Journal of the Railway &
Canal Historical Society
Volume 36 Part 1 No 201 (March 2008)
Brackenbury, Allan. 50 Years of the RCHS North West Group. 2-4.
Founder Members were Peter Norton, Alan Voce and William J. Skillern (compiler of a Library Association booklist on railways (Ottley 121)). The first meeting took place at the Oddfellows' Instiitute in Stockport on 22 March 1958 and the first speaker was Bertram Baxter who talked about Early railways around Mow Cop. Charles Clinker was present as was James Boyd. In 1961 there was a trip through the Standedge canal tunnel.
Macnair, Miles. Locomotives on the railway seals of the British Isles.
By far the most common were individual locomotives in profile and most were single drivers (2-2-0 and 2-2-2), but railways serving collieries tended towards the motive power for that type of seervice. 22 thumbnail illustrations plus list of all those found so far.
Gray. Adrian. Rumours of corruption: the Parliamentary passage of
the Brighton Railway Bills . 12-15.
Rennie, Stephenson and Cundy (engineered by James Mills) proposed rival routes between London and Brighton: Rennie's was the most direct and in the end its association with the strategic route to Dover won Parliamentary approval. There were suggestions that the Members of Parliament were corrupted (to be expected) in their decisions by their land interests.
Crosbie-Hill, Bill. The Hackney Canal. 16-19.
Constructed to assist in the transport of ball clay mined near Kingsteignton to Teignmouth for transport in sea-going ships. Very few remains due to the expension of Newton Abbot racecourse.
Grinling, Charles H. Railway companies as road carriers.
Reprinted from the Windsor Magagine, 1905, 307-17 complete with illustrations, mainly of horse-drawn vehicles (including one of a team hauling a boiler), horses receiving veterinary treatment, a steam lorry and internal combustion engined bus and char-a-banc. Text state that horses tended to work for about six years in railway service and were then sold for farm work. Gives some indication of horse mortality. The provender store at Romford on the Great Eastern Railway is illustrated.
Brown, Philip A. Who designed the stations on the Southampton and
Dorchester Railway? 31-2.
J.G. Cox's Castleman's Corkscrew: the Southampton and Dorchester Railway 1844-48 states that Sancton Wood designed the stations. The Author noted that very similar station buildings are extant on the former Birmingham & Gloucester Railway notably at Droitwich (compared in photograph with Lyndhurst Road). It would now seem that the S&DR stations, like those on the B&GR, were desined by W.S. Moorsom.
Leadbetter, Toby. Francis Wright, the Butterley Company
and St. Pancras. 33-6.
Francis Wright (portrait) was a director of the Midland Railway and chief executive of the Butterley Comapny which was responsible for the iron work employed in St Pancras Station. See also letter from Jean Lindsay in 203 page 183..
Jones, Pat. Brunel and the River Parrett's half-lock at Stanmoor.
Navigation between Bridgwater and Langport
Dean, Richard. Mapping the Birmingham Canal Navigations. 43-7.
William Wright map of 1773; John Snape survey of 1777 (forty sheets bound into an atlas); John Hancox maps based on Ordnance Survey; also 2 chain BCN survey of 1879 (illustrated to show small part of Ridgacre Branch).
Macnair, Miles. The James patents. 9. Epilogue: 'the
patent that never was'. 47-8.
The meeting in Northumberland in June 1821 of James and George Stephenson when both sons were present and William James outlined his ambitions for advanced locomotion at higher speeds. During this visit James had visited Longridge's Ironworks and seen longer wrought iron rails. At this time William Henry James must have discussed his early experiments with water tube boilers. On 1 September 1821 the two families entered into a formal business partnership.
Dr Arthur Lionel Barnett (1908-2007). 49.
Obituary: Dr Arthur Barnett, the Society's President in 1980-82 and a Vice-president since 1986, died on 19 August 2007 in the Sheffield nursing home where he had lived since a severe fall at his home in 2005. He had been remarkably fit and active until then.
He was born in Southport which he insisted was in Lancashire, not Merseyside; however, his father's work took the family to Glasgow in 1918, where he was educated at Hutcheson's Grammar School. In 1925 he took up medicine (although he really wanted to be an engineer) at the Glasgow School of Medicine (again he specified Glasgow University and not, in his words, 'that recent upstart', Strathclyde University). He qualified in 1930 at the early age of 22 'not possible today'. He had a choice of staying in Glasgow or moving to Stockton-on-Tees, and chose the latter, thus generating his interest in the railways of the North East. There he stayed for nine months and met his future wife, Jane, a nursing sister. Further moves took him to Barnsley, Askern, Palmers Green, Batley and finally Sheffield, where he set up his own practice and here Jane and Arthur married in 1933.
He said that he was probably the last person to ship a car by train from London to Batley, not relishing a 200-mile journey in mid-winter in an open MG. He had purchased this as soon as the marque came on the market but, when circumstances dictated covered transportation, he changed to the MG Magnette sports saloon, owning a series of these until the late' 60s.
Arthur had been interested in the history of railways and canals since his youth and now began exploring those of South Yorkshire, becoming an expert on their history, development and impact on the industrial scene. He joined the RCHS in November 1954, attending what he thought was the second embryonic planning meeting of the Society in Preston. He had joined the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society in 1938 and was a founder member of the North Eastern Railway Association in 1961. He will be particularly remembered for the railtours he organised for the RCTS in the 1950s and '60s and for the many coach tours, walks and waterway cruises for all three societies, principally in the North East. Many of these were annual events and, amongst those who were regular participants, Arthur's tours are now legendary. Arthur and Jane themselves enjoyed many canal-boat holidays over the years, but latterly patronised the hotel boats on the waterway system.
He was the author of two books and co-author of a further two: The Hull & Barnsley Railway, volume 1 (David & Charles, 1972) and volume 2 (Sheffield: Turntable Publications, 1980); The Railways of the South Yorkshire Coalfield from 1880 (RCTS, 1984); and The Light Railway King of the North (RCHS, 1992). Over many years he compiled for this Journal annual lists of railway Acts of Parliament which had achieved their centenary.
Arthur seemed to have limitless energy. He was leading, or advising on, railway trackbed and canal towpath walks and waterway cruises until late in his life. Indeed, he led a five-mile walk for the Society's North East Group on his 90th birthday, which was also celebrated by a special train on the Worth Valley Railway organised by the RCTS Sheffield branch. A few years earlier he had led a series of three-day lecture-and-visit courses for Peak District National Park Centre at Lose Hill, Hope. His final walk was for the Railway Ramblers' Yorkshire Group in early 2003 around Potteric Carr near Doncaster now a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve, and a favourite area of his, with a varied complex of passenger and colliery lines. His last attendance at a NE Group meeting was in February 2005.
He was a highly-respected railway historian and will be remembered for his willingness to impart his extensive knowledge of the railways and canals of Yorkshire and the North East; this was a continuing advantage in the compilation of historical notes for walks and visits. His active support for the Society for over 50 years is unparalleled. Although Arthur could be forthright in his opinions, Society and NE Group officers remember him for his kindly support.
Jane died in 2003 shortly after their 70th wedding anniversary. Incredibly, both Jane and Arthur died at the age of 99 years, 6 months and 2 days. DBS
Roger Kidner (1814-2007). 50.
Obituary: reproduced as foundation for long overdue Kidner page
Fire and steam: a new history of the railways of
Britain, Christian Wolmar. Atlantic Books, Reviewed by Gordon
Christian Wolmar is a well known commentator on the transport scene. Here, in a relaxed style that makes for easy reading, he traces railway development from the earliest times to 2007, so up to date that he bravely includes in the past tense events that at the time of writing have still to occur, thereby recording not just yesterday's history but tomorrow's as well. He treats his subject squarely in a social, economic and political context, and his account of the 1840s Railway Mania is particularly penetrating, while he is at his best in a perceptive analysis of the period from the 1923 Grouping to the present day which occupies nearly a quarter of the book.
As the author says in his introduction, a work of this magnitude has to be a myriad of judgments between infonnation between infonnation overload and conciseness, an inevitability on which he has to be congratulated for handling with considerable skill.
Refreshingly, he has wisely said very little about locomotives and mechanical engineering, topics that have more than enough being written about them elsewhere. On the other hand and sadly there is nothing about the dramatic impact made on this country by the railway's infrastructure; an impact still continuing to be made by HS1.
A book like this can only be based on secondary sources, most of which are referenced in copious notes which also include additional infonnation and comments. Regrettably there are too many easilyavoidable slips, fortunately mostly minor, suggesting haste in compilation, while a number of the illustrations are well known. The book concludes with a comprehensive review of relevant literature for further reading, together with a very adequate index. This review was augmented by Kevin on a "Wolmar" page
No 202 (July 2008) Volume 36 Part 2
Compton, Hugh. Staffing the Oxford Canal around 1851. 66-70.
Wharfingers, lock keepers, foremen, carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, boatmen, labourers and managers and thier remuneration.
Covick, Owen. R.W. Perks and the Barry Railway Company,
Part 1: to early-1887. 71-83.
Perks is probably better known for his involvement in the Metropolitan District Railway. Key players included David Davies, colliery owner and long-standing railway promoter in Wales, and Thomas Walker, experienced railway contractor.
Evans, Keith. Water supplies to the Tring Summit: an update. 84-90.
Grand Junction Canal constructed the Wendover Arm and the reservoirs around Tring to provide water for the summit level where surface supplies were negligible in the chalk country of the Chilterns. Pumping stations were installed at Tringford and Seabrook.
Grinling, Charles H. Railway employment. 91-8.
Originally published in the Windsor Magazine in 1905 pp. 98-107.
Crosbie-Hill, Bill. Richard Jefferies and the story of Swindon: an
essay in public relations. 99-101.
Richard Jefferies was born in Coate, near Swindon in 1848. He became a journalist and his essays are collected in The hills and the vale which includes one The story of Swindon that was first published in Fraser's Magazine in May 1875 which appears to have been prompted by the Great Western Railway in an endeavour to deflect the approbation which followed Yolland's damning report on the Shipton-on-Cherwell derailment caused by defective riveted tyres fitted to the wheels of an old Neewport, Abergavenny & Hereford Railway coach added to a northbound train from Oxford to convey additional third class passengers.
Humm, Robert. Three forgotten periodicals.
At about the same time as the The Locomotive and The Railway Magazine started publication three further periodicals attempted to serve the enthusiast market: these were Locomotives & Railways (42 issues between 1900 and 1903); Railway Notes (1909-1911) and The Locomotive News & Railway Notes (1919-1923). The last included contributions from J. Maxwell Dunn, A.B. Macleod, E.S. Cox, Bertram Baxter and F.G. Carrier. Some covers reproduced.
Gunston, Henry. Gates, sluices and tidal barriers
- a further selection of engineering structures on English navigable rivers.
See also 35, 2-9: RapieR wheel gates: Ransomes & Rapier vertical guillotine gate structures. Further information on structures at Spalding on River Welland and on the River Medway at Allington and East Farleigh; flood protection on the River Parrett. Radial gate structures on the Great Ouse River at Earith and on the Eastern Rother River near Rye; automatic radial gate structures on the River Soar at Zouch (first implemented on the Medway in the 1930s); Rising flap gates were installed on the Eastern Rother and are further illustrated by Greylag Sluice on King's Sedgemoor Drain. The article concludes with mention of the Dartford Creek Barrier where the Rivers Cray and Darent meet and the River Foss Flood Barrier in York.. See errata page 183 (203).
Waterways and canal-building in Medieval England. edited by John Blair. Oxford University Press, 2007, xiii + 315pp, Reviewed by Grahame Boyes.
There are quite extensive writings on the history of inland navigation in medieval England, but they are widely dispersed in articles and papers. This is the first book that has been entirely devoted t6 the subject. It is the result of an informal colloquium of historians and archaeologists held in Oxford in 1999 and comprises twelve papers and a lengthy introduction, focussing mainly on the period 9501300, although two start trom the Roman legacy.
Two of the papers are local studies: a survey of Glastonbury's Anglo-Saxon canal and an examination of the evidence of navigation works on the river Itchen between Southampton and Winchester. There are four regional studies, two of them on the extent and importance of the navigable waterway system developed in Somerset, a third brings together the sparse evidence of water transport on the coast and rivers of Cumbria. The most interesting, however, is a survey by the editor himself of the written and physical evidence for navigation on the Thames and its tributaries above Henley. This identifies (in some cases tentatively) medieval canals and canalised streams at Wallingford, Abingdon and Oxford, on the River Cherwell/Ray and those that he names the Bampton and Faringdon Canals. There are specialised papers on identifiing human modification of river channels, hythes, small ports and landing places and place-name evidence.
