards, continue to show remaining working pre-grouping locomotives and also portray the newer designs.

Mr Buckley, who worked for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway for over 40 years, starting as a wages clerk in 1933, travelled all over the country in his spare time photographing locomotives.

His photographs have recently been published in books by The History Press, Steam in Scotland, and Southern Steam, and this, his latest collection, is Steam in the North East, showing Northumberland, Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire.

Mr Dickson said: “The 1930s was one of the heydays of steam when the individual companies vied with each other for custom. Ron (RJ Buckley) photographed the famous express locomotives but the bulk of phorographs are the humdrum goods locomotives. A lot of those didn’t survive until later years, so they are very very interesting to enthusiasts.”

Her said some of the interesting pictures were from the branch lines where big locomotives hauled mineral trucks, such as in the coalfields of Durham, and near the steelworks in Teesside.