“I first saw the Kempton Steam and Railway Museum in around 2009 when I was doing a recce for a shoot location that was nearby. I loved the building and was struck by the quiet tenacity of the volunteers work and the enthusiasm with which they showed me around.
With a somewhat slow but always deliberate, considered and persistent progress, these ex electrical engineers, oil refinery managers, computer engineers, research technicians and BBC engineers have re built this huge machine that when set in motion is beautiful to watch. Its surprisingly quiet when “in steam” and has a wonderfully ponderous and rhythmic quality that gives you the feeling it could go forever.
As a portrait project it was a combination of these things I was interested in. Frailty and age against power and strength, the patience of the volunteers matching the rhythmic pumping constant of the engines. Of course theres a nostalgic reverence at work here as Kempton Steam Museum is a wonderful place to cut off from the immediacy of modern life. I guess the clue is in the title, it’s a Museum that’s almost cathedral like in scale, a sanctuary for the volunteers who’s love of steam, mechanics and engineering keeps them young at heart and sharp as a tack.”