The coverage of these papers is weighted towards the south and southwest of England. But this is to a great extent rectified by the two papers which, with the editor's introduction, provide a convenient overview of the subject and form the core of the book. James Bond's 'Canal construction in the early middle ages' surveys all the known Roman and pre-1300 canals, not just in Britain but on the Continent too. In 'The efficiency of inland water transport in medieval England, John Langdon analyses the type and capacity of the boats used on each river system.
This book greatly assists our understanding of the extent of early inland navigation in England. Its authors seem largely unaware of the contributions to the topic made in this journal by Pat Jones and Michael Lewis.
Armoured trains. Steven J. Zaloga. Osprey Publishing. 2008.
48pp. Reviewed by Philip Scowcroft.
Armoured trains (the book distinguishes them from 'armed' trains primarily carrying personnel and from essentially static rail-mounted heavy guns) had their real origin in the American Civil War. They were used in British nineteenth century colonial wars (Winston Churchill was captured in an armoured train incident in the Boer War). They had little use in the West in 1914-18, but much by the Austrians and Russians who continued that use in the post-1917 Russian Civil Wars. After 1918 they saw fighting in Poland and China.
There was a similar pattern in 1939-45. Polish armoured trains fought Germans in 1939 on the Eastern Front. At 61 battalions and over 330 trains at peak strength the Soviets reached a climax. Again they were little used in the West - a few (some built at Doncaster) in Eastern England when invasion threatened in 1940. Since 1945 they have found intermittent employment in war zones worldwide. This is an excellent brief historical summary, with a comprehensive bibliography, backed up by interesting photographs and detailed artwork. Warmly recommended to rail and military enthusiasts alike.
Colonel Stephens a celebration. Brian
James. Kent & East Sussex Railway. 2007. 34pp. Reviewed by Warwick
"book is very well produced and containss many good photographs"
The Selsey Tramway. Laurie A. Cooksey.
Wild Swan. 2007. 2v (188pp/146pp). Reviewed by Adrian Gray. 
"This is a quite remarkable pair of books, which surely must include virtually every photograph ever taken of a rural tramway that ran for just over seven miles...". Volume 2 contains drawings of locomotive and rolling stock.
For the love of trains - the story of British
tram and railway preservation. Denis Dunstone. Ian Allan Publishing.
2007. 192pp. Reviewed by Peter Johnson. 
This is quite a comprehensive review of railway preservation, covering locomotives, railways, art, artefacts, archives, architecture and operation, both of railways and locomotives. Coverage of tram and tramway preservation is not so comprehensive; many preserved tramway structures remain in situ and not in formal collections.
The author pinpoints the start of railway preservation in Britain to the Great Exhibition of 1851 because the exhibition led to the establishment of the South Kensington museums. Although the Patent Office Museum was established there, it was not until 1862 that its collection of early locomotives began to be formed. To help with the story, particularly of post-1950 events, the author contacted many of those involved. Published sources are also relied upon there are 54 entries in the bibliography. The account of the official attitude to preservation as applied to the national network in the 1950s and 1960s is especially worthwhile. The illustrations are well chosen, many of them contemporary with the start of the schemes referred to. Good use is made of Railway Clearing House maps to plot preserved lines and centres. This book was published 'for' the author and was not edited with Ian Allan's usual rigour. Some of the abbreviations used will be familiar only to railway enthusiasts. The small number of errors noted might be eliminated in a reprint that has been ordered. With these minor caveats, the book is attractive and a useful source on the subject.
Brunel's hidden kingdom. Geoffrey Tudor
and Helen Hillard. Creative Media Publishing. 2007. 160pp. Reviewed by
In his 1957 biography of Brunel Tom Rolt pointed out that he was more than a great engineer but was an artist and visionary. Nothing illustrates this more than Brunel's plan for an estate at Watcombe, Torquay. For its full story we have had to wait for this beautifully produced, scrupulously researched volume. Brunel planned his projected estate between 1847 and his death in 1859 whenever his other activities permitted. He never built or even really started the house, though work was done on trees and gardens. One of many Brunel projects left incomplete, the estate as carefully assembled was sold after 1859. For him to consider settling in Torbay is unsurprising as in the l840s many were attracted to live there, its first railway station (Torre) opening in 1848.
Brunel involved himself in local affairs: he treated his Watcombe workforce well, building houses, planning religious and educational facilities and sending them on an expenses-paid trip to the Great Exhibition of 1851. He campaigned successfully against a proposed gasworks on Babbacombe beach, and tried to sort out the financial worries of the Vicar of St Marychurch. This account puts Watcombe into a perspective of Brunel's other work in 1847-59 and fills out our awareness of a great engineer. Helen and Rick Hillard of the present Brunel Manor (whose grounds are now open to the public) contribute a preface, RCHS member Angus Buchanan a foreword. Strongly recommended.
The Norfolk Railway Railway Mania in East Anglia 1834-1862. John Barney. Mintaka Books, 244pp, Reviewed by Richard Tyson.
Several railways in East Anglia were initially constructed to link ports to towns inland while the concept of links to a national system followed later. This book covers the promotion of schemes to connect Norfolk to London and the Midlands up to the amalgamations resulting in the Great Eastern Railway. The author's material mainly comprises accounts of meetings and financial manipulations found in company documents and contemporary newspaper reports; thus the book is aimed at the company historian rather than the engineer or the locomotive historian. Five useful maps of East Anglia show actual and proposed lines at intervals between 1835 and 1862 Authors sometimes assume that readers are familiar with the ways in which a railway was promoted through Parliament. This usefully forms the subject matter of Chapter 1 of this book. Chapters 2-6 describe the development ofthe Norfolk Railway and its attempts to expand and fight off rival companies. Chapter 7 is devoted to Lowestoft and its promotion by Samuel Morton Peto. Next is an account of Peto's ventures in developing shipping from Lowestoft and elsewhere across the North Sea and the promotion of railways in Demnark. Finally the business events surrounding Peto's departure from the Norfolk board and the eventual reorganisation resulting in the formation of the GER are described.
The author includes four pages of notes on sources and the comprehensive index is divided into sections (e.g. 'persons', 'railways', etc.). Appendix 1 lists lines proposed towards East Anglia in 1846 (regional proposals are tabulated in Chapter 5). Appendices 2-6 deal with the finances of the Norfolk Railway and the merger terms to produce the GER.
Iron Road: the railway of Scotland. P.J.G Ransom. Birlinn. 334pp, Reviewed by Gordon Biddle.
Strong arms are needed for this handsome, coffee-table sized book, weighing 3¾ lb and printed in double columns on heavy art paper.
There has been no general history of Scottish railways since 0 S Nock's in 1950. Beginning in 1722, this one extends to the present day, although using the same number of pages to cover the 200 years up to the 1923 Grouping and the next 84 years to 2007 seems disproportionate, especially as much of the later period is not specific to Scotland. To convey the full flavour and strong characteristics of Scottish railways in the nineteenth century deserves wider treatment. A more rounded account would include, for example, something on the distinctive infrastructure and the difficulties in construction. And there could have been more about the railways' leading part in transforming the Scottish economy, such as the development of the heavy industry for which Scotland was famous and the important east coast fish traffic. Two small maps reproduced from publicity material are inadequate for a book of this kind, which needs a clear general map and one or two of complex areas like the Monklands.
The rest of the book comprises chapters on locomotives and rolling stock; some fascinating ancillary aspects like narrow-gauge and industrial lines, hotels, shipping, even grouse-moor railways, 'The Heritage' (mainly concerned with preservation) plus a glance at historic structures. For the general reader, the author is perhaps at his best in thoughtful analyses of the grouping, nationalisation and privatisation. Extensive references reveal an impressive range of sources and there is a comprehensive index. Letter from Author in No. 203 page 183.
Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers of Great Britain and Ireland: Volume 2. 1830-1890 Peter Cross-Rudkin and Mike Chrimes. Thomas Telford Ltd. 2008. 986pp. Reviewed by Martin Barnes.
This could be the most expensive book ever reviewed in this journal but it must also be one of the most valuable. There are over 800 biographies of civil engineers whose main work was within the period 1830-1890, at least 500 of which were involved in railways and a small number with canals. All of them are meticulously researched and well-written with sources of information and a dated list of 'works' (and of writings where appropriate) for each engineer. About 75 authors contributed biographies. Our own editor Peter Cross-Rudkin and Mike Chrimes, Head of Knowledge Transfer at the ICE, edited the book and both researched and wrote a substantial number of the biographies. There are separate indices of people and of places mentioned in the text. The printing is in two columns in a relatively small but perfectly readable font you get a lot of words per page. The biographies include all the well-known railway builders. People like Hawkshaw, Fowler, BruneI and the Stephensons get as many as seven pages. One of the shortest, only twenty lines, is of Henry Valpy who built two railways in Paraguay. There are full crossreferences from one biography to the biographies of others. This makes it difficult to read just one biography. One leads to another, then to another, ad infinitum or until you fall asleep. All of these men depended on others for their training and advancement and went on to work with others and bring on the young men in their turn. The significance of this network of interactions which the book conveys has never been apparent before.
Inevitably, previous books about individuals or about particular railways or canals have tended to concentrate on the things for which people are already known. A fascination of this book is that we are told about all their lesser projects as well. Crampton, for example, we think of as the designer of those engines with big driving wheels at the back. But he was also the civil engineer for a number of railways in southeast England which we probably did not know.
The variety of people included is impressive. They are not just the civil engineers who planned and designed the railways but the contractors who built them as well. Also included are the contemporary writers about the railways such as Conder and a lot of people whose influence was important but not central. Some financiers, some architects, Hodgkinson the scientist who worked out the strength of cast iron for Fairbairn, Michael Faraday and steam hammer Nasmyth are examples.
The biographies could be dull but they are not. The touch is light but informative with more quirky little things than you would expect in such a serious work. Who scored the only goal in the first ever FA Cup Final in 1872? Morton Peto Betts, son of the railway contractor Edward Betts who, amongst other things, built the military railway to Balaclava during the Crimean war.
This book should become the data source for many yet unexploited lines of research. What was the typical background and training path for the men who drove the expansion of railways in the nineteenth century? Why was formal education not a prerequisite of success in the greatest period of British civil engineering achievement? Why did so many contractors go bankrupt although apparently successful? What were the causes and effects of the Overend and Gurney bank failure on the railway sector in 1866? What were the characteristics of the diaspora which drove many UK trained engineers to do their greatest work outside the UK? Which was the bigger indicator of success for the engineers technical skill or personal characteristics? Researchers into these topics and many more could produce valuable work using this book as their only source.
All the engineers' wives are mentioned but only one woman appears in a 'professional' role. Alice Tredwell built a 42-mile railway in India. Her husband Solomon, having got the contract in 1856, had died from dysentery a few days after the couple arrived in India.
No 203 (November 2008) Part 3 Volume 36 Part 3
Pettitt, Gordon. Britain's railways: the nationalisation
years advance or retreat? 130-7.
2007 Clinker Lecture presented on 13 October 2007 in the Fellows' Room of the Science Museum London. Former General Manager of the Southern Region examined the years of British Railways in terms of passenger and freight traffic, and the long forgotten, and many, Ministers of Transport of whom Motorway Marples was probably the lest ineffectual..
Anniversaries 2009-2011. 138-40.
Covick, Owen. R.W. Perks and the Barry Railway Company, Part 2: enter R.W. Perks. 141-52.
Mallinson, Howard. Self-publishing your book: a
personal experience. 153-5.
Author of Guildford via Cobham: the origins and impact of a country railway which was voted Transport History Book of the Year 2008 and Railway Book of the Year. Funding of the venture was assisted by a subscription list. The author concedes that estimating production costs was very difficult due to the variables involved in incorporating illustrations. He prepared his own index, but employed a professional to design the cover.
Clarke, Neil. John Wilkinson and his transport interests. 156-65.
