Review of British Transport Treasures
Darlington Locomotive Works, British Railways (N.E. Region) c1953.
Life in a Railway Factory by Alfred Williams, Duckworth, £3.25
Swindon Locomotive Works, British Railways (Western Region) 1956.
The History of the First Public Railway, (Stockton & Darlington). Edited by M. Heavisides, £3.05
LMS standard 4-4-0, 3 cylinder compound engine.
Very useful site for source documents especially official accident reports
Magazine back issues
online service for single issues
Robert Humm of Stamford:
excellent secondhand specialist
Mike Field's index to Southern Railway articles
Latest update: 30 August 2016 |
Locomotive class index
A1X to Z1, also 0F to 9F and 68XX
Shannon and St Martin, so far
Corporate name index
Includes names like Sharp Stewart
Not found? Improvements?:
Frank Jones's diaries (born 12 May 1901)
Greaves index of private owner wagons
Picture in May Backtrack:
Who was the artist?
of this joint LMS & LNER brochure
Smith 4cc compound: fresh insight from Jim Armstrong
|Journals (magazines) indexed|
Latest Backtrack:September 2016
Royal Greyhound & 1912 Coal Strike
Bob Farmer's Index
Last Railway Archive (No. 50)
Three cylinder Hick locomotive
Latest Archive (No. 90)
Sentinel locos at Tottenham
Latest Great Western Railway J.
Locomotive Magazine project
Institution of Locomotive Engineers papers
North British Railway Study Group Journal
North British Railway Study Group Newsletter
Railways South East
British Railways J.
Transport "connexions" in and to Norfolk?
Links to other websites
National Railway Museum
Railway Preservation Society of Ireland
Transport Ticket Society
Sean O'Brien's Train Songs published Faber: acquired Holt Book Shop in Easter Week
Sean O'Brien's view from the train:
we travel through time as well as space on a train
Christopher Howse writing in The Tablet took issue with a letter writer in The Sunday Times who objected to Islamic
Relief being allowed to brand buses with the slogan 'Subhan Allah' ('Glory be to God'): even in a society
as secular as Enver Hoxha's Albania, it would be hard to stop
buses glorifying God. Perhaps they do not glorify God as much as trains do,
steam trains in particular, but Gerard Manley Hopkins would certainly have
added buses to his brief catalogue of kingfishers, dragonflies and stones
as examples of things "Crying What I do is me: for that I came:' It's always
the way, you wait for something to glorify God and then three turn up at
LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS' LIVES
Sir Nigel Gresley
— P2, V2 etc Pacifics
Sir Williiam Stanier FRS
— Duchess, Class 5, 8F...
—Lord Nelson, Schools, etc
—Merchant Navy, Leader, etcs
better Bowen Cooke page
KEY LOCOMOTIVE LITERATI
Glancey's Giants of steam
Chronology of locomotive history
Reed's 150 years
British locomotive builders
Libraries and their demise in Norfolk
John Marshall Biographical Dictionary
BDCE (Chrimes & others)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Samuel Waite Johnson;
Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis
Hugh Le Fleming: artist
John Knowles: Steam locomotive resistance
Adrian Tester & the 4F & more
Donations & comments very gratefully received
P.C. Dewhurst (PCD)
Beeching, Marples and Serpell
and Harold Wilson (the real villain?)
Locomotive Performance & Efficiency Bulletins (BTC)
Tuplin: eccentric index entries
Problems with website please contact:
Webmaster: kevinjones35 at btconnect dot com who unlike Amazon, British Telecom, etc he responds to his e-mails
Other images including Bloomer
Kevin Jones (KPJ)
Railway enthusiasts: are they an endangered species?
Biographies: British locomotive designers
Sir Nigel Gresley
George & Robert Stephenson
|More information please!|
Sir David Salomon: electrical genius
Six Bells Junction [rail tours]
Carscapes: very good book: further info
|Train times (UK)
Cheap train tickets
Alternative service at Seat 61
| SAGE: the poisonous Pergamon of the online age
See Cornwall Railway Society
AVAILABLE LAST MONTH FROM BRITISH TRANSPORT TREASURES
Darlington Locomotive Works, British Railways (N.E. Region) c1953.
When first nationalized, the railways followed the pattern of having the various locomotive, carriage and wagon works under the control of the appropriate Regional Chief Mechanical Engineer, and the Regional Public Relations Office arranged regular guided tours for visitors, sometimes on a designated afternoon each week, sometimes only for parties by special arrangement. In 1954 during the modernisation of British Railways the works was enlarged, but in 1962 the BR Workshops Division was formed taking over responsibility for visits but rationalisation took place and the works was run down, closing in 1966.
The part of the site adjacent to North Road is now a supermarket but the huge clock overhanging the pavement, and visible from a considerable distance in both directions, has been restored although the hordes of workmen whom it once hurried to their toil have long vanished.
