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David Larkin [Publisher: Crecy] Hardback
In this very welcome third volume, David tackles the 1923 RCH spec mineral wagons, both railway company owned and private owner, including the vehicles built for coke traffic. As in previous volumes he goes through the different wagon types describing their uses and origins, giving BR numbers for each type and illustrating everything with good quality photographs. For me, the particular joy of this series are the images that show the types in BR service with increasingly faded liveries, part repairs, patch re numbering and so on. David also observes that the chalk marks added to some of the subjects photographed by Roye England, put there to highlight faded livery details, would be legitimate graffiti on models of the subjects. A tiny and detailed footnote to history but a great thought for us modellers! It is great to have another book from David, who has done so very much to record and make available information on a fascinating subject. His original Bradford Barton books are still sought out by readers and were in part the inspiration that led me to produce "Twilight Of The Goods" with Don Rowland for Wild Swan. Long may he continue, there are certainly future volumes planned in this excellent series from Crecy.
Evan Green-Hughes [Publisher: Transport Treasury] Softback
Arguably the greatest success of BR's expensive Modernisation plan, the DMU as it became known was a ubiquitous part of the railway scene right from its introduction in the 1950s until well into the 21st century. Pretty much derided by enthusiasts at the time, they are by now a fascinating subject in their own right, both by virtue of the subtle differences between types but also because they were deployed on secondary and branch line services. Thankfully many people had the foresight to photograph them, and this book is a really good collection of images across all types and regions - predominantly from the "pre blue" era. One small criticism is that none of the images are credited to their photographers, which is a shame and surely could have been done?
Howard Burton [Publisher: Thunderbolt Books] Softback
A slim but attractively produced book that tells the intriguing story of Bath's own wartime airfield. Built on a pre-historic site of some significance, happily recorded before destruction, Charmy Down was difficult to fly in and out of. More pilots lives were lost in training than in combat, aircraft from Charmydown failed to engage raiders during the Bath Blitz and the whole story has an air of pathos about it. After the war the site was used for an abortive Cold War radar project and more cheerfully as social housing ahead of a programme of council house building on the eastern side of Bath. Today it makes for a good destination for a walk with remnants of its wartime use still clearly visible. The whole story is well recounted here, together with a good number of fascinating photographs and illustrations.
Peter Davis [Publisher: L&NWR Society] Hardback
A detailed examination and description of the three cylinder compounds that Webb built for the London and North Western Railway from 1882. This at the time novel concept and design created locomotives with subtle complexities, which as this book explains gave rise to various issues when it came to their operation. They were a successful design nonetheless, as the many pictures of these locomotives in top link service in this book show. As with anything novel, the design attracted criticism and over the years various myths and distortions of the locomotives' qualities were perpetuated, all of which this book sets into their proper context. This is a wonderful book, beautifully produced, well researched and containing a wealth of technical information and drawings, together with very many superb photographs.
Paul Karau [Publisher: Cygnet Magazines] Magazine
Edited by Paul Karau, happily recounting both his and some of his many friends modelling achievements over the last 10 months or so. Although this might have been the Christmas issue it is unmarked and without festive decoration or baffling quiz, but the contents are as interesting as they come. Professor Tony White conducts us through the first part of his modelling life, touching upon many familiar names and ideas along the way, while no less than two articles are devoted to wonderful Southern Electrics. Stephen Hannington pursues a fairly conventional route (by which I mean no criticism) while John Chick comes at the subject straight from the side of a fairly high wall. Alan Webber produces a densely populated Quad Art in 4mm scale, Geoff Forster reports on an artful move into 7mm scale with his "Bleddfa Road" essay, two postcards from Steve Hall's "Drighlington and Adwalton" and Lindsay Galloway models the roundhouse at Burntisland. An obituary to Paul King, more wagon loads from Trevor Pott, small suppliers forum and a healthy letters page complete the line up.
John Clutterbuck [Publisher: RCL Publications] Magazine
This issue records the sad passing of Roy Link, the originator of the "Review" and so very much more besides. Happily John and Marion Clutterbuck have been increasingly involved in production since Bob Barlow died and it is John who has put this issue together and who will now edit and produce the magazine. This issue has an informative piece on Roy himself, alongside his various accomplishments and involvements in our hobby, concluding with a tribute from Anjela, Roy's wife. Other content features a prototype made from a model(!), an extensive feature with good drawings and photographs on the quirky electric locomotives of Lechwdd. John Brookes' pleasing and convincing "Severn Mill" and a prototype feature on the fascinating Jossen industrial train ferry complete the articles, before "under review" and the usual letters page and "jottings". Roy will be pleased with the result of John's endeavours I am sure, and I for one look forward to many more issues into the future.
John Glover [Publisher: Transport Treasury] Softback
This is an interesting collection of good quality black and white images, compiled by the author from the archive of photographs taken by Alan A Jackson between 1953 and 1973. Both infrastructure and trains themselves are well covered, but what I especially like is that many of the pictures are thoughtfully composed to include people in them, The captions are all very informative and the whole thing taken together is really rather wonderful.
Kevin Robertson [Publisher: Crecy] Softback
Kevin Robertson [Publisher: Crecy] Softback
Andrew Britton [Publisher: Lightmoor] Hardback