John Wilkinson (1728-1808) was an ironmaster with works at Bersham and Bymbo near Wrexham, and at Willey, Snedshill, Hollinswood and Hadley in East Shropshire and at Bradley near Bilston. He owned large estates at Castle Head and at Brymbo: to reach the formed entailed crossing the dangerous sands of Morecambe Bay, Ths main thrust is Wilkinson's transport of his manufactures by waterway, notably the River Severn, and via briages over the Severn in the Ironbridge area, notably at Buildwas and the iconic Iron Bridge. He also held interests in the tub-boat canals, notably the Shropshire Canal, and in the Ellesmere Canal. He was also interested in early railwaysand was probably aware of Trvithick's work..
Heatley, Bryan. South Shropshire's place in
aviation history. 166-8.
Ernest Maund may have made an early aircraft, built by himself, near Stokesay Castle, south of Craven Arms. Mentions other claimants, including Moore-Brabazon who claimed the prize in a Daily Mail competition which required completion of a circular mile.
Levitt, Alan M. An English legacy: some noteworthy links between
the early railways in America and England. 169-79.
Captain John Montréssor, the British chief engineer in America probably instigated the Niagara portage railway, although it is uncertain whether this was built. Information ws conveyed across the Atlantic by British publications conveyed to North America, by Americans sent to Britain to seek the latest information on railways, by travellers who encountered railways, and by knowledgeable emigrants. Specific railways in North America which followed the "English Legacy" were the Granite Railway at Quincy, Massachusetts; the New Castle and Frenchtown Rail Road and the Boston & Providence Rail-Road. Argues that "open-access" was an important import into North America from England. Procurement policies identified related to tyres (tires) for locomotives ordfered from England; units for calculation of moneys, distance and one final legacy was left hand running which persisted on some lines.
Fenwick, Keith.and Bloomfield, Peter. The Wharncliffe
Lord Wharnecliffe instigated legislation in the House of Lords for the protection of railway shareholders.
Francis Wright, the Butterley Company and St Pancras. Jean Lindsay
See Number 201 pp33-36: Toby Leadbetter's excellent article reveals the wide-ranging ability of Francis Wright, not only as a businessman and chief executive of the Butterley Company, but also as a largely forgotten philanthropist. As Leadbetter states, the Company originated in the partnership of Benjamin Outram, Francis Beresford, William Jessop and John Wright, father of Francis. What Leadbetter does not say is that, judging from the early records, studied in the 1960s, the founding fathers had little care for the welfare of the workers. Their aim seemed to have been to keep the men in an underprivileged state, as far as this could be reconciled with the scarcity of labour. Discipline consisted mainly of deterrent policies, notably heavy fines and forfeits. Contractors were responsible for employing the men and working them as hard as they could, and often piece-rates were paid. Rules were imposed to condition the men to accept their place in a disciplined, hardworking labour force.
In contrast to the enlightened attitude of Francis Wright, Benjamin Outram in a letter of 20 October 1796, wrote 'It is not any apprehension of Law but my ideas of justice that have ever determined me never to employ a workman that another has a claim to. Workmen are already too independent of their employers'. The early partners, however, laid the foundations of a large-scale coal and iron organisation in an area previously predominantly rural, and they created a society in which men would accept the long, regular hours and severe discipline. The gulf between the employers and the men was wide, and the owners were careful to keep the men in their place; but perhaps this disciplined workforce enabled Francis Wright at a later date, to exercise his more benevolent philosophy. See article by Lindsay on the Butterley Coal and Iron Works 1792-1816 in Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, Vol. 85, 1965.
Iron Road. P.J.G. Ransom
See review in No, 202 page 121 May I venture to correct the title of my book which you have given in your review as Iron Road: the Railways of Scotland? Properly speaking it is called Iron Road: The Railway in Scotland. I mention this because the form of the subtitle which you have printed is one which I considered and specifically rejected. 'The Railways of Scotland' seems likely to suggest a history of Scottish railway companies, which of course have been well covered by individual histories. My book instead answers - I hope - the question: 'With the railway system in Scotland, and beginning at the beginning, how did we get to where we are today?'
Errata (July 2008). 183
p.108: Automatic radial gate on the River Soar
The view of the automatic radial gate at Zouch on the Soar is looking upstream
p. 109. Greylake Sluice on King's Sedgemoor Drain
The caption text should have read 'The curved sideplates are seen, but the flat base plates [plural - there are two of them] lie [not 'lies'] below water level.'
War record of the London & North Western Railway. Edwin A. Pratt. London & North Western Society. 2007. 70pp. Reviewed by Philip Scowcroft.
Originally an extract from Pratt's British Railways and the Great War. "No aspect of the LNWR in 1914-18 is ignored".
Whitehaven railways and waggonways of a unique Cumberland
port. Howard Quayle. Cumbrian Railways association. 2007. Reviewed
by Stephen Rowson.
"well-paced book" with very useful map, a chronology and a bibliography.
Rendel's floating bridges. Alan Kittridge.
Twelveheads Press, 2008, 144pp, Reviewed by William Featherstone.
It is hard to define exactly what this book is about. The eponymous civil engineer only has a significant role in half of its twelve chapters. James Meadows Rendel had no claim, and made no claim, to being the progenitor of the floating bridge, either globally or in Britain, and the book is as much about the development and history of floating bridges in Britain as about Rendel and his five examples.
Nevertheless, having overcome the slightly eccentric punctuation and butterfly-like style ofthe text, there is much to interest in this well-priced and attractive volume. A floating bridge is essentially a powered barge which hauls itself along a chain from shore to shore. They found a useful niche in river and estuary crossings where issues of navigation and cost precluded a fixed structure, as some still do (e.g. Cowes, Torpoint and the Fal).
Chapters one to four provide general background on the Industrial Revolution, early floating bridge development, the development of communications in the Plymouth area and the few facts known about Rendel's early life. The next six chapters describe his career as well as the story of his floating bridges. Chapter 11 concludes the history of those bridges and the last chapter deals with all the other British floating bridges.
A feature of this volume is the many interesting and rare photographs of these structures. No floating bridge would win an engineering beauty contest and some were particularly unlovely, but they can claim a useful and interesting history, adjectives that also apply to this book.
The Railway Art in the Age of Steam. Ian Kennedy and Julian
Treuherz. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City and National Museums
Liverpool, 2008, 287pp. Reviewd by Martin Barnes.
This is called the catalogue of the exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool in summer 2008. In fact it is a large, beautifully produced book about railway art in the age of steam with many very high quality illustrations. Most of the works illustrated are of British or American subjects with French also well represented and a small number from the rest of the world. All the well-known European works are included such as those by J C Bourne, W P Frith, Augustus Egg, Claude Monet and the Pissaros. More interesting is the assembly of lesser and little known works from all over the world, some from private collections. A Tissot, with one of his characteristic elegantly clad ladies, this time on the platform at Willesden Junction with an accurately portrayed North London tank engine at a high level platform in the background, is a good example brought from New Zealand for the exhibition. The chapter headings indicate the scope of the book: The Formative Years in Europe, The Human Drama of the Railway, Crossing Continents - America and Beyond, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, States of Mind and The Machine Age. The best of railway photography is included and features the work of the legendary American railway photographer 0 Winston Link.
The two authors are clearly railway experts as well as professional art curators as the text about the pictures frequently includes accurate snippets of technical detail. Not many art books would include, for example, the information that 'The Great Marquess' of Cuneo's painting is a K4 locomotive, being a more powerful version of Gresley's Kl. The text is free of the 'arty' pretentiousness which mars much writing about art.
Anybody with the slightest interest in fine art painting of 1830 until 1960 and in the history and influence of railways over the same period will appreciate and enjoy this book. And it is no more expensive than many recent, lesser offerings.
No 204 (March 2009) Volume 36 Part 4
Scowcroft, Philip. The interface between railways and music in Doncaster
in the 1850s. 2-3.
Brass bands formed at the Locomotive Works (Plant) and excursions run for its supporters to concerts and competitions.
Scowcroft, Philip. More on the Doncaster Plant Works Volunteers. 3.
Brown, Peter. The Leighton Park funicular railway. 5-10.
Estate owned by John Naylor (portrait) was situated near Welshpool. Naylor was an energetic landowner and created many new buildings including a church in the village and an agricultural factory. He also collected art works, but it remains uncertain whether the funicular railway was for the entertainment of the owner and his guests or was the transport of manure from the farm
Gunston, Henry and Bayliss, Adrian. Water from Wendover Springs: a history of the development and measurement of water flows from a canal supply source. 10-21.
Covick, Owen. R.W. Perks and the Barry Railway Company, Part 3: exit R.W. Perks. 22-37.
Quick, Michael. The railway at Uphill: legend and reality. 38-45.
The Bristol & Exeter Railway obtained its Act on 19 May 1836 and had to cut through Bleadon Hill to reach Bleadon and a crossing of the River Axe. It was forced into litigation with a local landowner, Charles Payne, concerning the land take for the cutting. The cutting was through hard rock and was crossed by Devil's Bridge. Some consideration was given to creating a packet station at Uphill.
Peters, Timothy and Brown, Stephen. Historic use of asphalt for lining of canals: Wendover (1857) and Llangollen (1957) Arms. 46-52.
Self-publishing your book: a personal experience. Michael Messenger
Self-publishing your book: a personal experience. Peter Johnson. 53
Self-publishing your book: a personal experience. Peter Brown.
South Shropshire's place in aviation history. Martin R. Connop Price.
South Shropshire's place in aviation history. Richard Tyson. 54
South Shropshire's place in aviation history. R.A.S. Hennessey.
The Wharncliffe Meeting. David Hodgkins.
An English legacy: some noteworthy links between the early railways in America and England. Richard Maund. 
John Marshall (1922-2008).
Obituary: notes that he joined the R&CHS in 1975 and that he retired in 1982 to be able to contribute to restoration work on the Severn Valley Railway particularly on the Gresley teak-bodied rolling stock. The Society published his Biographical Dictionary of Railway Engineers. He was also the editor of The Guinness Book of Railway Facts and Feats as well as a three volume history of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Samuel Morton PETO (1809-1889); the achievements and failings of a great railway developer. John G. Cox. Railway & Canal Historical Society, 2008, 128pp, Reviewed by Mike Chrimes.
Peto's career, or at least its unfortunate demise, has acquired a sudden topicality with the 2007-2008 credit crunch. Peto was a victim of another notorious banking failure, the Overend-Gurney failure of 10 May 1866. John Cox gives a succinct description of these financial arrangements, described as 'bogus' by the Economist of the time, and the manner in which the London, Chatham & Dover Railway pursued Peto through the courts leading to a bankruptcy hearing in 1868. The Company was awarded more than £1.25 million, with Betts and Crampton, his partners, also liable. Cox does his best to unravel the aftermath, and Peto's last hurrahs.
The bulk of the book is, of course, concerned with Peto's successes, as one of the most influential railway contractors of the age. With the background of a building contractor, Peto easily made the transition to the railway age. Remarkably he was able to secure payment from Brunei for his Great Western Railway contracts on equable terms and then forged a strong relationship with Robert Stephenson. Taking a personal interest in the development of Lowestoft, he also acquired an estate at nearby Somerleyton. As these works drew to a close, he was already engaged on the Southampton & Dorchester and Great Northern Railways. In both cases he was criticised for the rates he charged. Cox has found some detail on the latter, suggesting Peto's profits were high.
There is some evidence that his first wife was dissatisfied with the time he spent away on business. His second wife, Sarah Kelsall, must have been fully occupied with bringing up fifteen children, although apparently influential in making sure that their London townhouse was in the West End.
Peto's original business partner was his brotherin-law Thomas Grissell. Grissell seems to have taken fright at the risks associated with railway building at the height of the mania years and they separated in 1846. Cox is, however, clear that henceforth Peto was resolved to be a railway capitalist as much as a contractor, using shares to help drive business his way. For the next twenty years his partner was Edward Ladd Betts.
Peto's best known partner was Thomas Brassey, but as Cox reveals, many of their joint ventures, notably the Grand Trunk Railway in Canada and the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway, were financially disastrous.
