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Robert Thornton and Malcolm Wood [Publisher: Crowood Press] Hardback
An interesting illustrated account as per the title by two authors who started their careers as architects for the Western Region of BR in the 1970s. An ambitious remit across a huge subject, this is an interesting take on the subject which offers insights into numerous aspects of what travellers and enthusiasts have variously observed, enjoyed or suffered over the last fifty odd years, together with its historical context. The illustrations are nice, combining numerous colour photographs together with architects drawings and sketches.
Kevin Robertson and Mike Smith [Publisher: Crecy] Hardback
A much enlarged, revised and updated version of Kevin's earlier books on this iconic train. A fantastic piece of work, absolutely full of facts, thoughts and feelings about the "BP" as it is referred to in the text. Mike is co-author I think and it is my impression that he has written quite a lot of the text. He is clearly an enthusiast and writes with great feeling and has unearthed lots of information and photographs. Being a little bit critical, this is an enormous book and would really have benefitted from a bit of editing, there are quite a lot of value judgments and opinions contained in the text, lots of bonkers details some pictures that will only really appeal to the die hard enthusiast. But all that said it is a fantastic cornucopia of Blue Pullman-ery that will bring pleasure to many and it really is good to see so much information set out in a printed book in these Internet driven days. Who knows what the future holds, a re-engineered Blue Pullman based on redundant HST vehicles or a second edition of this book?!
Philip Atkins [Publisher: Crecy] Hardback
A very nicely printed and put together book which sets out to analyse and review the state of the Steam Locomotive in Britain in the years leading up to the First World War. A fascinating era that saw archaic designs being produced alongside recognisably modern types, all very well illustrated here by a set of very good photographs. The text makes use of previous publications and discussions and is both lucid and readable.
Harold Gasson [Publisher: Crecy] Softback
Subtitled "A railwayman's journey from footplate to signal box 1941 - 1957" this is a very welcome reprint of what were four OPC softback books describing the railway life of Harold Henry Gasson, a railwayman who started with the GWR at Didcot in the locomotive department and finished his railway career as a signalman. The four original books were called; "Firing Days", Footplate Days", Nostalgia Days" and "Signalling Days". This is a well written, detailed and enjoyable record of how it was on the Western in the age of steam, complete with a good selection of relevant photographs bound into the centre of the book.
Steve Grudgings [Publisher: Folly Books] Hardback
D. Dunn [Publisher: Book Law] Softback
Extremely nicely reproduced and printed images, showing us the last years of a largely steam railway in a fascinating part of the Country, encompassing both heavy industry and wild rural areas. Familiar main line locations are largely missing from an interesting selection that concentrates on the "bread and butter" services in the region, together with locomotive depots. Having said that we are looking at a steam railway there are a number of good shots of diesels and multiple units also included.
Peter Kay [Publisher: Peter Kay] Softback
The final part of Peter Kay's highly detailed and well illustrated history on this important line, including an extended feature covering the developments and changes at Ripple Lane and a photo feature covering Shoeburyness shed. The book concludes with addenda and corrigenda for the earlier volumes and an index to the whole series.
P. D. Rendall [Publisher: Crowood Press] Softback
A decent and well illustrated account and history of what was until the changes of the 1980s a very large yard and centre for sorting traffic to and from South Wales. Fully described and illustrated up until the present situation by an author with experience of and feeling for his subject.
Stuart Edgar & John M. Sinton [Publisher: Oakwood] Softback
A second edition with an enlarged number of photographs, this is an interesting account of the long lost bridge across the Solway Firth, which for a short while at the beginning of the last Century created an additional but ultimately doomed Anglo Scottish railway route.
Kevin Robertson [Publisher: Crecy] Softback
Another collection of delights and details from the Southern Railway and its descendants. Highlights in this issue are more fascinating recollections of locomotive engineering on the Southern from the records of JG Click, a first foray into the colour images taken or collected by SC Townroe and some exquisite colour photography by Graham Smith of the Isle of Wight lines. Other features abound and include a nice piece on grounded LSWR bodies from Mike King, last steam rites in Sussex, Waterloo and City motive power and letters and points arising.This is a great edition of deservedly popular series - long may it continue!
Adrian Kennedy [Publisher: Unique Books] Softback
A pleasing small softback containing nicely printed black and white images depicting the various lines that operated on Wight in the two decades following the War. An enduringly popular subject and one that happily attracted the attentions of very many enthusiast cameramen, as evidenced by this further collection of largely unpublished views.