|Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical
This year lacked cntinuous 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.
There is no doubt that the technical difficulties that steam road transport had to overcome were as difficult and in some instances greater than railways. The engineers and manufacturers were aware of these problems and worked hard to resolve them. It was a complex mix of social, economic and technical factors that conspired to defeat steam carriages. It would be too simplistic to identify any one factor as predominant. Macneill's approach was to improve the existing infrastructure and create the right circumstances to promote such schemes. This approach together with the need to improve the technology of the steam engines used in such vehicles was a major challenge and one that required time and capital to address. However, these two commodities were in short supply. As Nicholson points out, by 1836 the railway was a 'hungrier and lustier' child than the steam carriage, demanding all the capital investment available. Neither the time nor finance was available for steam carriages to address these inadequacies. Despite the commitment of Macneill and other engineers they were unable to resist the inexorable progress of the railway. Macneill had to turn his attention elsewhere and ultimately applied himself to the design and construction of railways which was to make his name.
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
Michael. Messenger. Boatmen on the Liskeard & Looe Union Canal. 142-3.
Joseph Boughey. 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.
Robin Welton . 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.
Graham. Wild, Pneumatic despatch.
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. See also letter from Miles Macnair
Peter Brown, The Plas
Kynaston Canal. 165-71.
See also letter from Peter Brown in Number 210
Peter Kay. The two
lives of Arthur Stride. 172-6.
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'.