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John Jennison [Publisher: Irwell Press] Hardback
J. Allan and A. Murray [Publisher: Lightmoor] Hardback
Dave Richardson [Publisher: Cumbrian Railway Association] Softback
A very nicely laid out and produced large format softback, beautifully printed on to quality art paper and featuring some really stunning photographs, a beautiful book. Aside from the text and photographs the book features really good coloured plans, maps and signalling diagrams for all of the stations together with a lovely coloured set of scale drawings for Sandside Station. The story of the line is atypical of branch lines and full of interest, featuring road building in the area and a quarry too - this really is one of the nicest and most appealing railway books I have ever handled, just lovely.
David Ripley [Publisher: Oakwood] Softback
Cooper, Faulkner Maycock and Silsbury [Publisher: Crecy] Hardback
A great subject for a book, the various locomotives that have been used on all of the railways on the Isle of Wight from the inception of railways on the Island in 1862 up until the present day. As the authors describe, this is in fact a "descendant" of the earlier RCTS book on the subject by the late Don Bradley, which although based upon solid research was in some ways flawed. Just the account of what Bradley achieved with his series of books and then how this book came about is interesting in its own right. Although the authors state that few of the photographs in the book have not been seen before, the whole effect is very pleasing and covers a wonderful variety of types and styles, including the obscure railcars and the Ryde Pier Head tramcars. All of the images in the book are well reproduced to a good size and selected old photographs have been "colourised", adding a great deal to the story and overall effect I think. There are no scale drawings, but there are a lot of tabular details covering many aspects of the subjects covered, including shopping records for the fleet of 02s in BR days. The locomotives of the wonderful modern day preserved operation are properly featured and the ex LT undergrounds types also get a mention, including the latest ex D78 stock, pictured on page 139 on a test run approaching Ryde's up distant signal at line speed in great light. A great book and well worth adding to the library for any Island line enthusiast I would think.
Iain Rice [Publisher: Cygnet Magazines] Magazine
Edited by the legend that is Iain Rice, the very appealing cover picture features the model Kenton, built by the recently departed John Watson, fondly remembered inside the magazine by Barry Norman. Two Cameo Competition entry layouts are featured, Nick Salzmann's unusual period Lananta Quay in 3mm Society finescale standards, and the irrepressible Mick Simpson's small but exquisitely formed Callaton in 2mm scale, a tiny layout which is full of interest - caravanners take note, as Mick says! Simon De Souza makes a really beautiful and very well observed model of Dromod station building, using a range of techniques in Plastikard that would suit any number of brick structures. Iain reveals a near Pre War HO survivor, a beautiful model of Claude Hamilton, and in "Classical Jazz" with friends John Chambers and Dave Doe the modelling options for creating Stratford's N7 class are explored and expounded. Trevor Pott illustrates how passenger goods traffic is handled at Churston, Roger Bird shares with us his Thomas Green built examples of the Irish narrow gauge while finally Iain extolls the virtues or otherwise of bad track. Plus small suppliers forum and an obituary to John Watson.
Sydney A Leleux [Publisher: Oakwood] Softback
A large format photographic survey of the author's own photographs covering the various narrow gauge lines that have operated in Northamptonshire. Well produced on art paper and featuring excellent photographic coverage, a useful location map and informative captions from a knowledgable author, this is a very pleasing visual record. Ironstone predominates as you would expect, but there are many other smaller operations included too.
GWSG Members [Publisher: Great Western Study Group] Softback
Richard Kelham [Publisher: Lightmoor] Hardback
A well researched and comprehensive record of all of the operators of PO wagons in Wiltshire, the result of many years of research and interest in the subject by the author. Wiltshire didn't have coal reserves, but it did have Bath stone, so stone quarries and coal merchants wagons dominate the account. The last 70 pages are given over to additional information on the author's earlier book on Somerset PO wagons by the same publisher - all good stuff and a fascinating look back into a world which is very different to today. Some views have been seen in other books but the majority were new to me.