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Ian Pope [Publisher: Lightmoor] Softback
Cheltenham Coach Station in 1975, travelling to Ilfracombe in the 19th Century, early electric road vehicles and the continuing story of the development of Port Penrhyn, this time concentrating on the fascinating railway system both standard and narrow gauge.
Neil Parkhouse [Publisher: Lightmoor] Hardback
Another fantastically detailed and atmospheric collection of super colour photographs, covering Gloucester GWR in detail, including Horton Road Shed, the "Gloucester Triangle" and the the rebuilding of the station in 1976. We then travel out along the line to Sandish Junction before turning "left" and going as far as Stroud Great Western. There is a really nice appendix on a projected railway to Painswick and two follow up sections on Over Junction and the Llanthony docks branch amd the Gloucester Eastgate loop and Midland docks brances. A wonderful book, absolutely full of atmosphere and inspiration for modellers. Predominantly in the BR steam era, a good number of images cover later diesel years into the 1970s and the BR Blue era.
Kevin Robertson [Publisher: Crecy] Hardback
Tim Hillier-Graves [Publisher: Pen and Sword] Hardback
An attractive publication, full of information and pictures and covering a great subject that is dear to the hearts of many. Arguably, the author has tried to cover too much I think, with the first chapter for example simply describing the line. Having read sections of the book I am also a bit inclined to disagree with the "Definitive" in the title, by the way, it isn't on the title on this website only because there is not enough space for such a long title, which is another modern malaise - too long titles, bit like this sentence... Moreover there is no tabulated information on the many and various locomotives, which leaves one prey to the S&D's habit of re-using numbers and the text also contains a lot of uneccessary editorialising. The captions are a bit overwritten and finally the photographic accreditation does nothing for understanding photographic sources and frankly got on my nerves. All that said, it does tell the story it sets out to tell and it does illustrate it well. Does it surpass Bradley and Milton? Difficult to say, it certainly forms a nice illustrated account and has much to recommend it, notwithstanding my grumbles.
David Bird and the RCTS [Publisher: RCTS] Softback
Produced to a large landscape format to fully exploit and display the pictorial contents, this is a great collection of full colour images captured by the late Michael Mensing, whose excellent photography has graced the pages of many books. A native of Solihull, these photographs cover the period from 1957 to 1979 and while views from Birmingham and the West Midlands are in the majority, a very wide range of other locations are also captured, including Scotland. Tyneside and a few in the West Country. The pictures are universally appealing, Michael was able to stand back from his subject and include settings and the landscape and so this book shows us much more than the railway. A rare shot included is Metrovick D5701 in blue on and oil train near Grange Over Sands in 1968 - terrific stuff and well done to the RCTS in making all of these images available to a wider audience.
Jerry Clifford [Publisher: Cygnet Magazines] Magazine
Edited by Jerry Clifford, with an appropriately but cautiously upbeat look towards the future(!), the main layout feature is a really impressive scenic model of Moretonhampstead in 2mm finescale. This is followed by a virtuoso performance from Howard Bolton on his lever frame, PO wagons and a lovely Kirtley model from the editor, a "Toplight" in 4mm scale by Gerry Beale, a Midland wagon in (glory be) 1/32 scale by Richard Ellis, platform lamps for High Wycombe from Tim Peacock, Classical Jazz part three from Dave Doe and louvered Midland milk van in 7mm scale from Laurie Griffin. Also, sadly, an obituary to the towering figure of Don Rowland who sadly left us recently.
Kevin Robertson [Publisher: Crecy] Softback
Michael Whitehouse [Publisher: Lightmoor] Hardback