2021 is almost over - what a horrible year

December 29, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I know that 2021 - like 2020 - has been a dreadful year for the whole world. But for me it was doubly dreadful. Nothing to do with Covid. In February my entire stock of images was removed and several other related events meant that 2021 was a complete write off. In the end all proved to be a big mistake and my images and my life have been restored.

So this website is up and running once more, though it may take me some time to get back to business as usual.

2021 was also the year I stopped using eBay to sell me images. Their change of payment methods and the related pricing policy have made it totally uneconomic to sell there.

So now this is the only place to get my images. All the old ones are back, and despite everything I managed to add a fair number to my collection in 2021, so I can now spend some time uploading these new ones here.

I'll tell you more in 2022 - let's hope it doesn't turn out to be Twenty twenty TOO 



Summer 2020

July 06, 2020  •  Leave a Comment


Well over a year since I wrote anything here.

I’m not much of a writer so I tend to put off this chore, and as always, I have been super busy.

Of course, the world is now a very different place and we are all waiting for the “new normal”.

The company I work for has just declared that in the new world that working from home will be the default for all staff. I’d been trying to encourage them in that direction for years but it took a global pandemic to prove me right.

On the TOPticl scene there are now 53,000+ images on this website. I have also started a new project to try and find a picture of every BR diesel and electric loco in its various number identities. I am looking for the 1948 number, the D/E number and the TOPS number of every loco, where applicable. This is a private project as many of the images come from copyrighted sources, so I can’t share them here. But I would be interested to hear from anyone with a similar aim.

And as always I am always looking for collections to digitise. It is amazing how good the image taken from a negative or slide looks on a 60inch screen.


(Catch up) Christmas 2018

May 04, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I have just realised that I have not added my regular email "news bulletins" here (must try harder!!). SO I am now adding some highlights from previous emails - which should have been in this blog: Here is one from December last year:


By the time you read this Christmas – the main event – will be over. I hope you had a happy and relaxing time with your loved ones. I also hope that 2019 brings you peace and happiness.
It has been an eventful year at TOPticl Towers. I have received and processed over fifteen and a half thousand images.  In total over 42 thousand images have passed through my hands in the last ten years and most of them are available to you on my website.
To round the year off I am sorting through the last few pictures from the two main collections I have processed this year.
A batch of negatives from the Rail Blue era and an assorted set of 35mm slides which date back to the 60’s. Amongst these there are some pictures taken on the Isle of Wight in the days of steam, some shots taken in Belgium – again of steam locomotives, and some beautiful shots of the Isle of Man steam locomotives.
I have not quite finished sorting through this end of batch set, so more will be added to this page over the coming days.
But once that is done I will have lots of spare capacity. So if you have often thought about digitising your collection. But never got around to it – then let me help. My rates are very reasonable and it maybe that I can do it for no upfront cost if you allow me to sell copies here. Just get in touch.

Not quite sure what you want?

May 04, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

From my point of view this website is great. It shows all my pictures and people can browse and add pictures to their Cart and pay immediately. All I need to do is package up the pictures and send them off - simple.

But what if you are not quite sure and you want to discuss before you actually pay. Well that is pretty easy too.

 Login – it is best to register then anything you have put in your cart is remembered if you have to go away and come back!!

Registering is free and doesn't commit you to anything.
Choose some pictures and Add them to your Cart. Then View your Cart – but don’t pay!!
On the cart screen is a “Share you cart” option at the top of the screen. Click there and a pop-up appears on which there is an option to “Share cart with TOPticl Digital Memories”.
Pick that option and click on the Share cart button (at the bottom). I will get a copy of your request and I can then we can discuss any options.

October blues

October 25, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

October is nearly over and the dark nights (and mornings) are with us once again. It looks like last weekend was the end of summer. I spent the weekend National Trust “bashing” in Kent and Surrey. Clear blue skies and temperatures still in the 20’s. Remarkably the rose gardens were still in full bloom and the scent was still strong and heady.

But the heating kicked in yesterday morning so time to wrap up warm for the months ahead.

I finished the bulk of the loose photos I had been given (almost exactly 6000 prints). Next on the list are about 20 albums which I will have to take apart to scan the pictures (many of the album pages have lost their “sticky” – but the residue on the back causes havoc with the scanner – so these will take a while. L

I think I am going to postpone this job and I have now received a collection of slides and negatives. Many featuring shunters! A bit more interesting and less use of cleaner to keep the scanner pristine.

All of the (6000) print images are now up on the website (here & here) and I will start to add the shunter pics in the latest additions as soon as I can.

The website is getting a bit untidy so I am going to also try and rearrange things into a more logical order. Of course the best way to find anything is to use the Search button (top right on the screens).

Whilst I am sorting out the images you may see some double hits with images in two different locations. Once I have sorted it all out this duplication should disappear.

Finally, this latest batch has several hundred negatives. Not had a chance to inspect them, but I am curious if anyone collects negatives? My preference is for digital images, but lots of people still prefer slides – so does anyone collect negatives? If so get in touch and I’ll send you details when I get around to examining these negatives.


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