lineside at Low Fell - a ten-minute bicycle ride from home - and, of course, the magnificent Newcastle Central Station, then a major spotting hotspot for countless thousands of young boys during the 1950s and 60s.
In November 1989 I was delighted when I had a selection of my photos published in the 'Glorious Years' section of Steam Railway.
Ten years later I was involved with 'North East Focus', a photographic exhibition at the National Railway Museum, with accompanying book of pictures.
This gave a group of six photographers from the north east the opportunity to show their own personal take on the end of the steam era.
The other five were John Hunt, Ian Krause; the late Malcolm Dunnett; the late Ken Groundwater and the late Kevin Hudspith, some of whom were friends of mine from the 1960s and many of them well-known among steam enthusiasts today.
Kevin Hudspith once said - 'It's a great hobby, isn't it?
And if you weren't there at the time, you can't be part of it...'!
Let's face it, train spotters have some great tales to tell.
By this time the emphasis had shifted from merely seeing as many different locos as possible, through trying to travel on as many steam-hauled trains as I could, to attempting to capture on film an era which we all knew was coming to a close.
I was still only 17 years old when the 'Fifteen Guinea Special' ran in 1968, but my trip with friends to witness the event at Ais Gill came to a halt due to flat tyres on the Landrover we were in!