Blog Update


A little about how my stories and pictures have been received

First of all… Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for all your support, followings and comments.

It’s been nearly two and a half years since I started my and I’ve now posted over 100 updates on my site.

I’ve also branched out across many social media platforms too. Starting with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and later onto YouTube and LinkedIn.

I started all this as a personal journey with little regard for any measure of success. But as the months passed by, and I acquired a growing band of social media followers, I started to be interested in how to cultivate a wider audience.

Consequently, I started to take an interest in my various channels to see whether, and if so how I could influence those who follow me and gradually increase my readership.

I’ll not pretend it’s been a meteoric success when compared to some influencers who are paid to endorse products; and that’s not something I set out to achieve. My success has been more of a muted growth, and it’s an approach I’m content with.

Since April 2020, I’ve been capturing insightful data from across all my channels, and I thought I would share some of this data with you by way of promoting the ‘best of post/picture by social media channels. So here goes…

Blog Site

I now have 41 followers: 23 who subscribe to my email updates on the publication of a new post, and 18 who follow my site through their own WordPress account.

My most successful month so far has been July 2020 which saw nearly 850 visitors arrive, and my busiest day was when I posted this picture within my Travel/Boats theme entitled ‘Moored under the Barrier’.

three yachts moored near the Thames south shore with the barrier in the near distance

Unsurprisingly, over 90% of my visitors are from the UK, with 4% from the USA and a growing interest from China, Germany, France and Australia. Visitor journeys to my site in the early days were predominantly from Facebook and Twitter (85% in 2018), but this has now shifted to over 60% coming through search engine queries.


I started using my personal account and in hindsight I wish I had created a separate account specifically for my travels. But it’s a bit too late now as I’d have to corral my 209 followers – unless there’s anyone out there who can advise of an easy and painfree way of doing so?

Twitter insights are measured in two ways: impressions and engagements. My simple interpretation is: those who see it, and those who do something about what they’ve seen.

My most successful Twitter impression picture was published on 12/08/2020 under my Natural World/Creatures theme entitled ‘Feline Hungry’. A quick search across twitter reveals there are many cat lovers out there which might explain this picture’s popularity

a green eyed cat crouched under a car stafing intently at something nearby

My most popular Twitter engagement picture was published on 21/07/2020 under my Social/Remembering theme entitled ‘Kennington Remembers’. It was following this post I had a helpful response from the Friends of Kennington Park who helped me complete the story behind this memorial

a stone memorial in the grouns of Kennington Park


I started my end of the line page with a loyal group of family and friends, but since I started advertising in May 2020, on a very small budget, I now have 59 followers.

Facebook has three insightful elements: Reached, Engagements and Story. Similarly to Twitter, my interpretation of these is: those who see my Facebook post, those who react to my Facebook post, and those who have viewed the separate storyline.

My most viewed and reacted to post on Facebook was published on 13/07/2020 when I wrote about my intended plans to transition from my daily picture of the day ‘Memories to Themes’. For the previous 81 days, I had published my picture of the day from each of my 81 travels, and was about to launch a new portfolio of my photographs which I’d categorised into 5 themes. If you missed it the first time around, here’s a link for another chance to read it.

My most popular Facebook story was published on 20/05/2020 from my Memories collection and was my picture of the day from my visit to Heathrow Terminal 4 on 20/12/2018

a concourse at Heathrow airport with a spotted ceiling of white sound proofing discs


Instagram has two insightful elements: the main page, and similar to Facebook, there’s a story line as well.

Instagram is known predominantly for being a photo posting site, although there are those who post videos there as well. And it was on 30/05/2020 that I uploaded my most successful post. Not a photograph, but a video promoting my ‘draft’ photo album which I’ve ambitions of turning into a published book in the coming months. Have a look here.

I had two joint popular Instagram stories. One published on 03/06/2020 and the second on 09/06/2020. Both published as part of my ‘Memories’ collections. The first was my picture of the day from my travels to Paddington station on 10/04/2019 and entitled simply ‘9:32 pm’

The second was my picture of the day from my travels to Brixton on 28/05/2019 and entitled ‘Walking through Brixton’

paddington sttaion at night. a view of the main GWR clock with a statue of Paddington Bear underneath
a painted 'BRIXTON' mural  with geometric green, yellow and red hatched stripes on a wall under the main bridge by the station


I’ve had limited success with YouTube, but what I have done is created a short video from my pictures after each of my days out. The videos on the whole last just over a minute, but it’s my belief that this may be too long to capture the interest of those who just want a quick picture to view. Nevertheless, I’ve persevered with creating the videos and offering them up through my blog site as an alternative viewing source.