Before Cox's work we had to rely on Peto's son's largely laudatory account of his father's career. Although this provides some insight into his relationships and views, it is uncritical and makes no attempt to analyse his business affairs and acumen. Using records of railway companies, the reports of the press and occasional Parliamentary testimony, Cox has been able to build up a picture of Peto's business. The verdict has to be that he was a successful railway builder but a poor businessman. One gets the impression that for Peto it was the activity that motivated him, rather than an insight into profitable enterprises. He compares unfavourably with Thomas Brassey, who may have been less ostentatious in his business activity, but was ultimately one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the nineteenth century.
enthusiasm. Ian Carter. Manchester University Press. 2008, 316pp,
Reviewed by Philip Scowcroft.
This is one of a series entitled Studies in Popular Culture. There have, of course, been previous books touching on the topic of British railway enthusiasm. Perhaps the best is Double Headed (1963) by our Vice-president David St John Thomas and his father; others include H.A. Vallance (1966) The Railway Enthusiast 's Bedside Book and O.S. Nock (1968) The Railway Enthusiasts Encyclopedia. This one aims to be a scholarly study of railways as a hobby and looks in depth at trainspotting, book and magazine publishing, preserved lines, collecting railway artefacts and a lot about the various branches of model railways. Some may feel the last receives rather more than its share of space.
Carter begins with an examination of George Ottley's assertion that there was a 'railway book mania' between 1947 and the 1970s and concludes that book mania in that era was general, rather than confined to railways. He summarises the achievements of, inter alia, Oakwood, Ian Allan, David & Charles and, later, Oxford Publishing Company, tracing marketing and other changes. Parallel with this he discusses railway magazines, distinguishing between those for professionals, for railway modellers, and 'others'. He appears to ignore most scholarly periodicals like the Journal of Transport History and our own Journal (the RCHS receives just one incidental mention in the book).
Trainspotting has had, unfairly, to endure scorn, but the Ian Allan ABCs which fed that enthusiasm sold in huge numbers and, although trainspotters declined in numbers with the demise of main line steam, many moved into other areas of railway enthusiasm. One of these is the preservation movement effectively founded in 1950 by the Talyllyn and since greatly expanded. Do preserved railways concentrate on the 'heritage' aspect or on running a business? How 'professional' should they be? As a corollary of this, Carter outlines in detail the remarkable post-1990 story of the Welsh Highland Railway; some Victorian railway entrepreneurs could have identified with the Festiniog Railway's activities in the field of railways realpolitik.
The book considers sundry aspects of model railways modelling societies, working miniature railways ('model engineering') and, more commercial than either, 'toy trains' and the problems each faced and still face. The differing and competing scales and gauges of the latter beggar belief, Carter's and ours.
He is pessimistic about the future of railway enthusiasm. Perhaps all its forms are past their peak, though he says little on the writing of railway history and collection of railway artefacts, which still flourish. The book assembles a wealth of information, entertainingly written. No illustrations (bar one or two on the dust cover) but the 28 tables support many arguments cogently.
It will not necessarily be 'the definitive account of its subject' proclaimed by the General Editor's Foreword. Political comment is often casually or gratuitously dragged in and there are more misprints than one would expect in a scholarly work.
A triumph of restoration Oxford Rewley Road Station. Lance
Adlam and Bill Simpson. Lamplight Publications. 2008. 80 pp, Reviewed
by Martin Barnes
Follows closely on the book on the same subject by Munby, Simmonds, Tyler and Wilkinson reviewed in Journal 196. However, the subject is of considerable interest and the overlaps between the two books are acceptable. Had it been a more important station in the railway system, Oxford Rewley Road would have been as famous as it deserved for its architectural and historical interest. It was built at the same time as the Crystal Palace with some of its cast iron components cast in the very same moulds. Opened on 20 May 1851, three weeks after the Crystal Palace, it was a beacon of modern architecture as the terminus of the Buckinghamshire Railway (eventually the LMS) in the ancient city. Decades of lesser importance than the GWR line straight to London and the North, Rewley Road had a steady genteel decline until its site was needed for the new Oxford Business School. Happily, this led to the station being dismantled and re-erected at Quainton Road.
This book describes the early history of the station and, in more detail, the story of the detailed survey made of it before dismantling and the detail of its reconstruction at Quainton. Joint author Adlam was the architect responsible not only for the reconstruction but also for the design of the new port cochere which substitutes for the long lost original. An important and interesting book.
The Framlingham Branch. Peter Paye. Oakwood, 2008, 248pp,
Reviewed by Richard Tyson.
Some coverage of the Framlingham Branch has appeared previously but now Peter Paye has produced a comprehensive account devoted entirely to the East Suffolk branch which served the historic town and agricultural railhead of Framlingham. Remarkable number of illustrations, many of which were taken by a local G.P., Dr I C Allen, whose contacts enabled to record many special and normal workings: the illustrations include the mixed trains which handled most of the substantial goods traffic. Following the publisher's usual format, opening chapters describe the background and opening of the line and the years up to 1923. Examination of the statistics table in Chapter 3 shows that the decline of has the line had started even in the 1920s as road transport eroded passenger and local agricultural traffic. This was well before closure to passengers (1952) and goods (1965). Events in both world wars are mentioned briefly but not illustrated. Other chapters describe the route, then the operations and staff, with a last chapter about the the locomotives and stock used during the 106 years of the operation. Lists of crossings and bridges and a one page index conclude the book. As many of the locations are easy to visit by car, bus or on foot at the time of writing, a further appendix describing the situation now would have been interesting.
British Quakers in commerce and industry 1775-1920. Edward
H. Milligan. Sessions Book Trust, The Ebor Press, York, 2007, 622pp,
Reviewed by William Featherstone.
This meticulous and monumental work includes every trade from accountant to yeoman via bedstead makers, fellmongers, haymen, shalloon manufacturers, whalebone cutters and a host of others. It is an object lesson in accessibility as a result of an easily understood methodology and layout coupled with exemplary indices of occupations and places. It will be a standard reference work for many years but is also a pleasure to dip into at random. The transport enthusiast or researcher will find many interesting entries. These include many engineers, of varying specialities and a number of railway directors, of the latter notably the Ellis and Pease families. It is not, however, just the Bradshaws and Edmondsons, although they will be found, who feature. Where else would the researcher find John Henry Holmes, designer of carriage dynamos for the Midland Railway, or Henry Casson, Master of the Horse Department of the North Eastern Railway?
Early railways of West Fife: an industrial and social commentary. A.W. Brotchie
and Harry Jack. Catrine: Stenlake Publishing Ltd, , 2007, 334pp. Reviewed
by Michael Lewis.
It is a rare pleasure, in these degenerate days, to handle a volume so profusely illustrated, so beautifully designed and so handsomely produced. The content is equally impressive. It deals with three neighbouring railways which carried coal from the Dunfennline area down to the Forth the Elgin, the Halbeath and the Fordell as well as a handful of minor lines, some previously unrecorded. Their complex history, most of it never told before, from the mid-eighteenth century to their final demise in the twentieth is deeply researched and meticulously recorded. This pioneering work in the largely unexplored realm of early Scottish railways is singularly welcome.
The authors describe the coal industry and the harbours, the changing ownership of the railways, their engineering and remains, permanent way, waggons and locomotives. They even establish the fate of George Stephenson's Kilmamock engine. They write with authority, clarity and, on occasion, humour. Because they do not neglect the social angle, the story is unusually human. It is, moreover, important. Just as the Fife coalfield was-substantial and long-lived, so too were its railways. While their main inspiration and some of the expertise came from Newcastle, they retained a distinctive character and their contribution to the economy of Fife was immense. As the Earl of Elgin says in his foreword, theirs was 'a most valuable achievement'.
Likewise, the authors' achievement is most valuable and their book's contribution to early railway history is immense. Its price may seem high, but it is worth every penny.
Caledonian Railway livery. Jim MacIntosh. Lightmoor Press and
the Caledonian Railway Association, 2008, 328pp, Reviewed by Gtaham Bird.
The Caledonian Railway's striking blue livery was perhaps its most readily identifiable feature, even though only the passenger locomotives carried it. This substantial volume considers in some detail the various liveries used by the company between 1845 and 1923.
The 'Prelude' in colour contains a selection of paintings and models, mainly of locomotives. An introductory chapter is followed by four on locomotives and one on rolling stock. In each case the rules and practice for the application of colour and lining are examined, both overall and as applied to parts such as buffer beams, footsteps and axleboxes. The design and positioning of numberplates, lettering and coats of arms are also covered. Eleven appendices cover more detailed matters, including a chronology and a summary of locomotive orders. This lavishly illustrated book is likely to become the definitive work on its specialist subject.
The railways and locomotives of the Lilleshall Company. Bob Yate.
Clophill, Bedfordshire: Irwell Press. 2008, 136pp. Reviewed by Warwick
This is a beautifully produced book on art paper with excellent reproduction of photographs and Ordnance Survey maps. The area around Coalbrookdale is well known as one of the earliest to industrialize. The Lilleshall Company came to be the largest employer in the region exploiting the local coal, iron and limestone reserves. The origins of the Company lay with the Leveson-Gower family who made their fortune in the wool trade in Wolverhampton from the 15th century onwards. The 2nd Earl Gower married the daughter of the Duke of Bridgewater in 1748 and this link prompted him to develop his mineral assets and foster canals to carry them. Most of these enterprises were nationalized in 1947, but in the late 20th century these industries declined and have long since ceased to operate. From 1850 onwards the Company embraced railways, in some cases converting existing tramways and in other cases building new lines to connect with the main line network; there were also narrow gauge lines and cable worked inclines. The railways lasted till 1958 when the last remnants closed in line with the decline of the industries they served. Truly a fascinating and well researched, detailed study of a vanished part of our industrial heritage.
Part 5 No 205 (July 2009)
Divall, Colin. To encourage such as would travel a little to travel
more: history and the future of mobility. 66-75.
2008 Clinker Lecture presented on 12 November 2008 at the National Railway Museum. Towards a cultural history of mobility remembering that it is the poorest in society who are afflicted with living in close proximity to the carcinogenic exhaust fumes from truck and buses in urban areas.
Covick, Owen. R.W. Perks and the Barry Railway Company, Part 4: conclusion. 75-7.
Biddle, Gordon. Unworthy railway stations. 78-84.
Includes both worthy and unworthy structures: Huddersfield is an early example of excellence; Banbury of long-lived unworthiness.
Corfield, Michael. Politics and patronage: the example of John Ward and the Kennet & Avon Canal bill. 85-94.
MacDonald, Herb. Brits and Canadians cheer as John
BuddIe steams into view after 170 years. 95-101.
'In a British context,' said Andy Guy, 'the drawing offers additional evidence of the evolution of Hackworth's design. Naming the engine after BuddIe, probably a Hackworth decision though we can't be sure of that, was almost certainly connected to BuddIe's involvement with the locomotive contract for Nova Scotia. But it probably also reflects the stature of Mr. B. himself, his influence on the coal trade, and his role as a promoter of locomotive use after the early bugs were worked out. The naming could have been just a way to honour Buddie but there might have also been ulterior motives. It may have been an attempt by Hackworth to cultivate patronage :from BuddIe in the form of future orders. It may also have been an attempt by the GMA to trade on BuddIe's name and reputation despite the fact that the local press quotation suggests his name wasn't known in Nova Scotia.'
In a Canadian context, the drawing is even more significant than in the UK. It is the earliest known illustration of a locomotive that operated in British North America and warrants recognition as a very important document in the history of our railways.
Its appearance before the public eye after so many decades also conveys an important message. Regardless of what we have access to or know at any given moment, 'history' can never be safely deemed completely written.
Overton, Andrew. The last years of Thorne Boating Dike. 102-7.
Scowcroft, Philip. Newspapers as a transport history
source: some thoughts. 108-9.
Value as source for social history aspects, based on experience of Doncaster's newspapers held at local library: see also letter from John King in No. 207 page 53.
Leivers, Clive. The opening of the Dore and Chinley Railway. 109-10.
Alan A Jackson, FRSA
Britain's Railways 1997-2005: Labour's strategic experiment. Terry
Gourvish. xix + 309pp. 9 illustrations, 10 figures, 32 tables, Oxford University
Press, 2008. Reviewed by Grahame Boyes.
These were nine eventful years: the Southall crash; OPRAF replaced by the Strategic Rail Authority, initially in 'Shadow' form; the Ladbroke Grove and Hatfield crashes; Railtrack placed into administration; the Potters Bar crash; Railtrack replaced by Network Rail; the SRA abolished. The difficult work of renewing or replacing the franchises of the Train Operating Companies extended throughout. These were some of the key events that influenced, or were the products of, the Labour Government's attempts to formulate a policy and an organisational structure for the railways.
