H. Gordon Tidey

Photographer, Visual Artist

1879 – 1971


Who was H. Gordon Tidey?

Herbert Gordon Tidey was an English railway photographer. Described as "one of the fathers of railway photography" he was active from the 1890s through the 1950s.

Writing in 1954, he described the background to his work as follows:

From about 1900 onwards, I have made a point of giving a week annually to a tour devoted entirely to Railway Photography, on some occasions by car, but, when long distances were involved, by train... During these 54 odd years I suppose I must have covered a large part of England and Scotland. I visited many interesting districts on several occasions – with a few years' gap between – and therefore was able to record the changing outline of the locomotives on the important trains.

Oxenholme station is an example of a favourite location, but Tidey did indeed range widely, and it is estimated that he took around 6000 photographs. Characteristically he took ¾-front views of mainline steam trains in action, taking care to include the complete train in the composition, favouring a high viewpoint when he could obtain one, and sometimes deliberately choosing to shoot from the shadow side of the line. By the middle of his photographic career he preferred to use a Delnollo Nettel focal plane press camera taking glass plates.

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on July 23, 2013


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