Life in a Railway Factory by Alfred Williams, Duckworth, First Edition, 1915. Book, blue cloth boards 7.5”x 5.0”. pp 316. No Illus.
ONE OF THE TRUE CLASICS OF RAILWAY LITERATURE
Alfred Owen Williams (February 7, 1877 – April 10, 1930) was a poet, author and a collector of folk song lyrics who was born and lived most of his life at South Marston, near Swindon. He was almost entirely self-taught, producing his most famous work, Life in a Railway Factory (1915), in his spare time after completing a grueling day’s work in the Great Western Railway works in Swindon. He was nicknamed “The Hammer Man Poet”. He may have had little formal education but he was a keen observer. And my word he could write! See pp 187-205 – a brilliant piece of reportage of the men’s conversation and shouts, interspersed with machine noises, as a red hot billet is beaten into shape. His political and social views are somewhat confused; at times he seems anxious to embrace the kind of Utopian Socialism preached by William Morris, where all would weave their own cloth, make their own furniture and hand print their own wallpaper from woodblocks. This, overlooking the fact that if the entire population took that course, no one would have time to do anything else. He is also less than fair to the Great Western Railway, one of the better employers of the period which had numerous schemes directed towards the welfare of staff
Life in a Railway Factory provides a fascinating glimpse behind the glittering façade of polished brass domes and copper capped chimneys of the Dean/Churchward era.
You may find it useful to read this book in conjunction with:-
Swindon Locomotive Works, British Railways (Western Region) 1956. Booklet card covers 8.25”x 5.5”. pp 36. Double page spread plan of works, 55 B W half tone photographs in and around the works and of locomotives.
It used to be possible to present oneself, without prior arrangement at the main entrance of Swindon Locomotive Works on a Wednesday afternoon, and be given a tour of the factory. This facility dated I believe from Great Western days, and was very different from other locomotive works where visits could only be arranged some time in advance, on certain designated days, for parties of a minimum/maximum number of people. I do not recall this booklet being available at the time of my visit – December 1961 – possibly it was out of print, or reserved for VIP visitors. Certainly we (there were about five or six of us, all turned up “on spec”) were each given something, including a plan of the tour, but this was of such an ephemeral nature that it has not survived in my papers.
Other than anniversaries or other special events I do not think that anything of similar quality was produced for other British Railways Works and this was almost certainly an agreeable hangover from the Great Western. The usual ration for works visits was a rather skimpy pamphlet. “Life In a Railway Factory” is a “must read” for its vivid descriptions of various shops and their activities during the Dean/Churchward era.
£3.05 The History of the First Public Railway, (Stockton & Darlington). Edited by M. Heavisides, Self Published 1912.Booklet, thin card covers, 7.5”x 5” pp.96 24 illustrations.
The author himself acknowledges that his title is not strictly accurate. The Surrey Iron Railway, horse haulage goods only, obtained an Act of Parliament in 1801, the Oystermouth Tramway (later called the Swansea and Mumbles Railway) for horse haulage of goods and passengers did so in 1804. Primitive steam locomotives were lumbering about hauling coals on various lengths of private railway. His argument is that the “Railway Age” began when a public railway first used steam locomotives – with the opening of the Stockton and Darlington. However apart from the special train on 27 September 1825, passenger traffic was exclusively horse drawn for many years to come. It was only with the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1830, with steam hauled passenger trains that the “Railway Age” can be said to have begun.
Michael Heavisides was of the second or third generation of a Stockton-on-Tees family of printers, bookbinders and stationers. He was clearly a book lover not only on the evidence of this little gem, beautifully designed and printed by his family firm, but he had a personal library with a printed catalogue of volumes which he was prepared to lend. He was also the author of “Rambles In Cleveland” an early manifestation of the hiking craze which would seize the nation a decade later. Few railways have been subjected to the publication of so many books and pamphlets as the S&D. The 50th anniversary, the 75th anniversary, the George Stephenson centenary and the 100th anniversary all produced a slew of material some of it of dubious quality. Every author of the “pot boiling” type seemed to jump on the bandwagon and the situation was often made worse by local jealousies with Shildon, Darlngton and Stockton all wanting souvenir publication focusing on the role of their own communities.
Because it was not rushed to meet an anniversary, this is a more thoughtful work. Heaviside’s is a much better publication than most and duly acknowledges the sources he has gathered material from.
London Midland & Scottish Railway, Standard 4-4-0, 3 Cylinder Compound Engine. Virtue & Company Ltd. n.d. but probably 1925, Wembley Empire ExhibitonFolded colour poster, in card covers 9.25”x 6”. Opens up to 22”x 34”. (Picture area app. 17”x 34”).