The author stresses that this is not a companion to his two-volume history of British Railways, but an exercise in railway polity. It examines the way in which rail privatization has operated through the experience of the Strategic Rail Authority', which, together with the Department of Transport, commissioned this study. Dr Gourvish also had access to the archives of the Treasury, Cabinet Office and Prime Minister, without which, he says, 'it would have been extremely difficult to make sense of a complex period in railway history'. Has he succeeded?
The author's approach, as in his previous books, is first to present a distillation ofthe evidence that he has gleaned from the archives, from official publications, from his interviews with many of the key personalities involved and from the national and railway press. This reveals the hidden workings of the administrative machinery and will be an invaluable source of reference for future historians. But it is not altogether successful in making sense for the general reader of how and why decisions were taken and of the events which occurred. This is partly because a degree of prior knowledge and familiarity with the insider language is assumed. But it is chiefly because the story itself is so complicated. At one point there were 15 supervisory organizations regulating or planning railway activities, all adding to the industry's unaffordable burden of overhead costs, which had increased since BR days from 15 to 30 per cent of turnover.
However, towards the end of each section, just as we begin to flounder, the author does makes sense of it all, with a clear analysis of what has gone before, leading to a final set of carefully-balanced conclusions, all in commendably plain English. He makes the most of the positive achievements, but what he reveals of the workings of modern government does not impress.
Tales of the old Corris. Gwyn Briwnant Jones Llandysul: Gomer
Press, 2008, 63pp, 63 photographs, 1 map. Reviewed by David St John
A small line with great tales to tell,' says the publicity, and this is true even though the tales themselves account for only 25 pages. There is a touching simplicity which makes one regret that the narrow-gauge Corris slate line (connecting with the Cambrian at Machynlleth) was not saved and to wish luck to those restoring a section of it. The paperback starts with a delightful selection of photographs of pre-G WR days and, after the tales in the middle, ends with a loving portrayal of the system's last twenty years. All three sections are part of the tales. Informative and sometimes nostalgic captions make the most of the photographs, while photographs and captions elaborate the core tales. Although the end of the book is reached all too quickly, most readers will want to refer back, no doubt frequently. For once, it is not just about the hardware but about the personalities, the esprit de corps, the hopes and fears. Heartily recommended.
A guide to the industrial archaeology of Wiltshire. Parnela M.
Slocornbe. Association for Industrial Archaeology, 2008, 68pp,
Reviewed by Stephen Rowson.
This guide is produced in the familiar format of AlA annual conference gazetteers. 409 sites, referenced to the maps, are arranged in five geographical districts. OS grid references are additionally provided.
The eight entries on the first page give some indication of the variety of coverage - bell foundry, village pump, malt house, milestone, turnpike house, canal wharf, racing stables, waterworks. Wiltshire is well-blessed with canal sites - not only on the Thames & Severn, Kennet & Avon and Wilts & Berks. Much of the GWR is within the county, notably Swindon and Box, but there is also the LSWR. Airfields and military camps are represented too. The guide encourages detours; its bibliography then directs the pilgrim to more comprehensive follow- up material.
Down the line. R.M. Bevan. Chester: C C Publishing. 2007, 105pp,
Reviewed by Richard Tyson.
This book is not strictly a railway history. The author's theme is the interactions between railway, people and activities along the Chester to Whitchurch railway during the lifetime (1872-1961) of this double track railway byway. About one-third ofthe page area is text, the remainder being mainly contemporary local photographs of which about forty are of the railway itself. As well as a section devoted to Cheshire Cheese (including the special cheese trains), mention is made of copper mining, market gardening and water extraction in the district. Local connections with personalities such as Thomas Brassey and Wilfted Owen are mentioned. Many of the views of towns and villages along the route are little changed today, this part of Cheshire being still relatively unknown and unspoiled. The book is an enjoyably nostalgic read for past visitors and a pleasant introduction for future ones.
Castleman's Corkscrew, including the railways of Bournemouth and associated
Lines, Volume Two: The twentieth century and beyond. B.L.
Jackson. Oakwood. 2008. 320pp, Reviewed by Geoffrey Hughes.
Here we have the second part of the chronicle of residential, accompanied by the development of CastIeman's Corkscrew, the meandering railway line holiday resorts and light industry. promoted by Charles CastIeman, which served The early 1900s produced a number of interesting Southampton, Bournemouth, Dorchester and the but unfulfilled projects, such as a tunnel under the communities in between. Volume One, reviewed in Solent to serve the Isle ofWight and a light railway the November 2008 issue of the Journal, covered along the coast to Lulworth. The grouping led to the the nineteenth century and Volume Two brings the 'Bournemouth Belle' and to 'King Arthur' and even story up to date and deals with the complexity ofthe 'Lord Nelson' 4-6-0 locomotives. Nationalisation twentieth century, with its modernisation, reshaping brought new problems, not least the end of steam. and reduction in facilities. The region has changed Dr Beeching receives a chapter to himself. The out of all recognition, localities which once were account takes us as far as 2008, with an illustration predominately rural gradually becoming more of an electric multiple-unit entering Wool station. The photographs provide a visual account of the changes which mark the passing of the years, depicting motive power (including a special visit by Sir Nigel Gresley), rolling stock, signalling, buildings and the Iineside. There is an index covering both volumes. This work is recommended to those who are familiar with the area, as well as offering a good read to others interested in an example of the development of railway services over the years.
Signals: a railway miscellany Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and
Bedfordshire. Murray Eckett. Book Castle Publishing, 2008, 259pp.
Reviewed by Tim Edmonds
This is a collection of short chapters on railway themes, many of which have previously been published as magazine articles. It is essentially a guide-book since most chapters are descriptions of journeys on existing railways, including preserved and miniature lines, or walks along disused trackbeds. It has some value as a guide, but a major weakness is that there are no maps. Some background history is given of each line, but much of it is over-simplification with misunderstandings and errors. There is a bibliography of secondary sources, but no dates or editions are given. Little effort has been made to convert the separate, but related, text of individual chapters into a coherent narrative. Consequently, the same information is repeated many times, often with the same figures of speech, which makes for a tedious read. There are numerous typographical errors and inconsistencies. This book needed an editor.
A Historical Dictionary of Railways of the British
Isles. David Wragg ,Pen and Sword Books, 2009, 288pp. Reviewed
by Martin Barnes
This dictionary has about five hundred entries. They are essays averaging about half a page in length. The coverage is varied and entries for places like the Channel Islands and Eire justify the claimed coverage of the British Isles. Many of the entries are biographical of the promoters, engineers and managers. The dictionary is not about train services or locomotives. Many of the entries refer to topics not usually encountered such as the railway trade unions, nationalisation as a process and biographical notes on little known worthies. The pictures are a well produced and varied selection but there are not enough of them to be a feature of the book. Sources are not given but there is a bibliography. Accuracy is not one hundred percent. For example, claims that there are stone embankments six hundred feet high on the Festiniog Railway, that the L&NWR's carriage works was moved from Edge Hill (Birmingham) to Crewe to Wolverhampton and that the Bishop's Castle Railway went from 'Bishop's Castle on the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway to Montgomery on the Cambrian Railway' are clearly wrong. The book is, however, well produced and a very good read.
Part 6 (No. 206 November 2009)
Boyes, Grahame. German Wheatcroft and the Wheatcroft Family of canal
Based on paper given to the Sixth Waterways History Conference, held at the Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 14 March 2009. Includes activity on the Cromford & High Peak Railway and the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway.
Conway-Jones, Hugh. Going 'Upcountry': Gloucestershire boatmen in
the nineteenth century. 144 -51.
Based on paper given to the Sixth Waterways History Conference, held at the Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 14 March 2009. The development of narrow boat traffic on the River Severn above Gloucester in spite of the hazards between there and Worcester..
Clarke, Neil. William Reynolds and the East Shropshire tub-boat system.
Based on paper given to the Sixth Waterways History Conference, held at the Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 14 March 2009. The Wombridge, Ketley, Shropshire and Shrewsbury Canals sought to exploit coal mined in the Oakengates and Coalbrookdale area by taking it to Shrewsbury or down to the River Severn and Coalport. Inclined planes were constructed to cope with the large increase in height notably at Hay (Coalport) where the Tar Tunnel was found by chance. There were several tunnels and aqueducts. Portrait of William Reynolds.
Boughey, Joseph. Waterways campaigners and twentieth century conservation
movements: towards new interpretations. 158-65.
Based on paper given to the Sixth Waterways History Conference, held at the Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 14 March 2009. Conservation as practiced by the Inland Waterways Assocition, key individuals (Graham Palmer and Rolt), and many diverse groups. Notes comparisons with other organisations notably the Light Railway Transnsport League, the failure of canal preservation to flourish in East Anglia, and conflict with similarly composed groups for nature conservation, notably on the River Derwent.
Humm, Robert. Not in Ottley 1: Philip Phillips
and the Forth Bridge. 166-72.
Begins by noting that Ottley 2719 and 2720 were "inaccurately catalogued" mainly by slight failings in counting plates. Notes that Philip Phillips was the son of Joseph Phillips, a contractor, to the Forth Railway Bridge and the subject of an excellent biography by Mike Chrimes in Chrimes (not cited by Humm): sadly Mike has made a mistake by calling the son "Peter"! Some of the material identified by Humm is in the form of albums of photographs where only a very few (perhaps even one or two) were produced and were possibly outwith Ottley's remit. Some of the material noted by Humm should have been recorded by Ottley and one suspects that he missed them due to a mixture of his approach to what was "central railway literature" and to the relatively primitive cataloguing methods adopted by the British Musuem at that time.
Reynolds, Paul. Not in Ottley 2: Thomas Phillips
and the Humours of the iron road. 173-7.
Memoirs of a Welsh ticket collector who worked at Carmarthen station. Initial edition had a Welsh title: Difyrion y ffordd haearn..., but there were also editions with English titles which did not appear to reach the British Musuem/British Library.
Anniversaries 2012. 178.
Not a very exciting list: not many likely to be drawn to the nether regions of Leeds to celebrate two centuries of steam traction on the Middleton Railway when they could be watching some obscure Olympic sport.
BREAK IN CONTINUOUS PAGINATION
Part 7 No 207 (March 2010)
Reynolds, Paul. The Railway Mania of 1824/5: a re-examination. 2-19.
Greenwood, Jeremy. Jolliffe and Banks, civil engineering contractors,
and inland waterways. 20-6.
Based on paper given to Sixth Waterways History Conference, held at the Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 14 March 2009.
Cross-Rudkin, Peter. Canal contractors 1760-1820. 27-39.
Based on paper given to Sixth Waterways History Conference, held at the Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 14 March 2009.
Hodgkins, David. The GWR comes to London why Paddington?
Brief consideration is given to proposed termini in Lambeth and on the west side of Vauxhall Bridge Road, but it is mainly concerned with why the proposed joint terminus with the London & Birmingham Railway at Euston failed to materialise. Gauge was not the primary objection, but rather the quest for independence especially by the Liverpool investors.
Brown, Peter. Longer but better? The proposed deviation of the Montgomeryshire Canal, 1821. 51-3.
Newspapers as a Transport History Source. John King
See No. 205 pp.108-109): Philip Scowcroft's article was very apposite. Indeed, I would go further and say that one ignores local and national newspapers at one's peril. My recent experience has been with local authority records when I was researching a 1930s railway airport project that never materialised Lullingstone near Eynsford in Kent. Whilst the most important primary record document - the Southern Railway General Manager's policy file P.W.Pad 412 has not reached the National Archives at Kew and is assumed to have been a victim of enemy action on Waterloo Station during the war, there are many other primary sources that have survived including the records of the Air Ministry, LCC, Kent County Council; Dartford Rural District Council, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport, Kemp Town Brewery and so on.
I had examined the minutes of the records of the Dartford Rural District Council and two parish councils but until I looked at newspapers, I could not understand why there was never any concerted action against the Southern Railway's proposal which became public knowledge in 1936. On 1 December 1936, it was reported by the Clerk to a meeting of the Dartford Rural District Council that plans for an extension of the railway into the proposed airport had been received, butit did not appear that any action needed to be taken. On this occasion there was no record of any discussion about the proposal in the local press.
