Welcome to Photos from the Fifties

“Photos from the Fifties” originated in 1972 when Hugh Davies, a founder member of the Railway Enthusiasts’ Club, was asked to look out some black and white negatives of pictures he had taken some 20 years earlier of railway signal boxes.


The Railway Enthusiasts’ Club (the REC) was formed in 1953 and differed from most of its contemporaries by catering for both young and old with an interest in trains, and also welcoming ladies into the membership. The headquarters and clubrooms overlooked the main line near Farnborough station and at its peak the club had nearly 2,000 members. It soon developed a reputation for exploring parts of the railway network to which others had failed to venture, often travelling in the brake vans of goods trains. Over the years the club chartered nearly 100 special trains, including visits to Ireland, Denmark, Majorca, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland in the 1950s and 1960s. Among the members were many competent photographers and in 1972 Hugh Davies (Secretary of the REC from its formation until the early 1960s) began what has become the Photos from the Fifties collection by making his own photographs available. Other members joined in and there are now approaching 350,000 images either already catalogued or awaiting listing. The REC still exists (primarily as a thriving model railway club) and has licensed clubrooms in Farnborough, though sadly no longer adjacent to a railway line. 

What we offer

Many of the photographs in our lists have never been published, and some have never been printed previously.

The majority of the pictures are of railways, taken between 1943 and 1968, but there are also views of buses, trams, ships and other more obscure subjects. There are lists available for each English county and also for Welsh counties, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and for the countries of mainland Europe.

There is also a series of lists which cover all our railway views in alphabetical order, from Abbey and West Dereham to Zaandam! 

Black and white prints in postcard size remain the most popular line, partly because many are available from stock and also because we have been able to keep prices at a reasonable level. However, larger size prints can be produced to order and a limited number of views (mainly of industrial locomotives) are available as colour prints.

We do not make the images available electronically, except by special arrangement with major publishers, so our lists provide descriptions which are as accurate and honest as space allows – to the extent of admitting that certain views are of poor quality but included because of the rarity of the subject.

Our ethos

This is a service run by enthusiasts and is NOT a commercial operation; the only benefits that we, the photographers, receive are for the use of our photographs in books, magazines and videos. Even here we do not charge societies, preserved railways and other charities for the use of our photographs – provided we receive due acknowledgment and a bit of publicity.

Many of our customers from the 1970s are still customers today, which we believe is due in part to the friendly, personal service we are able to offer. We look forward to hearing from you.

We invite you to share our experiences and our memories, through the medium of our photographs, though sadly some of us are no longer here to share your interest.