This is a superb color cut away elevation plan and cross sections of an LMS COMPOUND 4-4-0 locomotive. It has been scanned to a very high resolution. If you download to a memory stick and take it to a digital print shop they will be able to produce a full size copy.
Review of British Transport Treasures
Dad’s briefcase formed my introduction to railway literature. The two most regular items were the orange-covered and rather dull Railway Gazette and the slightly less dull Modern Transport. Both contained occasional items of interest. Hidden in odd cases of the case there might be more exciting items like the publicity material prepared for the LNER streamlined trains and one especially memorable item from the LMS a frontal view of a streamlined Pacific with doors which opened to reveal the smokebox, or was it text? It was the opening doors which impressed.
Remarkably some of these items still form part of a chaotic personal collection: these include all of George Dow’s histories, On Either Side and the Nock booklets to “celebrate” Thompson’s standard classes. On Either Side contains a remarkable map of the LNER’s main lines to Scotland, Manchester and East Anglia: the last terminating in Yarmouth with Norwich being served by a network of branch lines.
On Either Side has recently been reprinted, but many of these items are now available to download from the British Transport Treasures website for modest cost. They range from single page publicity items to quite substantial books: and prices range from about 50 pence to £5. The latter include most of Dow’s histories published by the LNER: these must have been a difficult task to scan as extensive use was made of flimsy folded pages for diagrams and tabulations. A few quite substantial books with hard covers are also available notably Bird’s Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway, Chapman’s Twixt rail and sea (a Great Western publication) and Burtt’s classic The Locomotives of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway of 1903.
Limited sampling is provided; and there are the usual basket and check-out facilities. A percentage of the takings is given to Help for Heroes. It appears to be an excellent method of building up a collection of railway literature without the problems of physical storage. The collection is always growing; and its creator, Stuart Rankine, a retired railway officer, is a frequent contributor of e-mails, most recently about bloomers committed by Hamilton Ellis on his carriage panel painting of a Bloomer.
He has now scanned Pettigrew's Manual of locomotive engineering. 3rd edition. London: Griffin. 1909.
356pp with many illustrations and it deserves to be added to many collections.
The Transport Ticket Society.
The Transport Ticket Society marks its creation 50 years ago by offering 2014 membership at a discounted rate of £12.50 (UK), £22.50 (overseas), representing a cut of about 50% on its previous rates. The Society, formed in 1964 through the amalgamation of two similar societies, has a long history of researching and studying tickets and fare collection systems. Today the development of electronic forms of ticket issue for many forms of transport presents different challenges and opportunities to operators and enthusiasts alike. The Society provides members with an extensively illustrated, monthly Journal, which includes wide-ranging news of ticket matters for all modes of transport in the UK and abroad, along with historical articles relating to tickets and issuing systems from times past. Monthly distributions of road, rail and other tickets are offered to members and twice-yearly postal auctions of historic tickets are held. Meetings take place regularly in Manchester and Brighton together with other venues from time to time. For further information and an application form, visit the Society's website www.transport-ticket.org.uk or contact the Membership Secretary at 6 Breckbank, Forest Town, Mansfield NG19 OPZ (email@example.com).
Preserved railways/Heritage railways
Bo'ness & Kinneall Railway
Didcot Railway Centre
Festiniog & Welsh Highland Railways
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
Middleton Railway Trust
Nene Valley Railway
North Norfolk Railway
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Scottish Railway Preservation
Scottish Tramway & Transport
Severn Valley Raiway
More informative site abut
West Somerset Railway
Breakdown Crane Association
Caledonian Railway Association
Glasgow & South Western Railway
Highland Railway Society
North British Railway Study
Group checked 30 January 2015: still excellent site
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Great Eastern Railway Society
Historical Model Railway Society (HMRS)
Contains many further references to sources of
information: checked 1 February 2015.
Industrial Railway Society
Well conceived site: in bibliographical terms this is a paradigm for
what a properly organized historical organization should do as all its
out-of-print journal material is available online together with sufficient
details to order in-print material.
Irish Railway Preservation Society
Kidderminster Railway Museum
LMS Society: checked 30 January 2015: still excellent site
The Locomotive Club of Great Britain is
self-evident in its aims
London & North Western Railway
London & South Western Railway
Midland Railway Association
Midland Railway Centre [Buutterley] website
North Eastern Railway
Contains a considerable amount of bibliographical information, which
may be accessed in EXCEL or HTML.
Railway & Canal Historical
Society: DOES NOT RECIPROCATE LINK
Railway Correspondence & Travel Society
(RCTS) is one of the main enthusiast bodies in Great Britain
Signalling Record Society
Society is the oldest (established 1909) enthusiast
Vintage Carriages Trust
Steam railways/locomotive projects
A1 Steam Locomotive
Advanced Steam Traction Group
Clan Line preservation group
Cock o' the North recreation group
Cornwall Railway Society
Old permanent way group