Ten days later the proposal was considered by the Eynsford Parish Council which similarly decided that no action should be taken. It was the subsequent local press report that revealed that there was concern, but it was considered that the cost of opposition would be too expensive. Dartford RDC changed its attitude at its meeting on 5 January 1937 and resolved to oppose the railway's Bill. On 21 January this was supported by the Lullingstone Parish Council. Five days later Dartford decided not to oppose it, but the reason for this change was not recorded in the minutes. It was the local press that reported the discussion at the meeting in some detail. The cost was not mentioned, but the Clerk pointed out that there were no valid legal reasons for opposing the line.
During the course of reading the local papers, I discovered another danger. When the airport story first broke in August 1936, it appeared to be reported in every issue of the Kentish Times. The later deliberations of the local authority were not always reported in all issues.
It is of course most unfortunate for the researcher that so many local authority policy files do not end up in the county archives. This is the case with the erstwhile Dartford Rural District Council of which the only records that appear to have survived are the minutes, although the Sevenoaks District Council was slow to release them to the Kent Archives at Maidstone. Fortunately the records of the Ministry of Health which was then responsible for town planning include correspondence with the local authority.
Part 8 No 208 (July 2010)
Thomas, David St John. The Romance of the Country
2009 Clinker Lecture presented on 24 October at the Birmingham & Midland Institute. Deplores the failure to reduce costs on rural railway lines until too late. Deplores the failure to organise integrated rural transport.
Peters, Timothy. The life and times of Levi Williams
Lindop, Machinery Superintendent, Ellesmere Port Boatyard, 1892-1922.
Lindop was born near Crewe on 6 April 1860 and educated at High Town Wesleyan School, Crewe and enrolled as an apprentice fitter at Crewe Works on 12 May 1875. He was taken on as a fitter in Crewe Works, but was transferred to the Dundalk Newry & Greenore Railway on 13 Apeil 1883. On 10 August 1885 he was moved to Ellesmere Port (another LNWR subsidiary) where he gained promotion becoming Machinery Superintendent in 1892. He retired on 31 July 1922 and died in Ellesmere Port on 24 April 1935. He held a patent for reversible screw propellers (20776/1893 Improvements in or relating to screw propellers.
Geraghty, P.J. Promotion of road steam transport
at the dawn of the Railway Age. 88-105.
Mainly the contribution of Sir John Macneill working in association with Telford on the construction of roads capable of supporting steam carriages (including a system of concrete blocks and the promotion of steam carriages including briefly in Ireland (Dublin). Paper mentions several other steam road carriage pioneers: Hancock, Sir Charles Dance, Gurney and Maceroni. William Church's steam carriage is illustrated.
Lindsay, Jean. Detective work on the Forth & Clyde Canal in Victorian
Especially at Port Dundas in Glasgow.
Brooke, David. Thomas Brassey and the papers of Charles
Brassey ordered the destruction of most of his records fearing that improper use might be made of them. Works examined herein include the Mantes & Cherbourg Railway, the Lemberg & Czernowitz Railway, the Maremma and Meridionali Lines in Southern Italy, and the Suez Canal..
Jones, Pat. The origins of the Thorne Boating Dike. 113-23.
Rising tidal levels combined with the River Don's rising bed level eventually caused the river to over-top the banks of the low lying land at the confluence with the Turnbridgedike. Commissioners appointed in 1418-28 initiated embanking and stabilisation long before Vermuyden.
Brunel in South Wales, Volume III Links with leviathans. Stephen K. Jones. History Press. Reviewed by Martin Barnes.
Last volume in Stephen Jones' magnum opus. There is not much about railways and less about canals in this book, but it is transport history par excellence. The writing is consistently clear.
Researching and writing history: a guide for local historians.
David Dymond. Carnegie Publishing, Reviewed by Peter Brown
This excellent book, published in conjunction with the British Association for Local History, is almost as useful for transport historians as it. is for local historians. One minor criticism is that it would have been useful to cover seeking a publisher and making contractual arrangements.
Directors, dilemmas and debt the Great
North of Scotland and Highland Railways in the mid-nineteenth century.
Peter Fletcher. Great North of Scotland Railway Association in
conjunction with the Highland Railway Society, Reviewed by John Armstrong.
Examines in great detail the capital needed to build the Highland railways between the 1850s and 1870s. It looks at the amounts needed and how it was raised. Because the proposed railways went through sparsely populated areas, revenue was likely to be low and so the railways needed to keep capital costs down. These Scottish railways kept building costs down to about £7,000 per mile. This compares with English railways where £35,000 per mile was not unknown. One method of minimising building costs was not to buy the land on which the permanent way was laid. mstead it was leased from the land owner, who was probably a large shareholder as well, and a director. 'Strict economy in construction' was practised such as single line operation and wooden stations.
Local wealthy individuals were recruited to the board. Some were from ancient aristocratic families, such as the Duke of Sutherland, others were more parvenu, having made money from industrialisation and bought large sporting estates. This book also examines from where the capital came and is particularly good on the role of banks.
There are one or two minor weaknesses. The maps, though in other ways invaluable, have no scale. There are a few typos and misspellings and there is no index. It is not an easy read. That said, there is a bibliography, extensive end notes (828 in all!) and some useful tables. It is well illustrated. All-in-all it is a well-argued book, covering intensively how railways were built in areas with low population density. See also letter from Keith Fenwick in 209 page 191..
Great Western Way, 2nd edition. John Lewis and others.
Historical Model Railway Society, Reviewed by Gordon Biddle. 
Cumbersome landscape size and heavy art paper can be justified by large illustrations and copious colour, but this book has neither. Soft covers and lighter paper would have reduced both weight and price. Intended mainly for modellers and as a record of the GWR's appearance working, it first examines the Great Western itself locomotives and rolling stock, track, signals structures, road vehicles and uniforms followed by each pre-grouping absorbed company and then post-grouping. Diligent research has uncovered a huge amount of detail. There are 16 appendices, as diverse as paint specifications, telegraph codes, wagon sheets and lettering. The same exhaustive treatment given to locomotives is not accorded to structures, understandably in view of their greater diversity, although one cannot agree that there were no standard station designs until the 1930s. In BruneI's day and from the 1880s they bore many common features. Likewise the GWR's distinctive signalling deserves greater coverage.
Surprisingly, apart from a picture on the back cover, the very characteristic 'parachute' water tank seems to have escaped recording, while in the section on notice boards and terminology, the ubiquitous and idiosyncratic' All tickets and Contracts must be shewn' was worth a mention. The usual HMRS high standards have slipped in places. A drawing of Rhymney Railway signals appears twice, several company names are mis-spelled and MacDermot has two mis-spellings surely unforgivable in a book on the Great Western! The extensive references are inconsistent and the index is not user-friendly. The original 1975 paperback was the better buy.
The World's first railway system: enterprise,
competition, and regulation on the railway network in Victorian Britain.
Mark Casson. Oxford University Press, Reviewed by Grahame Boyes.
This is a most unusual book, which some will thoroughly enjoy and others may quickly dismiss. Its key innovative feature is the construction of a 'counterfactual' railway network of 13,000 route miles which the author convincingly claims would have been practical to build and would have provided for a range of services at least as good as those on the actual 20,000-mile network of England, Wales and Scotland in 1914. Spectacular engineering structures and the creation of hubs remote from existing centres of population are avoided. So there is no Severn Tunnel, no Forth or Tay bridge, fewer Pennine tunnels and no Crewe.
The quantity of research and analysis is prodigious. Surely this must be the product of more than just the author's day job as Professor of Economics at the University of Reading. Yet the internal evidence suggests that he is not, in private, a railway enthusiast. Nevertheless he may have opened up a new enthusiasm amongst those of our members who are keenly interested in the geography of Britain's railways. The author makes no claim that his is the optimal network. Some may find this a challenge. Are we about to see the launch of a Counterfactual Railways special interest group within the Society?
Up to this point the author's analysis is convincing: the 13,000 mile network is a valid standard against which to judge the efficiency ofthe network that actually emerged. However, he then suggests that the additional capital cost and higher operating costs of the extra miles could have been avoided if the 'Dalhousie' Committee of the Board of Trade had been allowed to continue its work after 1844 and if Parliament had been willing to follow its advice. In practice, however, the state could only have exercised this degree of control if it had willed the means, for example by providing state grants or subsidies. This was surely not politically realistic in nineteenth century Britain.
There are supporting chapters on the economic background, joint lines, government regulation, and the railway companies' business strategies. They are well worth reading and consulting, as they identify the issues clearly and comprehensively, but the discussion is generally very condensed, so they need to be read alongside other accounts.
For those who wish to study the counterfactual network in detail, the author offers to supply a photocopied set of maps. However, it is first necessary to study the book, in order to find his email address. See contrary view on this book by Gordon Biddle (page 191) and response to that from Reg Davies and John Poulter..
The Gloucester & Sharpness Canal: an illustrated history. Hugh Conway-Jones.
Amberley Publishing, Reviewed by Peter Brown.. 
The author is the acknowledged expert on the canal and on Gloucester and Sharpness docks. He explains clearly the complex history of their construction and subsequent development, paying full attention to the traffics. The 20th century material is supplemented by reminiscences of those involved, which add 'colour' and enhance the reader's understanding. The pictures are particularly informative. However, the financial and economic aspects of the canal company are only superficially covered and the last two decades are dealt with in just one page. Although there is no hint of this in the book, it is essentially a reprint of the book published in 2003 by Tempus although the pictures are not generally reproduced quite as well. With an unchanged price, the book is excellent value.
Eleven Minutes Late. Matthew Engel. Pan Macmillan
Ltd, Reviewed by Graham Bird. 
Subtitled 'A Train Journey to the Soul of Britain', this spirited and entertaining canter through railway history will appeal to the knowledgeable as well as the layman. As its author indicates, it is 'a book about the British' as much as a study of their railways.
Loosely based on a sometimes frustrating journey round Britain on a rover ticket, the book has ten chapters taking their names ftom stations such as Blisworth and Carnforth. A number of intriguing personalities and phenomena are encountered en route, giving the opportunity to reflect briefly on many aspects of railway history. The story is well and perceptively told, but its author does not hesitate to take aim at what he sees as humbug; there are not a few jaundiced but usually tongue-in-cheek references to past and present British government policies (or lack of them), the current regulatory regime and the mores of British society. The book is strongly flavoured by the author's tenet that 'we find the railways a kind of exquisite torment'.
During the journey he pauses to consider topics as diverse as train spotting, First Great Western breakfasts and the Lynton & Barnstaple line. The story is fast-moving and readable, but occasionally distorts the facts in the interests of simplicity: third-rail electrification was not originated by the Southern Railway in 1925, for example. There are one or two other lapses such as a reference to the GNER branch to Alexandra Palace and the spelling of 'bogeys'. However, the overall level of accuracy is high, although sometimes overtaken by recent events such as the closure ofthe Railway Club.
Unusually, the references appear on the author's website a useful space-saving device, but one wonders whether they will still be available for consultation in ten years' time. The book is also available in paperback. Also reviewed by KPJ
Imperial Airways: the birth of the British airline industry
1914-1940. Robert Bluffield. Ian Allan . Reviewed by John King.
Packed with great detail, much of it unpublished, resulting in a sizeable and well illustrated book. It is nicely written and reveals a good understanding of the airline. Bluffield has used good sources, in particular the archives of the airline, but perhaps surprisingly appears to have made no use of state records in the National Archives. The author has not fully understood railway involvement; and he talks about nationalisation of the Southern Railway a decade before it happened. He also seems to confuse Jersey Airways with Railway Air Services. On airships and the R101 the author falls short on basic knowledge on the imperial rigids, accepting second hand information; and he has clearly been misinformed on such matters as the importance of pressure, height and dynamic lift. In spite of these criticisms in what is a large book, this will be the standard history of the airline for many years to come.
Blood, Iron and Gold. Christian Wolmar. Atlantic Books. 2009.
373pp. Reviewd by Martin Barnes. 
The modest subtitle of this book is 'How the Railways Transformed the World' but that is what it is all about. It is complete in that the story takes us from the start of modem railways (Liverpool & Manchester) to the present day (HS 1). Although it starts and of finishes in the UK, it is mainly about the rest of the world all along the way. Here is what you would be interested to know about the history of the world's railway systems but, instead of being about how the railways were built and operated, it is all about why they were built and the effect they had on the industries and communities whose establishment they first stimulated and then sustained. Wolmar, for this book, has made himself remarkably well informed and shows himself perceptive. He has not used primary sources but that would have been inappropriate for a book on such a macro subject. There is a short bibliography and there are copious references. The illustrations are relevant and many unfamiliar.
