Catalogue description The Whitehouse collection of steam locomotive photographs

This record is held by Search Engine (National Railway Museum)

Details of The Whitehouse Collection
Reference: The Whitehouse Collection
Title: The Whitehouse collection of steam locomotive photographs

This collection, which represents only a small proportion of Whitehouse's work, is composed of mainly static views of steam locomotives originally built for the 'Big Four', together with Standards, in British Railways service in and around Shrewsbury.


A manuscript list is available, divided by railway company, and giving details of engine name and number, wheel arrangement, location and date. Reference prints are also available to view on request.

Date: c1956-1968
Held by: Search Engine (National Railway Museum), not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Whitehouse, Patrick, d 1993, chartered surveyor and railway enthusiast

Physical description: 271 negatives
  • Railway transport
Administrative / biographical background:

Patrick Whitehouse, who took up railway photography in the 1930s, soon abandoned the traditional three quarters front view of the passing train and began to favour the 'pictorial' shot, in which setting was as important as the subject. Encouraged by 'Cam' Camwell he also photographed what were then considered unusual subjects: branch lines and narrow gauge railways. Initially, the equipment Whitehouse used was rudimentary, but a simple Coronet box camera was soon replaced by a folding Kodak. In later years he progressed to increasingly sophisticated apparatus, culminating in a 35mm Leica and a medium format Rolleiflex.


After the Second World War a Kodak BB Junior cine camera he inherited, widened his interest to encompass moving film. In the late 1950s and 1960s he partnered a fellow member of the Railway Photographic Society, John Adams, in the BBC television series 'Railway Roundabout' and together they began to publish railway books illustrated by their own photographs. Patrick Whitehouse is perhaps best remembered, however, as a pioneer of the railway preservation movement, a founder member of both the Tal-y-Ilyn Railway and the Birmingham Railway Museum and the first Chairman of the Dart Valley Railway.


Patrick Whitehouse wrote forty-seven books and eventually founded his own publishing company, Millbrook House. He died in 1993, aged seventy-one.


The Millbrook House collection was acquired by the NRM in 1994.


The Adams & Whitehouse film collection is also held by the NRM and may be viewed by special arrangement.

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