The former vicar of Christchurch, Bradford on Avon, the Rev Alan Newman shares a fascination with the railways with many of his fellow clergymen.

He was born and brought up in Bath near to the Great Western Railway, which sparked a lifelong interest in steam trains in particular. He took extensive trips throughout the country, hoping to see a train of every class in Britain, recording his finds as detailed notes supported by photographs.

He was vicar of Christchurch for 20 years before spending eight years as vicar of St Peter’s in Monkton Farleigh, retiring in 1989.

Mr Newman is also a keen wildlife photographer, and plays the organ. He met his late wife Jean as a child in 1927 in Bath, and has four sons. Now 92, he lives at The Old Vicarage care home in Staverton and is the subject of The Life of a Steam Railway Photographer, by Colin Maggs.

Why did you move to Wiltshire?

I had always fancied working in a parish like Christchurch. I liked the fact there was a lot to do there.

What is the best Wiltshire view?

When we moved to the rectory in Monkton Farleigh, you could see for miles, it was a glorious view.

You are king of Wiltshire for a day, what is the first law you would change or introduce?

I would put back all the railways which were closed under Beeching. I think that they are sorry they took them away now.

Where do you take visitors from outside the county?

Along the Wylye Valley road, a lovely run along the river, through the valley all the way down, finishing up at Great Wishford.

What is your favourite pub or restaurant?

There are some lovely pubs near Rudge, the Full Moon and the Kicking Donkey. Their food has always been excellent.

What local sports teams do you support if any?

I was a footballer when I was younger but I don’t follow much these days. My sporting days are over.

What do you do for fun?

I love photography. I have about 4-5,000 slides on wildlife and about 5-6,000 slides of the railways. I have been deeply interested in all aspects of the railway since I was a child.

Describe your house and garden, what do you love about them?

The Old Vicarage is a former rectory and a typical clerical residence of the Victorian era. I am very comfortable here. Some people find it a bit daunting living in such a big building but I am used to it. The food is good and the staff are very obliging.