Penny Salon "Micro Gallery" at Ongar Station

The Penny Salon Micro Gallery at Ongar Station

Current exhibition: "Bygone Essex - Reg Batten An Appreciation 1914 - 2014" running through until 17th September.

Free admission! Gallery open whenever trains are running

It was on Sundays in the 1930s that native East-Ender Reg Batten set out on a racing tandem bicycle in his quest, with his brother Harry, to visit and record the hamlets and villages of Essex. It wasn't until the late 1940s and 1950s, then by public transport, that he had reckoned to have seen the great majority of them, recording the many of the every-day country pursuits such as harvesting, and myriad of others - many now lost in the passage of time - along the way. Domiciled in Manor Park E12, Reg celebrated his 100th birthday in 2014, and he passed away soon afterwards.

Bygone Essex - Reg Batten

A celebration of Reg's classical style of photography by his son Malcolm Batten, and featuring just a small collection of his fathers work over the decades, including several front pages and illustrated articles from contemporary magazines form the latest offering from "The Penny Salon", entitled "Bygone Essex - Reg Batten An Appreciation 1914 - 2014", which opened for viewing on Wednesday 3rd August.

Reg Batten - Bygone Essex Due to the interest already shown by visitors and people inside the Epping Ongar Railway itself, this presentation will now run through to the Sunday 17th September. The summer "Hot- spots" of Clacton and Southend On Sea weren't neglected by Reg in his travels either, and his early 1950s picture of the main street in Colchester on a Sunday, which is completely devoid of traffic, except for a motor-bus in the far distance, caused great interest on the opening day of viewing.

Frys Chocolate cabinet Reg Battens "travelling kit" of camera, light meter and supporting items that he took with him on his journeys of discovery are now displayed in the exhibitions c.1890s "Frys Chocolate" glass cabinet, that was gifted to the Epping Ongar Railway, and now refurbished by Malcolm forms an important part of The Penny Salon's presentation of artifacts allied to the main displays.

Future Exhibitions

The next feature is from long- time steam photographer, troubadour writer, and former Sentimental Journeys charter organisor Geoff Silcock, and proceeds from 1961-2, when steam operation ceased on a regular basis from Fenchurch and Liverpool Street, to steam blossoming again in more recent times into several Eastern Counties heritage railway undertakings, and ultimately into the Epping Ongar Railway and its many moods throughout the seasons.

Also chronicled are several main line runs into Essex and the Eastern Counties over the last 2 decades, including the 2 Standard 2-6-4Ts epic return to the main line from Fenchurch Street where they ran in their prime 40 years before, plus Britannia pacifics climbing the still formidable Brentwood Bank into the new Millenium, much as they did in the early 1950s.

This presentation entitled "Steam in the Frame - The Eastern Counties from 1961 - 2017" will run from the 23rd September, and will take in both the late summer and early autumn Diesel Gala on 23rd and 24th September and the following weekends Steam Gala over the 29th and 30th September and 1st October, continuing through to the end of October when prior to the railway's November maintenance period and Santa Steam Operations starting in December.

"The Penny Salon" would like to thank everyone who has supported them through their inaugural season, and hope to present an interesting and entertaining programme of presentations and activities in 2018.

The Gallery

The Epping Ongar Railway opened the ‘micro-gallery’ at Ongar Station on Saturday 27 May 2017. The gallery is in the Ladies Waiting Room at the station. A railway volunteer and professional photographer who specialises in steam photography, Geoff Silcock, has worked alongside the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society members to transform the room into a place to display photographs and pictures. Mr Silcock has worked with local photographic and historical societies to bring a programme of interesting and relevant exhibitions to the Railway.

Black and White images from Essex Monochrome Society The free bijou exhibition area has been named "The Penny Salon" and will be open whenever trains are running to provide interest for passengers.

The inaugural month through to 18 June hosted The Essex Monochrome Society with Black and White images mainly from in and around Essex, including steam trains. This was followed by an exhibiotn by the Ongar Historical Millenium Society titled "The Railway Comes to Essex". "Bygone Essex" is the third exhibition to be held in the gallery.

Why "The Penny Salon"?

The name "The Penny Salon" is taken tongue in cheek from the c. 1865 built station rooms other use as its original Ladies Waiting Room.