On Sunday I went Back To My Youth

Back to your youth, I hear you say. How can a 60 year old revert back to the days when he was young and crazy? Well, if you did some of the things I did back in those days, you might understand.

The photo depicts our engine, 3642 built in 1928 in resplendent green livery. As it stands, steam locos really are becoming a rare breed, especially working ones. I am happy to report that the “Pig” as this class is known, performed well on the day reaching speeds up to 100km or 60 mph.

The Scene

Last Sunday, I headed off to Sydney for a steam train ride. Now in my teens and youth I was an avid steam photographer. I am certainly counted among the elite in this country with photos in several books. I think 6 or 7 at last count. My friend “Arnie” organised the trip. We headed off to Africa and Europe together way back in 1974, and I hadn’t seen him for many years. The last time was when I was asked to contribute to his latest book, “Fading Steam.” Among the revelers were 3 of the 4 guys I shared a campervan with in Europe, and many others I used to hang around with in my late teens and early 20s.

Aging Enthusiasts

Yes, none of us are young now. We used to scamper up trees and telegraph poles, mow the trackside vegetation to get better shots. I comandered a whistle board to use for my tape recordings. A train had to blow the whistle when they approached this board. It worked a treat! That’s me in the yellow tracksuit and beside me Rags who I used to climb tress with. Mind you, we had some amazing photos!


Why Am I Telling You This

I know most of you reading this are entrepreneurial in spirit. The ingredients for success are;

  • A niche market you know really well
  • A network of people in that market to connect with
  • Credibility within that market
  • Find a way to market to that group so you make some money
  • Serve The Community

With that in mind I have a grand project underway. My vision is to harness the knowlege and experience of these railway pioneers for future generations, and preserve the many amazing stories gained while pursuing steam trains around the world.

For instance, I spent week as a guest of terrorists in Mozambique and along the way took some very unique photos of the steam in that country.

Your Turn!

So, think about what you know well, where you have expertise and networks. Is there something you can do with your online skills to add an income stream and service the community at the same time?

Now I am off to work on my project. I will share more once it is up and running.

If you want to see a couple of my photos, Click Here.


  1. Gary Young says:


    Nice blog. The history and enthusiasm for steam is obvious. My takeaway is your sense of wonder and adventure. It is important to keep moving forward. And healthy interests like these are the catalyst for living your life.



  2. Hi John,

    You were recommended on Amy Porterfield’s webinar about Facebook marketing today. Someone asked who is the go to expert on social-media for non-profits.

    Your photo and your story of going down memory lane brought to mind the bonding that occurs when we share a hobby or passion with others. Real moments shared with friends become highlights of our “memories of the way we were.” My feeling is that the bonded relationships are lasting treasures. It takes time and shared emotional experiences (exciting times) to meld lifelong friendships like you have with your buddies on the train.
    Buddy Hodges recently posted..Interdependence vs. Independence ReconsideredMy Profile

  3. John, that was amazing transparency and much enjoyed. Your truly a guy who has focus on the passion within.

    This article has inspired me to start taking more photos and I must say there a a lot I am going to look over and start to share. The way we spend our time when young says allot of how we continue to be inspired and bring hope to others. Keeping active is getting rare with all the technologies of today. You have sparked a passion long forgotten.

    John, thanks for bringing this reader back in time with you. I will continue to watch what adventures you share next. This is so exciting and much needed. Thanks.
    William Earl Amis Jr III recently posted..Can you hear you now?My Profile

  4. Hi John. It sounds like a wonderful journey. There are still a few steam trains running in the US, but I’ve never been on one. Interesting analogy with niche marketing. I did try the link because I wanted to see your pictures, but it told me the page didn’t exist. I’d like to see your photos.

    All the best,

  5. John,
    I enjoyed your story of visiting your teens. What an honor to earn the name of a well known photographer. I went to look at your photos, but said “not found”. Not sure if it is my computer. (My new computer is in the mail! :))
    Not sure I have anything from my teens worthwhile to share about. We did live in the Philippines for 8 years as missionaries. I always thought my husband should have written a book about our experiences there. He could be living off the proceeds of his book now. 🙂
    Thanks again for sharing your life!
    Lynn Jones recently posted..New Blue Jeans & MySurfBiz ReviewMy Profile

  6. Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing your passion for steam engines! I remember riding several amazing steam trains in South Africa. My dad was a real steam enthusiast and you are right about this being an incredible niche to share with others. I look forward to watching you develop your new project!

    Clare@Holisitic Health recently posted..Water – Could You Be Dying Of Dehydration?My Profile

    • John Gaydon says:

      Yes Clare,

      SA steam was amazing. Much of my collection comes from that country. I had the pleasure of doing a week long train trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Bethlehem almost entirely by steam while I was there. Over 3,000 kms behind steam. YOu can’t do that anywhere now!

      I have a photo in “The Great Steam Trek” considered by many to be the finest ever book on SA steam.

  7. John, That was a treat to have a sense of reliving a piece of your past with you. How exciting! You truly have lived your passion so you know what it takes and how to do it. The key is to maintain that knowing throughout your life, accepting the changes that come with aging, and finding new ways to feel that same level of newness and excitement.

    You asked what each of us knows and can contribute. Last week, I was in Ashland Oregon renewing my relationship and ties and with my teacher and mentor, Ilana Rubenfeld and the current organization of Synergists. We were in a town reminiscent of Woodstock in the 1960’s and I felt temporarily transported back in time. Ilana had some photo albums and i saw an image of myself in 1984, looking so innocent and vibrant and excited about life and learning and possibilities. This event renewed my enthusiasm for sharing this beautiful mind body therapy, The Rubenfeld Synergy Method, not so much online (although I will continue to post articles about it) but more so in person with the real people in my local area.


    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica recently posted..With My Teacher, Ilana Rubenfeld, in Ashland OregonMy Profile

  8. Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing this part of your life. It is quite impressive that you have published your photography in several books and it shows your passion for these trains. You were able to go back to your teens because someone else thought it was important to keep the steam trains alive. I congratulate you on your project and desire to preserve what is left of these steam locomotives for future generations. I think your story is brilliant as you compare your passion to set up the criteria for the ingredients for success. Keep us posted on your project!

    Raena Lynn
    Raena Lynn recently posted..What Should You Give Up To Be Happy?My Profile

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