Specializes in books about railways mainly in Ireland, and many of which feature high quality colour artwork.

Nostalgia, mainly for area centered on Coronation Street.

Ian Allan
Even in the days immediately after the end of the war, much of the spirit of Walker still pervaded the Southern. But in one respect the public relations department was very different from its early days, when John Elliot was told off by Walker for attending a cricket match in office hours. Now the whole department seemed to be 'freelancing' in one way or another.

This gave Ian Allan a chance that resulted in ,the formation of his transport publishing house, rival to the publishers of the present volume. Appointed a trainee in the department in 1939 and 'frozen' in railway work during the war, Ian saw a need for a book of Southern locomotives, the first of his famous ABC series. 2,000 copies were printed when it became clear that 'Mr Bulleid doesn't like it and it musn't be published'.

What to do? Ian sent a copy to R. Holland Martin, the chairman, and that did the trick. He congratulated Ian on his enterprise and described it as an 'asset to the SR'. Bulleid called him a 'crafty b.......' but Ian was on his way to a rapid sale.

We asked him what the Southern was like to work for. 'It was an exciting place, plenty of drama in the war of course, and absolutely no doubt it was the best run and best organised of the four railways.'

Thomas, David St. John and Whitehouse, Patrick. SR 150: a century and a half of the Southern Railway, David & Charles, 1988.

Kestrel Railway Books
Output includes an important album of photographs of LSWR locomotives and book by Ernie Shepherd on Bulleid's experimental turf (peat) burning locomotive

Lightmoor Press

Middleton Press

Oakwood Press

Oxford University Press

Pendragon Publishing

Wild Swan
Wild Swan, 1-3 Hagbourne Road, DIDCOT, OX11 8DP (when postal service available: appears to be rooted in the pre-electronic era).
British Railway Journal
Great Western Railway Journal

On completing this 40th issue of the BRJ we couldn't resist the temptation to look up the editorial of the first issue in 1983 in which we set out our plans for the magazine. We hadn't referred to this for a number of years, so it was interesting to read that we did 'not intend to duplicate or conflict with any existing journals, but instead concentrate on the more neglected areas' and that we would 'be including a wide variety of articles of historical interest, ranging from accounts of various lines throughout the country to features on lineside equipment, rolling stock, reminiscences, photos, drawings, track plans, etc.' We also identified a need to cover the more serious aspects of railway modelling which we featured in a modest way when we started.

Launching the specialist and retrospective BRJ was a brave move for such a small concern as Wild Swan Publications which was still strictly a hobby at the time, confined to a spare time activity. We had no way of knowing how many people might share our desire for a more traditional journal on the lines of the old railway periodicals. The magazines of the day reflected the modernised systems and preserved railways of the 1980s which was fair enough, but as the steam railway and all that meant receded into the distance, the need for a historical journal seemed frustratingly apparent.

With hindsight it all seems straightforward but the financial risk was pretty worrying at the time when there were no similar magazines to prove the market.

A great deal has happened since then, including the establishment of the BRJ's sister magazine, the revolutionary Model Railway Journal for serious modellers and more recently, of course, the Great Western Railway Journal, all because of that first BRJ. For that matter, since the establishment of BRJ, four other magazines that we can think of, devoted to the steam era, have been started and can now be seen on the newsstands.

In that first editorial we also said that as the BRJ was not a topical magazine 'this avoids the need for a strict publication date' and asked you to 'bear with us and hope you will find each issue worth waiting for'. We think we've kept reasonably close to our original aims regarding the content and direction of BRJ but we had no intention of letting the publication schedule slip so frequently! Thank you for your loyalty and patience; we will continue to do our best.

Paul Karau and Gerry Beale

The above Editorial appeared in BRJ Number 40. The trouble with BRJ is that it remained/remains hidden from view except to those really in the know. It is/was only available from an extremely limited number of outlets, notably Motor Books and the Ian Allan bookshops, or on subscription (which is well worth taking out).. It has since the thrown in the sponge and threatens to publish a number of "Special Issues" which being neither books nor journals will remain completely unknown except to those who attend specialist outlets. It is still hoped to produce a complete "index" to all the issues, but this will be dependent upon either acquiring further second-hand issues at a reasonable cost, or through borrowing copies from a generous collector.

Updated: 2011-07-08