My most successful video to date was following my visit to Woodford Green on 22/01/2019 and is one I created as a promotional video for The Broadway Deli & Grocery. Have a look at it here.


This is a relatively new venture so I’m testing the waters, but I see it as an opportunity to promote my photographs to a different group of interested people. My most successful post on LinkedIn was my very first post here: Memories #08 which reflected on my Pictures of the Day between the end of April and the end of June in 2019.

What next – it’s been a matter of learning from experience, but I’ve now established a pattern of posting one picture a day rounded up with a summary of why I took the pictures every 7-9 days thereafter. So for those who want a quick ‘photo fix’ they get a regular feed, and at the same time I don’t bombard those who prefer the detailed description which they get on average weekly.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that during the past 4 months, I’ve been discovering my local community through my ‘Lockdown Mayhem’ series of pictures. This has been an attempt to explore places closer to home, whilst still being able to act responsibly by not travelling unnecessarily to help prevent the spread of Covid19 .

However, as the ‘new normal’ embraces people’s behaviours, and the declaration that it’s safe to travel whilst wearing a facemask, I will soon be resuming my travels to begin my new adventure: 

theendoftheline #02

I’ll be embarking on a new end of the line plan. One where I’ll be visiting Network Rail’s ‘ends of the line’ within the Tfl travel zones; and travelling on other Network Rail lines as far as I can within the Tfl travel zones. Why these limitations? Because I can still travel for free using my 60+ Oyster Card.

There are 63 stations in total to visit, so I hope that will see me still travelling and writing and taking photos into 2022.

Related Posts

Blog Update

#83 – Transforming a Picture into a Story

So that’s it!  

Almost two years to the date when I set off on the 18th April 2018 with some nervousness, trepidation and a great deal of excitement on an exploration. An exploration in which I didn’t know what I’d find, who I’d meet or what (if anything) I’d learn. And what an amazing two years it’s been!

Royal Oak station 18/04/2018

Having now reached the end of ‘theendoftheline’, I’ve set out in my last blog what my plans are for the future. But before ploughing ahead with those plans, I thought I would write about: what I’ve learnt; explain my motivations; and thank those who have helped and inspired me along the way.

Barking Riverside (under construction) 10/03/2020

Before doing all that, here’s a small list of the the things I’ve achieved:

  • I’ve visited 76 ends of the line stations; 3 bonus ‘under construction’ stations; and attended two special events
  • I’ve travelled across all sixteen Tfl transport modes embracing the underground (11); overground; tramline; Emirates airline; TflRail and the Docklands Light Railway
  • I’ve travelled the ‘A to Z’ from Abbey Wood to Woolwich Arsenal
  • I’ve walked over 700 Kilometres; an average of 9 kilometres per station visit 
  • I’ve taken almost 7,000 pictures and shared over 4,000 through links in my weekly blogs, and shared a selection through my Instagram account
  • I’ve created 62 videos and shared them through my YouTube channel
  • I’ve written 81 regular blogs and published through Twitter and Facebook
  • I’ve occasionally published on Triptipedia

What have I learnt?

My original intention was to bring together three aspects of my work/life experiences over the last 40 years: commuting, photography and digital exposure. I believe I have successfully fulfilled this aim.

Secondly, as I was new to blogging, I wanted to develop my digital skills. I believe I have achieved this through learning how to use and digging a little deeper into several social media tools: WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google Photos and I’d no longer call myself a digital virgin.

I was also looking to invite feedback, but this has not been the success I had wished for, so I still have some work to do here.

What’s motivated me?

Rekindling a Passion for Photography

As a photographer, I wanted to and needed to embrace the digital landscape as this was one of the reasons I fell out of love with my hobby over forty years ago. I felt the onset of digital cameras took away the creative element of combining composition, lighting, speed and aperture. 

But in conversation with others I’ve learnt to accept that today’s world simply makes a fifth dimension that would otherwise have been carried out in the darkroom more accessible to all: that of photo manipulation. This is where the picture is transformed into a story. Be it through software manipulation or lens filtering, or both.

What I do know is that it’s brought the joy and excitement of photography to millions of people that would otherwise have been left in the dark. 

My trusty camera for the two years has been my Canon ES200D using predominantly a Canon EF-S 18-55 mm zoom lens (1:3.5-5.6)), and occasional use of a Canon EF 75-300 mm zoom lens (1:4-5.6). Since the start of the New Year in 2020, these have been replaced by a Sigma 18-200 mm zoom lens (1:3.5-6.3). All lenses are protected by a UVc lens filter.

