Robert Milner
Joseph Robert Milner
Robert Milner
Robert Milner at Sittwe aerodrome,Akyab, Burma, Dec.25,1946
Robert Milner
Robert Milner-1938
Joseph Robert Milner- Painting and Writing
Kelso, United Kingdom

By Ron Bailey

Joseph Robert Milner was born in Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, Yorkshire June 1926, the son of Robert Fred Archer Milner, a wood machinist, and Ellen nee Tolson, a weaver when she was young.

Even at a very young age, Bob loved to roam the countryside and showed a great interest in nature. Perhaps it was this that inspired him to take up drawing and painting at the early age of eight. The photo at right is Robert at Earlsheaton Junior School, Dewsbury, Yorkshire, at seven years of age.

Bob attended Infant and Junior schools in Earlsheaton from 1931 to 1937, and Wheelwright Grammer School in Dewsbury from 1937 to 1944. Bob states he received virtually no training in art, and at the junior stage he says, "We just got on with it. At Grammer school we did "Art" for one year only. The master had, I believe, a bit of a name in the professional world, but he taught us nothing about technique.In fact, he slighted one or two pictures I produced which other kids thought good." The handiest tip Bob received was from his wife Helen, who had been to Art College. That was the advice to use plenty of white when painting with oils.

When I asked Bob when he started painting he stated, "When I was about eight, I suppose, ie:1934, but the oldest work worth keeping dates from 1942. I had others in a folio which I left with a friend when I went abroad in 1945, so that he could choose one as a present. When I came home in late 1947, he had "gone away" and apparently lost my pictures in the removal. I have continued painting from time to time to record particularly happy places. The mental effort required is greater but usually I have the next picture in mind."

I asked Bob if he had ever met James Russell the artist (1867-1956). Bob said, "I knew about him, though for some of his paintings were displayed in the Horse and Hound, and I had an artist friend who knew him quite well and used to pass on to me accounts of poaching, etc."

During World War 2, Bob served in the Army from Sept. 1944 to March 1948. He was stationed in India and Burma performing primarily clerical duties.

After the war from 1948 to 1963 Bob worked in forestry, farming and gardening in Scotland, Isle of Man and in Yorkshire after which he pursued a career in teaching. From 1963 to 1981 he trained as a teacher and taught in various Primary and Middle schools in Leeds, principally Science.

In 1982 Bob retired and is kept busy gardening, writing articles on walking and local history, drawing and painting, roaming the countryside, photography, researching family history, etc. He enjoys classical music, poetry, botany, cricket, railroads, etc.

Photo at top of Page
"The Cullins Ridge, southwest of Bruach na Frithe. The only "safe" Cuillin. Just a steepish five plus mile "walk", with a steep bit up onto the final ridge. Well done, Helen! She read about mountaineering and had known about the Cuillins as a girl, but never dreamt of getting up one! A very spectacular range." - Bob Milner

Robert on a BSA motorcycle in "OUR" field age 4 (1930)
"I remember that day very well - and my inseparable hat.
I don't know how they eventually managed to get me to part from it! The BSA belonged to my sister's fiance."

Robert Milner
Bob at God's Bridge over the infant Greta on the Pennine Way, England,
during a week's walking holiday in 1978. The bridge is an ancient crossing point;
a natural limestone slab through which the river has worn its way.

Robert Milner
Bob was kind enough to provide two articles he has written.
The first is called

"A Yorkshire Lad
Memories of a Mill Town"
To read this interesting and well written article, click HERE

The second article of Bob's is called
"Army Life"
To read "Army Life" - chapters 1 and 2, click HERE
To read "Army Life" - chapter 3, click HERE
To read "Army Life" - chapter 4, click HERE
Some of Robert Milner's Paintings
"From Over The Years"
Click on painting for larger image
Bob Milner paintingGarden Cottage
Bonchester Bridge, UK.- 2010
Bob Milner paintingTypical small farm
near Alverthorpe,
Wakefield, UK.-1947
Bob Milner paintingRAF Akyab Burma 1947
Painted in 1948 from memory
Bob Milner paintingLittle Thornwick Bay
Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire
1943- Watercolours
Bob Milner paintingNorth Barrule
Isle of Man
Bob Milner paintingLittle Thornwick Bay
Bempton Cliffs,Yorkshire
1985- Oils
Bob Milner paintingMouth of Kaladan River
Akyab, Burma-1947
Painted from memory 1950
Bob Milner paintingLodge Hill Farm
Ossett, Yorkshire, UK.
From sketch on site
Bob Milner paintingLedsham, near Catleford,
Painted from Memory -1948
Bob Milner paintingSelby, UK.- 1949
Displayed at Hawick
Art Club Exhibition
Bob Milner paintingSettle-Carlisle Line
Considered most scenic railway in England

Painted from memories- 1980
Bob Milner paintingShip fitting out, Goule, UK.
Painted from colour slide 1972
Leeds Art Gallery
Ex-Servicemans Exhibition
Bob Milner paintingFarm near Agneash
Isle of Man
Painted from black and white print-1966
Bob Milner paintingRed Admiral Butterfly
Palnure Burn
Galloway, UK.
Painted in 1975
Bob Milner paintingHayfield
Hobsburn, Rulewater, UK.
Painted in 1949
Bob Milner paintingHopton Woods
Dewsbury, Yorkshire, UK.
Painted in 1948
Bob Milner paintingFrom the forest nursery, wife Helen viewing Ruberslaw, Hawick
Painted 2005 from 1950 photo
Bob Milner paintingWild Boar Fell
Westmorland, UK. c.1970
painted from a slide
Bob Milner paintingCliffs near Flamborough
Yorkshire, UK.
painted from a slide
Bob Milner paintingLoch of the Lowes and
Tibbie Shiel's Inn
Selkirkshire, UK.

