My blog reaches its first birthday this week, and to celebrate I've spent a little bit of time putting together a fun little mini-project for you to enjoy. I recently found a tool online called Colorize It!, which has been developed by three chaps at UC Berkeley in the United States. It's a basic piece of code which allows you to colour-in old black-and-white photographs, and I've been tweaking the inputs a bit to try and produce the best results. Digital black-and-white images scanned from original negatives seem to work very well, whereas my scans of the photos sent to me in the post by donors don't quite seem to reach the same level. Some of these pictures also have a slightly 'postcardy' look about them with large blocks of vivid colour, but I've used my (basic!) photo editing skills to try and tidy things up around the edges where I can. In any case, it's a relatively quick and easy way of getting a real glimpse of what the original photographer was looking at when they pulled the trigger.
For this project, I decided to flick through my photo collection and see if I could recreate the route from Malvern Hanley Road up to Great Malvern in colourised photographs. There is unfortunately quite a large gap between Hanley Road and Peachfield Road - I simply don't have any photos of the area around Warren Farm, which is a great shame because this part of the route contains one of my absolute favourite pieces of Malvern railway architecture:
Apart from this, though, this stretch is probably the section I have the most original photos from, and so I decided to put together a 9-picture collage below for you to have a look at. Credit for these shots go to Tim Farebrother, Jim Clemens and John Mudge.
Writing this blog has given me some interesting experiences - walking across Upton Ham in a freezing 60mph wind with my friend Sam, and scrambling up an almost sheer embankment at Pigeon House Farm to name just a couple, but it's also been a real pleasure to come across the few remaining relics of what was once a very picturesque little country railway. The only thing left to say is to thank the people who have donated pictures to my site or let me onto their land to take my own, those who have been my companions on my walks, and in particular those who continue to leave comments telling me how much they enjoy the site. I started this as a bit of fun because I was bored while looking for work, but the response from the people of Malvern, Upton and Tewkesbury has been nothing but positive. Thank you!