It is striking how many railways around the world were funded and built to exploit some mineral resource and to facilitate the manufacturing which would depend upon it. Many others were politically inspired, such as to bring one territory within the sway another or to establish hegemony over a widespread territory. Hardly any were built just to help the people move around yet it was this that made the modem world. People could now and did move around where previously they had not. The Football League was established in 1888 and only worked because excursion trains could now take supporters some distance to away matches. There is a large number of examples of equally interesting 'transformations' in this book.
The later part of the story is particularly perceptive in analysing why and illustrating how newer forms of transport eventually sapped the lifeblood of many of the railway systems around the world.
The breadth of this book and the intensity of detailed information which underpins the breadth are seriously impressive.
The East Somerset and Cheddar Valley Railways. Richard Harman.
Lightmoor Press. 2009. 272pp, Reviewed by Allan Brackenbury.
The 31½ mile railway from Yatton to Witham appeared to be a typical GWR rural branch line. But its origin was as two broad gauge branches from west to east to Wells, separated by nine chains of a standard gauge Somerset & Dorset Railway line. For a few years in the 1870s, Wells had three passenger stations within half a mile but with no through trains. Even when through running was established, Wells remained a frontier town until the line closed: 'up' and 'down' designations changed here, and most passenger trains had long waits. This lavish book covers the line in depth its pre-history, origins, operation, timetables, track layouts, signal box diagrams, locomotives in use, drivers' turns, and changes over the years. There are many photographs of various aspects of each station, with several scale plans of station buildings. Separate chapters cover quarry branches and sidings. The Blagdon and Glastonbury branches are mentioned when they affect the story of the Yatton-Witham route, Current operations at Cranmore and Merehead are outside the scope of the book. Brief details are given on ancillary topics where memories or records have survived, such as strawberry traffic, camping coaches and problems in the snow. There is a page-long bibliography, a list of sources and an index but no footnotes.
This is a fine tribute to a railway that was scarcely significant nationally, but which was vital to Somerset towns and villages for many years. A similar book appeared a few years ago (Steaming through the Cheddar Valley - Derek Phillips, OPC, 2001). With extra information and many different photographs, the new work complements the previous one.
The Wirral Railway and its predecessors. T.B.
Maund. Lightmoor Press. 2009. 240pp. Reviewed by Miles McNair.
This is a superb book. It does full justice to the author's in-depth knowledge of every aspect of the subject, it is very comprehensively illustrated and beautifully designed on art paper by the publisher responsible for many other quality works of specialised railway history, including Railway Archive. The extent of the author's own research is reflected in the bibliography, highlighting that the only previous (slim) book devoted entirely to the Wirral was published in 1960.
The railway's origins dated back to schemes as early as 1840. These and other precursors occupy the first 26 pages. The Wirral Railway itself, which never extended for more than 24 route miles, is covered in the middle section of 97 pages, including full details of all the company's own stock of distinctive tank locomotives built by Beyer Peacock. The company was a pioneer in the use of the rare 4-4-4T wheel formula and it also ordered two 0-6-4T engines, a configuration favoured by the Mersey Railway in its steam days. Also included are the locomotives acquired second-hand plus those that visited by way of running powers. The last section covers the period after the grouping, the rapid scrapping of the 'non standard' Wirral locomotive stud, electrification and, finally, the transmogrification into Merseyrail.
No details are overlooked; the coaching stock, station track-work plans, the only two fatal accidents on the railway and the links to industrial sidings and their locomotives. Signalling is given special attention (including an appendix by the MRHG); tickets are not neglected, but the management personalities are given less space.
The print font is small. Some of the photographs are fractionally muddy and the maps merely mention 'other railways' without giving provenance. But these are nitpicking quibbles about a railway history of near perfection. It is quite expensive, but purchasers, even those with no connection to the Wirral peninsular, will be well rewarded.
The Wisbech & Upwell Tramway. Peter Paye.
Oakwood Press, 2009. Reviewd by Peter Cross-Rudkin. 
The Wisbech & Upwell Tramway was built by the Great Eastern Railway in 1882-83 after an earlier, independent railway had failed to make progress. The line ran beside public roads for much of the way, roughly parallel to the earlier Wisbech Canal. The 5.9-mile journey was scheduled to take 40 minutes. The diminutive 0-4-0 tank engines were encased in a polished teak body that looked much like a guard's van, except that the wheels were protected by side skirting and there were cowcatchers at each end precautions that failed to prevent the occasional fatal accident. Toby the Tram Engine was the hero of one of Revd W. Awdry's books, but the Wisbech & Upwell was a serious line and contributed significantly to the profitability of the local agricultural economy. Passenger services succumbed to road transport at the end of 1927 but goods traffic continued until 1966.
The author has provided a detailed study of the line. Chapters deal with its advent and construction, operation, decline and closure. The route is described in detail, with plans and track diagrams of all the 'stations', and the surprisingly large number of photographs of the line at work amplify the chapters on locomotives and rolling stock. Some data on the line's financial performance are provided and the local history dimension is not neglected. An excellent book is rather let down by the meagre index, but this is a valuable addition to the literature of minor railways.
The following three booklets are obtainable from Great North of Scotland Railway Association, Sales. 
Towiemore: its railway, lime works and distillery. Ron Smith .
A surprisingly long history of a very small station on the Keith & Dufftown Railway and the two industries it served.
Carriage compendium: diagram details and running numbers of GNSR and LNER Northern Scottish Area carriages. Keith Fenwick 2010. 40pp,
A supplement to the author's Great North of Scotland Railway carriages (Lightmoor Press)
The Great North of Scotland Railway War Memorial. 2009. 32pp,
Published to commemorate the rededication of the memorial at Aberdeen station, this booklet comprises an outline history ofthe First World War, an account of the GNSR at war, and biographical details of the 93 men who are recorded on the memorial.
Steam around Reading. Kevin Robertson. History Press, 2009. 126pp, 
A reissue of a book originally published in 1998. One of the 'Britain's Railways in Old Photographs' series, it contains a selection of views at locations between Old Oak, Newbury and Didcot. The majority date from the last 15 years of steam, though some are much earlier. Most are of locomotives and many are credited to the late Walter Gilburt. The book has eight sections, grouped by location. In most cases there are two pictures per page, accompanied by brief captions. There are few surprises and some of the pictures are rather faint.
The memory lingers on. Mike Esau. Silver Link Publishing. 2009.
This is an album of photographs of trains and locomotives taken in the last 15 years of steam traction. The subjects are varied drawn from all over the UK and the pictures are well composed, mostly including the setting. The captions are detailed and interesting but undated. Gems include pictures of trains on the Wenford Bridge branch, at Witney, Baynards and Llandovery. There are indices [surely indexes KPJ] of locomotive classes and of locations.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Richard Tames. Shire Publications.
2009. 48pp, 
First published in 1972 as 'Lifelines 1' this third edition of the Shire publication has undergone a thorough makeover. For the cover the original glory of the famous Robert Howlett photograph of BruneI is restored and inside there is a new selection of illustrations, including colour for the first time. An updated text completes the makeover of this classic, and now well-illustrated, concise biography of the man.
Railway walks LMS. Jeff Vinter, History Press 200pp,
The one significant fact relating to this volume is that it is a reprint not a revision of the first edition published in 1990. Thus all the earlier edition's factual and editorial errors (including the transposition of four photographs to the wrong chapters) are uncorrected and the main body of the text is based on information and walks of more than 20 years ago. The 11-page gazetteer, which is appendix B, contains more modern information but is insufficient justification for recommending the book.
By road and rail, a brief history of Tickhill 's
transportation. Philip L Scowcroft. Tickhill and District
Local History Society, 2010, 21pp.
Tickhill is an ancient small town south of Doncaster. This well-researched local transport history covers turnpike roads, stagecoach services, carrier and stagewagon services in the nineteenth century, the transport undertakings of the Saxton family, buses and railway services. The railway was the South Yorkshire Joint which was heavily used by coal trains from the collieries it served but with little passenger traffic. Passenger trains ran for only 20 years, 1909 - 1929. The illustrations are interesting and varied. There is a good bibliography and references to relevant websites.
Railway adventure. L.T.C. Rolt. History Press, 2010, 150pp, 
Published originally in 1953, this is Rolt's account of the restoration and revival of the Talyllyn Railway. We are fortunate that he was the driving force in the enterprise from the beginning when the railway was in the last throes until it was on its feet as the first enthusiast-preserved railway in the world. Fortunate also that it was he, arguably the best writer in our field, who wrote the story. It is a unique railway history story of people, their camaraderie and struggles, of the time and of keeping terribly old and worn-out steam locomotives going.
The following five hardback books, each 96pp, are available from Middleton Press
Carmarthen to Fishguard, including Neyland and Milford Haven (Western Main
Lines). Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith. 2009, 
The Middleton Press exploration of the South Wales main line reaches journey's end at Fishguard with side trips to the Milford Haven and Neyland branches. The latter was the original port for the Irish ferries and was known as New Milford until 1906 when services moved to Fishguard. The newer GWR route to Fishguard had some ground level halts and while the original Rosebush or Maenclochog line is mentioned, sadly no photographs were available. However, the branch to the large Trecwn Royal Navy armaments depot receives detailed attention.
Shrewsbury to Chester (Western Main Lines). Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith.
This most northerly outpost of the Great Western (joint lines excluded) was interesting terminated by the grand stations at Shrewsbury and Chester and with the important centre of Wrexham along the way. Other interesting junction stations were Gobowen and Ruabon. Unfortunately, very few of the photographs are from before the BR steam era. A table of annual traffic statistics for the years 1903, 1913, 1923 and 1933 is included for each station except Shrewsbury. Oddities include the Eaton Hall railway interchange sidings at Balderton and a Caledonian Railway express passenger locomotive at Chester.
Swansea to Carmarthen including Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley. Vic Mitchell
and Keith Smith. 2009.
The main ex-GWR main line is described with good photographic coverage supported by many detailed maps of Swansea, Llanelly and Burry Port. There are some interesting photographs inside Llanelly engine shed. The part played by the Llanelly Railway & Dock Company is explained (for example at Llandilo Junction). A third of the book is then taken up by the less glamorous BP&GV and Llanelly & Mynydd Mawr Railways while the Gwendraeth Valleys Railway is given but a cursory mention. The solitary timetable is of August 1940 for the BP &GV route.
Branch Lines around Oswestry. Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith. 2009,
Following this publisher's established format of photographs and large scale maps, the book provides a pictorial history of the former Cambrian Railways line between Gobowen, Oswestry and Welshpool and the Llangynog (Tanat Valley Railway) and Llanfyllin branches. The Cambrian established its headquarters, locomotive, carriage and wagon works at Oswestry. Photographs of some of these 1866 buildings are included. The monochrome photographs are of good quality and the subject material features stations, halts, signal boxes, signals, junctions and a wide variety of locomotives and rolling stock, including Cambrian, GWR, LNWR, LMS, BR Standards and industrials.
Corris and Vale of Rheidol from Machynlleth and Aberystwyth. Vic Mitchell.
This is a useful pictorial historical record of two contrasting narrow gauge railways, treated equally. Practically all Corris photographs were taken before its 1948 closure, but a few record its recent revival. Maps and pictures include branches to Upper Corris and Ratgoed, but not the early continuation to Derwenlas. The Vale of Rheidol is a tourist line, still open. Half of its photographs show changes over the years around Aberystwyth. It seems that views of intermediate stations are difficult to find and two halts are omitted.
Part 9 (No 209) November 2010
Messenger Michael. Boatmen on the Liskeard & Looe Union Canal. 142-3.
Boughey, Joseph. Encounters with waterways history:
Willan, Hadfield and Rolt. 144-56.
Thomas Stuart Willan was an academic who developed an interest in both inland and coastal transport based mainly on documentation rather than from direct observation, whereas Hadfield combined skills in documentary records and observation, and Rolt's observations were those of an engineer (the author dismisses Rolt's qualification in this respect as only partial which is cruel). See also letter from Jean Lindsay in 210 p. 51.
