Hi, I’m Richard Thomas, lately masquerading as ‘theendoftheline’, a London street photographer with a difference.
Since March 2018, when I retired from 40 years in the Civil Service, I’ve not looked back as I’ve rekindled my passion with photography.
My intention was to visit the ends of every Transport for London line and document the things I saw, and write about the things I discovered and the people I met. And hence why I created the ‘endoftheline’ blog. I fulfilled this ambition in March 2020 and I’m now writing a book about my memories. Without realising, I have become a London street photographer, a weekly blogger, and a daily social media contributor.
But I’ve not stopped, as my love for street photography and exploring London continues. I have started a new ‘endoftheline’ travel series – this time to the ends of the Network Rail stations within the London travel zones.
However travelling restrictions during 2020 because of the Covid19 pandemic has made it difficult. Although I have made a start, I don’t expect to be able to resume in earnest until the spring of 2021.
So as to keep the momentum, I have, in the quieter ‘lockdown’ days, been travelling closer to home. Walking as far and wide as I can, still looking out for that picture that grabs me and says ‘take me’. I hope you enjoy what you see and read here.
Born and bred in Aberystwyth in 1956. I’m a passionate Welshman and Liverpool FC supporter, a husband, father and a grandfather. All of which brings me joy in many different ways.
I’ve always travelled with a camera and my passion for photography started in my late teens as I got hooked using black and white film (usually Ilford ASA 100 and occasionally ASA 400). Developing and printing my own work was also great fun, much to my parents frustration as I took over the family kitchen most weekends; the first half hour after tea spent setting up the darkroom with binliners over the windows.
Welsh was my first language. My secondary education started at the Sir Huw Owen Grammar School in Caernarfon where I lived for a couple of years in the mid 1960s, and then Ardwyn Grammar School back in Aberystwyth where I focussed on the sciences. I later graduated with a Biological Sciences degree in Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1977.
I started work with the Department for Health and Social Security, as a temp in 1977, and 40 years later, had managed to carve out a diverse career within the Civil Service. I worked in many different departments, honing my skill in organisational planning, change management, people development, technical infrastructure and business operations.
I lived in Cardiff for 5 years before moving to Romford in 1990 where my wife and I still live. The children having long spread their wings, succesfully creating their own careers. So when I’m not on grandparenting duties (but my grandchildren have been educated to call my by the Welsh equivalent – ‘tadcu’ or appreviated to ‘cu’), or taking pictures, or writing about them, I’ll be in the garden.
I enjoy browsing through photographic books, and have done since I joined my first local library. I was captivated by the first book I saw with its artistry and colour, and enthralled by how one picture can by itself tell a story. I guess I’ve been nurturing this thought for a long time and why I now find I have a small collection of such books at home.
Throughout life, you live and learn a lot through experience, through education and from those willing to offer up their advice. But there’s one piece of advice I’ve nurtured since I was a child. My father told me ‘…if you don’t know something, always ask…’ Advice I draw on to this day, and it’s advice that’s inspired me to explore parts of London that might otherwise be hidden.
This is me, and welcome to my world…