My shoots over the years have seen me try out techniques and settings using the camera’s software applying different filters. Predominantly I’ve used black & white, grainy black & white, high definition art, and close up settings. Some more successfully than others, but what I do know is that I still have a lot to learn but I feel more confident in applying these settings now than when I started off on the 18th April 2018.

Aldgate 14/01/2020

The one thing I absolutely respect through, is to remember the composition, because that’s where the real story lies. As an artform, I continually ask myself ‘what is it I’m trying to say with this picture?’ and as long as I can answer that question, then I’m happy.

Paddington 10/04/2019

Don’t be afraid to explore

One of my late father’s words of wisdom, which has stayed with me all my life is ‘if you don’t ask, you’ll never find out!’ Read that in any way you want, but at the end of the day it’s been one of my life lessons and motivators.

And with this in mind, I resolved not to let a moment pass where I thought there would be a good story to tell or a great photo to capture. This would sometimes manifest itself as an awkward moment or a conversation to be had to capture someone’s emotion, or a moment in time never to be repeated, or even delve down the alley to see what’s there.

Now to follow this through I’d assess the situation as best I could and weigh up the personal risk of doing so, but to my delight I’ve often been rewarded with meeting some colourful characters. Equally, the people I’ve met have been as interested in me and my experiences, or the alleys and corners I’ve explored have yielded some unexpected results. 

And I now find that if I ever walk past a scene and ask myself ‘I wonder what if…’, I do a quick u-turn to explore that moment as it’s likely never ever to happen again.

How to keep the costs down without compromising the Quality

My hope was not to spend any money, but  where this was unavoidable, to keep it to a bare minimum. I’m not averse to spending money (although close family members may disagree with me), but it has been more about showing how to sustain and develop this hobby without digging too deeply into the pension pot. Let me explain a few things.

  • Travelling: now as a 60+ London borough resident, I’m entitled to free travel on the majority of transport systems right across the Transport for London (Tfl) network. This includes the underground, overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and London Trams with reduced fees on the Emirates air line cable car and River Boat services
  • Since the incorporation of Tfl Rail and by extension those stations that will make up the Elizabeth Line, their stations are also open to free travel. From the east in Shenfield and Abbey Wood to the west in Heathrow and Reading
  • I can’t say thank you enough to Tfl who provide this fantastic resource and with it the opportunity to explore
  • Website management: I’ve adopted WordPress as my platform of choice for which I pay an annual fee of £55 for my domain name and the hosting services
  • For all other digital tools, I take advantage of the free versions to manage my social network. These include Google: for Mail, Storage, Photos and YouTube; Facebook: for Facebook and Instagram; and for URL management

So all in all, I reckon I only spend between £60-£100 per year. There are however some limitations to what I do, which are mostly self imposed as I decided in my later years at work, and since retiring, not to work on a Windows PC or an Apple Mac.

My device of choice is a Chromebook and thereby I wanted to show how easy it is to exploit today’s cloud services. This does mean I’m limited to the applications I can use as the storage and memory on a Chromebook are limited. BUT that’s my point, and with no exceptions, I’ve not been prevented from doing anything. 

Clearly I am not using the finest device based photo editing software that’s available, such as Photoshop, but I do find that the cloud Google Photo service sufficiently helps me transform my pictures by applying filters, allowing me to crop and to individually adjust the lighting, colour and intensity of the pictures. For more creative adjustments, which I rarely do, my current application of choice is (but there are so many others out there).

The advantage of using today’s cloud services is that being on the go, I’m able to do most of the things I need to on my Android mobile device although I do tend to review my photos, and write my blog in the comfort and solitude of home. Access to free wifi across London and within the Tfl network is also a bonus as this helps to reduce my dependency on my mobile provider’s roaming data provision.

The free storage of my photos in Google has a limitation in that the files are compressed when being uploaded. By way of example, an original JPG file size of 4.5Mb is reduced to 217Kb; and a RAW file size of 35Mb is reduced to 448Kb. I’ve not yet found that this compromises the quality of my photos, as the largest print size I’ve used is A4 where the quality and integrity is very good. This may, however, be an issue for larger displays, but it’s not one I’ve had to consider just yet.

There are of course other options; I could upload the full file format, or use other cloud storage services which offer free space. Canon and Amazon are two I can think about; there will be many others too. So whilst in the main I rely on free cloud storage, I will always keep the original photo on local removal storage.

But what I’ve set out here works well for me, so if you’re thinking of following in my footsteps, I’d be more than happy to guide you through.

Thank you’s

It’s inevitable with so many travel writers in London, there comes a point where we write about similar locations or similar experiences, and over the two years I’ve grown to admire a number of other writers. But the beauty of how we present our material is that we each do so from a different perspective and we each have a Unique Selling Point (USP).