Welton, Robin. A railway policeman's lot is a happy one. 156-9.
Author's wife's grandfather was A.E. Bishop who served in the Grenadier Guards during WW1 and following this joined the railway police (presumably on the Midland Railway as he appears to have begun his duty at St Pancras) and later on the LMS. Included service at Fenchurch Street, plain clothes detetective duties, fraud cases and liaison with the Metropolitan Police.
Wild, Graham. Pneumatic despatch. 160-4.
Propulsion by compressed air was demostrated by William Murdock in the early ninereenth century and was enthusiatically pursued by Thomas Webster Rammell, With Josiah Latimer Clark the Pneumatic Despatch Company was formed which conveyed mail from Euston to the North West District Post Office and later extended to the General Post Office which incorporated steep gradients crossing under the Fleet valley. The Post Office failed to fully adopt the system. Passenger carrying systems were advocated, notably the Waterloo & Whitehall Railway proposed in 1874: in advance of this a demonstration system was installed at Crystal Palace in Sydenham. In the USA Alfred Ely Beach, Editor of the Scientific American pursued a similar system, again withou substantial success.
Brown, Peter. The Plas Kynaston Canal. 165-71.
Kay, Peter. The two lives of Arthur Stride.
Arthur Lewis Stride began work on the East Kent Railway on the Chatham to Canterbury section. Born in Dover on 10 March 1837, the son of the manager of the National Provincial Bank in Dover. He was educated at a boarding school in Ashford and in 1856 was working on the Chatham to Canterbury section of the East Kent Railway. Once construction was over he was employed as district engineer for the Kent Coast and Sheerness section of the London, Chatham & Dover Railway. In April 1875 he was appointed General Manager and Resident Engineer on the London. Tilbury & Southend Railway. Prior to this the railway had been run by the lessees (the executors of Thomas Brassey) with the trains run by the Great Eastern Railway. He rose to be Managing Director in 1889 and Chairman in January 1906. At the age of 73 in 1910 Stride negotiated with the Midland Railway to takeover the railway and in 1912 he retired. In 1885 he leased Bush Hall in Hatfield and made it his home where he became a County Councillor and bred Jersey cattle (KPJ he presumably knew the Pearson family at Brickendonbury): he died at Bush Hall on 15 September 1922. Much of the material for this article had been gathered by Edwin Course.
Anniversaries 2013. 177
Cox, Alan. The manufacture of bricks for the construction of canals.
The World's First Railway System. Gordon Biddle.
See (208) 131: In his review of this book Grahame Boyes is too kind. I am unashamedly among those readers who, as he puts it, may dismiss it. The author's wordy theorising on his 'counterfactual' railway system is like saying that the 1914-18 world war could have been ended much earlier if only the allies had known how to make the atomic bomb. The UK's railway system is what it is because of nineteenth century social, political and economic beliefs and practices, and the technology available at that time.
Hypothetical conjecture on how we would set about it today is simply academic exhibitionism very expensive at that which makes little if any contribution to our knowledge. Grahame Boyes hints at this in his comments an the author's references to the Dalhousie Cammittee.
The one third af the book devoted to historical topics tells nothing new and is not entirely accurate. The other third contains an extensive bibliography (did the author really consult them all?) and weighty, portentous appendices occupying space which, as your reviewer seems to suggest, would have been better used for explanatory maps instead of offering photo-copies by e-mail.
I could have used £60 and shelf space to much better purpose. Led to further correspondence from Reg Davies and John Poulter in 210 p. 50.
The Life and Times of Levi Lindop, Machinery Superintendent,
Ellesmere Port Boatyard, 1892-1922. Timothy Peters.
(RCHS Journal, July 2010,80-87). Following publication of my article I have had several contacts from relatives and friends of Levi Lindop. Geoffrey Lindop asks me to let you know that John Lindop (2000) Lindop, a Family History,
Directors, Dilemmas and Debt. Keith
See Number 208 p. 130: ) for review by John Armstrong. Fenwick edited the book and persuaded the two sponsoring Societies to publish it. The reviewer makes the point that one way af diminishing costs was to lease the land, rather than to purchase it outright. While Joseph Mitchell did refer to leasing land in his early proposals, in practice land purchase was, in some cases, paid for by a feu duty rather than a capital sum. 'Feus' are a Scottish peculiarity arising from the way land was held in principle by the Crown. Title in the land is still held by the feu or, in this case the railway companies, but an annual sum still has to be paid to the feu holder. HM Revenue and Customs state that 'Feu duties are annual sums payable in respect of grants of land in feu in Scotland and they go on to state that 'The Abolition of Feudal Tenure (Scotland) Act 2000 abolished the feudal system af owning land in Scotland and replaced it with a system af outright ownership af land'. So the railway companies still became owners of their lands and did not lease them. The point is also made in the book that whereas the promoters of the various companies anticipated that the landowners would grant the necessary land by a feu or in exchange for railway company shares, they were often disappointed and had to purchase some af the land outright, adding to capital costs af construction.
Promotion of Road Steam Transport at the Dawn of the Railway Age.
(RCHS Journal, July 2010,88-105) Mr Geraghty provides a rare insight into some af the factors that led to the general failure af steam traction on British turnpikes.
The Railway Moon: some aspects of the life of
Richard Moon 1814-1899, Chairman of the London & North Western Railway
1861-91. Peter Braine. pmb publishing. 516pp, Reviewed by Terry
Sir Richard Moon, London & North Western Railway chainnan, 1861-91, is a neglected figure in British railway historiography, a fact which is unsurprising given the lack of archives dealing with his life and railway career. Peter Braine is therefore to be congratulated for creating a revealing biography after a long period of painstaking research. Of course, with comparatively little hard evidence, there is much about Moon that is speculative and not a few mysteries remain. It is difficult to explain why a partner in a leading Liverpool cotton exporting finn should retire to the country in his early 30s and equally why he should have elected to plunge himself so precipitously and thoroughly into railway management, indeed the management of the world's largest joint stock company. Braine's 30 chapters follow a chronological, biographical approach, beginning with Moon's childhood and education (1814-30) and ending with his retirement (1891-99), but, inevitably, it is Moon's 40-year stint on the board of the L&NWR which fonns the core of the book. Here, his financial prudence, enthusiasm for operating economy, obsession with detail 'Nothing seemed too small to matter' (p.73) and desire to dominate the executive were critical elements. However, it should not be forgotten that other directors Richard Moorsom and Edward Tootal, for example were also prominent in the criticism of the company's post-mania perfonnance which led to an expanded board 30 directors (including Moon) in 1851. The author might have made more of the key issue: whether Moon's hands-on involvement and micro-management undennined the executive his actions were meant to refonn. Here, the battle between the general manager, Captain Mark Huish, and Moon and his colleagues was critical for a company struggling to cope with problems of size following the merger of 1846. Huish was dismissed in 1858, leaving the directors firmly in control. The enforced resignation of the gifted engineer McConnell in 1862 was also controversial. Finally, Moon may have been unadventurous about quality of service and safety, but he could not be parsimonious about network investment: the company's route-mileage nearly doubled while he was chairman. Braine handles this and all the complexities of inter-railway diplomacy with clarity. He has achieved for Moon what David Hodgkins has done for Sir Edward Watkin. This privately published volume is, at under £20, a bargain for a generally well-produced, thorough account which represents an important contribution to our knowledge of one of the leading railway administrators of the 19th century.
D. J. Norton's Pictorial Survey of Railways in
the West Midlands. R J Essery
Part 1. LMS Western Division Lines 143pp, 187 b&w photographs, 20 maps and track diagrams.
Part 2. LMS Midland Division Former Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway and Connections 112pp, 164 b&w photographs, 10 maps and track plans.
Part 3. LMS Midland Division Former Birmingham and Gloucester Railway and Connections 112pp, 167 b&w photographs, 11 maps and track diagrams.
All parts: Wild Swan Publications, 2009. Reviewed by Martin Barnes.
These books comprise a huge collection of excellent photographs of the ex-LMS railways of the Birmingham area taken between 1947 and 1965. They are more historically important than the date range suggests as the system is depicted unmodernised with everything except the locomotives and rolling stock largely unchanged since the nineteenth century.
There are 518 photographs, all of high technical quality and clarity taken by local man Dennis Norton. He had a lineside pass which he fully exploited so that many pictures are of scenes never visible to the public. His composition is always enterprising and this is certainly not an album of locomotive mugshots. Many of the pictures have no train visible.
"A very important railway history publication".
Ferries of the Lower Thames, Joan Tucker. 2010..222pp, Reviewed
by Anthony Burton. 
Between Staines and near Gravesend. Includes both loss of Princess Alice and routine operation of Woolwich Free Ferry.
The Chester to Denbigh Railway. Roger Carvell. Irwell Press.
2009. 105pp. Reviewed by Tim Edmonds.
"enjoyable read"... "good coverage of the genesis, building and operation of the line and of its relationships with connecting lines, but the major strenght is that it shows how the railway related to the communities and industries that it served and the people who worked on it. Criticised for poor contents list and lack of index. Includes section on Mold Junction engine shed.
The Kennet & Avon Canal from old photographs. Clive and Helen
The Kennet & Avon Canal through time. Clive Hackford. 96pp, both from Amberley Publishing. Reviewed by Tony Conder.
The canal From Old Photographs includes more history, has tighter, more informative captions and is a good introduction to the story of the canal as a business. Through Time is a basic introduction to the canal today showing the restored waterway through current colour photographs with historic sepia comparisons from 50 to 100 years back.
The Tiverton Museum Railway Collection. compiled
by Amyas Crump. Noodle Books, 2010, 48pp, Reviewed by Matthew
Notebook of W.J. Cotton, the engineer of the Exe Valley branch line: includes colour facsimile reproduction of his wash drawings.
Return from Dunkirk railways to the rescue
Operation Dynamo (1940). Peter Tatlow. Oakwood Press, 2010, 184pp,
Reviewed by Graham Bird.
"The tale is well and sometimes movingly told and a glance at the list of troop trains passing through Redhill in a nine-day period makes it clear that nothing on a comparable scale could be undertaken today. A bibliography and index are included and obvious errors are few, although some names are mis-spelled. " 196
London and the Victorian railway. David Brandon. Amberley.
2010. 124pp. Reviewed by Richard Tyson.
Popular book for general reader.
Newcasle-under-Lyme: its railway and canal history. Allan C. Baker
and Mike G. Fell. Irwell Presss. 2009. 136pp. Reviewed by Peter
Served by branches off the main Trent & Mersey Canal and the North Staffordshire Railway.
The wrangler who went to the railway: the story
of the life and death of William Creuze BA. Neville Billington and Warwick
Sheffield. Came Hundred Publishing. 2010. 60pp. 
Flint and steel: the story of the founding of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2nd ed. Neville Billington. Came Hundred Publishing. 2010. 60pp. Reviewed by Matthew Searle.
Both bookets relate to the history of Bromsgrove: the former to the death by scalding of a brilliant young engineer on the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway in 1841.
The story of the Notingham Suburban Raiulway. Volume 1.
Conception, construction, commencement. David G. Birch. Booklaw.
2010. 92pp. Reviewed by Adrian Gray.
Opened in 1889: lost its passenger traffic in 1916. Reviewer critical of two volume approach.
The Kent & East Sussex Railway. Brian Hart. Wild Swan,
2009, 282pp, Reviewed by David St John Thomas. 
For anyone whose life interest is the Kent & East Sussex, this expensive title might bring joy. For the rest of us, flowery language and a blow-by-blow account of every minor happening is more likely to lead to boredom if not confusion. Much space is devoted to schemes that never happened, the 191418 war is luridly described, and Col Stephens's stroke as it were pumped for pathos
This is a shame, for the railway Stephens's favourite was undoubtedly different and fascinating. The book is difficult to navigate, the story's main elements not standing out sharply, and there is no index or bibliography. Nor is today's resurrected railway covered, not even its starting and ending points mentioned. In short, it is well below the usual Wild Swan standard and not in the same league as say Philip Benham's History of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, fully covering all its history with more tightly-written prose and including everything that this book doesn't at nearly £15 cheaper.
That is not to say that interest is totally lacking for some of the photographs, such as of an annual hoppiCkers' special and the extremely frugal infrastructure tell their own stories and, buried in the extensive quotations, is an occasional gem about the 'farmers' line'.