Sketch 1949, painted c.1965
Bob Milner paintingStirling Loc. and train
Earlsheaton Station
Dewsbury c.1900. Painted 2005 from bw photo
Bob Milner paintingSchool firewatching team 1944 Valley of Desolation Wharfedale (week before D-Day) Painted from memory 2005 Bob Milner paintingView from Blink Bonny,
Kelso- c.1994
Details noted and painted
Bob Milner paintingFishermen
Whitby, Yorkshire 1961
Painted 1972 from b&w
Displayed at Leeds Art
Ex-Servicemans Exhibition
Young Robert, The Train Spotter
"I was now a qualified train spotter in my own right. Here I could sit in peace for hours- just waiting!"
Click on thumbnails for larger image

Fenella locomotive
Fenella Steam Locomotive- Isle of Man

The Isle of Man Railway Company is a narrow gauge steam-operated railway connecting Douglas with Castletown and Port Erin and opened it's first line on July 2, 1873. The 914mm gauge was adapted rather than the standard gauge of 1435mm because of the mountainous character of the island and the sharp curves required.

Photographer: Joseph Robert Milner

Flying Scotsman
LNER Class A3 Pacific 4472 Flying Scotsman Locomotive

The 4472 Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway, at Doncaster Works. In its career, 4472 has travelled over 2,000,000 miles. On Nov. 30, 1934, running a light test train, 4472 became the first steam locomotive to be officially recorded at 100 m.p.h. and earned a place in the Land Speed Record for railed vehicles. On Jan. 1948 after improvements made at the Doncaster Works, the Flying Scotsman was renumbered 60103. In Jan. 1963, 60103 ended service with British Railways and was sold for preservation to Alan Pegler, who had it restored. It is arguably one of the most famous locomotives in the world today.

Date: c.1968
Photographer: Joseph Robert Milner
Location: Beeston Bank, UK. (This is where Robert first saw the Flying Scotsman in 1938.)

Empress Locomotive
CPR Empress 2816 Steam Locomotive

Locomotive 2816 re-entered active service in 2001 as a roving ambassador for Canadian Pacific. It is a class H1b Hudson type locomotive built by Montreal Locomotive Works in December 1930. The CP Empress is now the only surviving H1b Hudson and is one of only a handful of preserved and operating CPR steam locomotives in North America.

Date: Sept. 30, 2008
Photographer: K. Storey
Green Arrow Locomotive
4771 Green Arrow Steam Locomotive

The LNER Class V2 2-6-2 steam locomotive number 4771Green Arrow was built in June 1936 for the London and North Eastern Railway at Doncaster Works, to a design of Nigel Gresley, for express passenger and freight trains.

Date: Nov. 6, 2007
Photographer: D. Ingham
Wikimedia Commons
Jubilee Locomotive
LMS Jubilee Class Steam Locomotives

The original 5552 was the first of the class that emerged in June 1934 from Crewe Works. The original 5552 swapped identities with classmate 5642 in Apr. 1935, and named "Silver Jubilee" to mark the silver jubilee of George V. The rest of its class where thereafter officially known as the Jubilee Class.

Date: Nov. 6, 2007
Photographer: D. Ingham
Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Steam Locomotive Links
Train Spotters
David Hey's Collection
National Railway Museum
Canadian Pacific Railway
Railway Museums in the UK
Nova Wheels
Steam Locomotive Videos from Youtube
Flying Scotsman- first run with double tender.
Flying Scotsman / R761 Train Race
Flying Scotsman / R761 to Seymour (1)
Flying Scotsman / R761 to Seymour (2)
Flying Scotsman , R761, R707 Parallel Run
Isle of Man Steam Railway Part 1
Golden Age of Steam Trains Part: 01
Golden Age of Steam Trains Part: 02
Golden Age of Steam Trains Part: 03
Golden Age of Steam Trains Part: 04
Golden Age of Steam Trains Part: 05
Golden Age of Steam Trains Part: 06
V2 4771 Green Arrow Steam Locomotive
A4 Class Mallard in 1963
Railway Related Songs from Youtube
Bill Miner- Train Robber
Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot
Steel Rail Blues by Gordon Lightfoot
Orange Blossom Special by Johnny Cash
Hobo Blues by John Lee Hooker
I'm Movin On by Hank Snow
Pan American Boogie by Delmore Brothers
Spike Driver Blues by Mississippi John Hurt
Ballad of John Henry's Hammer by Johnny Cash
Rock Island Line by Johnny Cash
Wabash Cannonball by the Carter Family
The following photographs were taken by Robert during walks with his wife Helen around the parkland of Mellerstain House, one of Scotland's great Georgian houses. It was built between 1725 and 1778 and stands in 80 hectares of parkland, with an Italianate formal terraced garden at the rear, with a sweeping stretch of lawn descending to a lake.

Youtube Links to More of Robert's Favourite Composers
Toccata & Fugue in d minor - Johann Sebastian Bach
Symphony No.3 Poco Allegretto - Johannes Brahms
Moonlight Sonata - Ludwig van Beethoven
Serenade - Franz Schubert