Some do so from a commercial perspective, such as those who rely on tourism for their living; some do so from a historical perspective, some from a rail enthusiast’s perspective and some as hobbyists. What I’ve grown to appreciate is that whilst we are all different, our collective knowledge and experience is far greater than the sum of our individual offerings…and this provides for a wealth of information to those eager to explore and learn about LONDON and beyond.

By way of a public thank you, here’s a roll call of some of the travel writers who’ve inspired me through their stories and insight into how they see life, and London differently. 

A London Inheritance

Geoff Marshall

Ian Visits

Katie Wignall – Lookup London

Laura Porter – About London


Nigel Harris

Sue Hillman – It’s Your London

Tim Dunn

Likewise there are a number of photographers I follow closely as I admire their style and  I appreciate their content and stories. I’ve never met any of you, but again my thanks for being out there.

Chris Close

Jimmy Lee

John Dawson

Linda Wisdom

Matt Hardy

Tube Mapper

My final thanks goes to my wife, for humouring my passion, obsession and indulgence in what I do, and for her honest and positive feedback as my critical content editor and proofreader.

30th March 2018 – 1st day of retirement

Onwards into 2020 – but for now:

Blog Update

#82 – A New Beginning and What Next?

Is this the end of ‘theendoftheline’?

I set off on the 18th April 2018 with some nervousness, trepidation and a great deal of excitement on an exploration. An exploration in which I didn’t know what I’d find, who I’d meet or what (if anything) I’d learn.

And what an amazing two years it’s been, full of wonderful experiences, meeting new people, enjoying new and colourful locations and artworks, and rekindled a thirst to learn again.

Stratford (DLR) 28/12/2018

For the last few months, as I started to approach the end of ‘theendoftheline’, I turned my attention to’ What Next?’ I had some ideas, but not the opportunity to make them happen, until now. But before explaining more about these, here are a few of the things I’ll be doing in the next couple of ‘socially distant’ months.

Immediate Plans

This blog has remained unchanged for a couple of years so I’ve refreshed its look and feel by giving it a new theme. I may also play around with this in the coming months trying out new templates so if there’s one you particularly like, do please let me know.

I’m also crafting a survey in the expectation that I can understand from my readers and followers what you’ve enjoyed; and what you might like to see.

And as it’s my second anniversary, and given that I’m currently unable to travel, I’m going to publish each of my 81 ‘Picture of the Day’ every day from the 18th April for the next 81 days. I’ll do this in a number of ways: I’ll change my featured blog picture daily and I’ll post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Reading (Tfl Rail) 04/02/2020

What next?

I have absolutely enjoyed my travels around London, seeing it in all kinds of weather, and I’ll write another blog shortly as I have many to thank for their kindness, support and inspiration.

Beyond that, there are of course extensions always being considered to the Transport for London (Tfl) network, so I’ll be keeping an eye open for those. Here are a few I know about, but let me know if you’re aware of others:

And of course, let’s not forget the River Boat Service too.


Of the 7,000 or so pictures I’ve taken, I’ve indirectly shared over 4,000 of them through the links in my weekly blogs. And for every visit over the two years, I’ve selected one picture as my ‘Picture of the Day’. However I didn’t include this feature in my blogs until mid-November 2018, so I’m reviewing all my early blogs and updating them to reflect this.

I’m also collating ‘Picture of the Day’ into a book: my working title is ‘Memories’. More on this later in the year as I may ask you to select your favourite picture and why so that I can feature the most popular reader’s picture in my book.

Over the last year I’ve also been compiling my photos into thematic albums. I’ll be writing separate blogs, so watch out for these, featuring: People; Art & Sculpture; Stations; Landscapes; Night Time and others.


Once the travel restrictions have been lifted, I’ll be embarking on a new end of the line plan. One where I’ll be visiting Network Rail’s ‘ends of the line’ within the Tfl travel zones; and travelling on other Network Rail lines as far as I can within the Tfl travel zones. Why these limitations? Because I can still travel for free using my 60+ Oyster Card.

There are 63 stations in total to visit, so I hope that will see me still travelling and writing and taking photos into 2022.

What’s in a Name?

And finally, I’m contemplating a change of name. Whilst ‘theendoftheline’ has served me well, I’m mindful that I’ve not been able to use that name across all the social media platforms I use. My blog and YouTube are the only sites that carry this name. Facebook, Instagram and email accounts are under the name of ‘theendofthetflline’ and for Twitter I use my personal account.

Any thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.

But for now…