Farewell to lineside photo ace Malcolm Ranieri

By Paul Stratford

TRIBUTES have been paid to Malcolm Ranieri, one of Britain’s top lineside photographers, who was found dead at his Stratford-upon-Avon home.

The discovery was made by friend and fellow photographer Andrew Bell on October 12. Malcolm, 72, also a Heritage Railway contributor, had not been seen or heard from for several days, said Andrew, who was alerted by friends. Andrew, who lives four miles away, gained access to his house via a neighbour who had a key.

Born on December 15, 1945 in the Warwickshire village of Haselor, he was educated at nearby Alcester Grammar School from where he began a career as a local government accountant and internal auditor, taking early retirement in 1995.

Malcolm Ranieri’s last pictures were taken on a Matt Fielding charter at Arley station on the Severn Valley Railway on September 28, and showed GWR 0-6-0PT No. 7714 heading a local train. MALCOLM RANIERI

He played for Temple Grafton Cricket Club but his abiding passion was for motorcycles. He owned and rode many marques and gained a detailed knowledge of the British classic motorcycle history, an interest which he pursued throughout his life.

He became a keen photographer and railway enthusiast in the late 1970s, spending Saturdays chasing the main line steam charters and Sundays visiting the embryonic heritage steam railways.

As a keen member of local camera clubs, his dogged persistence in entering steam photographs in competitions eventually convinced judges that steam railway photography should be accepted as an art form and required as much skill and dedication as the usual portrait, landscape and natural history subjects.

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