The origins of Milepost date back to 1969 when Colin Garratt, the present director, turned professional to document the Last Steam Locomotives of the World. This unique odyssey was an enormous self imposed task and a desperate race against time. The expeditions were financed by writing books and giving lectures nation-wide and a hundred hour working week was essential. Life in a bed-sitter and a sojourn living with the family of a girlfriend provided a stable basis on which to begin the task.
Even in those early days, Colin dreamed of living in his train spotting village of Newton Harcourt south of Leicester where, close to milepost 92½, he had watched his first trains as a child of nine. The quality of Colin’s photography ensured his survival and twenty three years after turning professional, Colin was able to acquire the three storey Georgian farmhouse which overlooked his childhood bridge in Newton Harcourt.
Having attracted the attention of British Rail, Colin Garratt began accepting commissions from the corporate railway. This led to the creation of Milepost 92½ , Picture Library and Photographers to the Railway Industry. The company was formed in June 1992 and the marketing of the company not only highlighted that it was the ninety second and a half year of the century but also that the premises overlooked Colin’s childhood bridge. It was a romantic story and one with tremendous pedigree. One of Milepost’s first acts was to take over and market British Rail’s picture library whilst the many commissions from the corporate railway gave a massive boost to the picture library and Milepost became a clearing house for the dissemination of railway images nation-wide.
In addition to Colin Garratt’s Last Steam Locomotives of the World and the massive library of modern trains, Milepost have incorporated the collections of skilful railway photographers of yesteryear, enabling the company to have a valuable archive of historic pictures – particularly black and white negatives. And to augment all these categories, Milepost has talented contributors, both in Britain and overseas and their regular submissions, combined with Colin Garratt’s ongoing world expeditions - and corporate photography from the railway industry - ensures that the library is constantly being invigorated with new images.