This year lacked cntinuous pagination
No 210 March 2011
Edmonds, Tim. Some observations on transport history
book publishing: a view from the first seven years of the R&CHS Book
Survey of the Society's Book Awards which are funded by the David St John Thomas Charitable Trust. There vhas tended to be a shortage of titles on canals and on other non-railway transport subjects. Table 1 lists all the titles that had received awards between 2004 and 2010 and the relationship between them and reviews in the Journal. There has been a downward trend in the number of books submitted for review tabulated in Table 2. Middleton Press, Oakwood Press and Ian Allan (and its subsidiaries) are the dominant commercial publishers. Societies represent 13% the source of publications submitted for review; self-publishing contributed 5%, but only 2% came from academic presses. Picture books have not increased in number. Edmonds considers that there is likely to remain a significant market for books: KPJ would question this with the increasing dominance of the Kindle and the decline in retail outlets.
Cox, John. The Exeter Great Western Railway: failed broad gauge route
to the South West. 7-10.
Proposed broad gauge line from Yeovil to Exeter through Crewkerne, Axminster and Honiton: project would have involved several tunnels but was intended for high speeds. Parliament rejected the proposed railway in 1846.
Shill, Ray. Burton on Trent Canal and river trade. 11-22.
Examines the various landed interests who sought to gain by encouraging, or otherwise, navigation upon the River Trent; also records those who particpated in the barge traffic and the commodities carried both in association with brewing at Burton and as far as Willington.
Shackleton, Frank. A terrible accident. 23-33.
At Welshampton, Shropshire, on 11 June 1897 involving an excursion from Royton on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway to Barmouth via the Cambrian Railways. The accident, a derailment, happened on the return journey at about 22.00 and led to eleven deaths and 27 people were injured. The excursion had been organised by the Royton United Sunday Schools and although those killed were mainly young they were not children as stated in some accounts of the accident given by Baughan and Christiansen and Miller and this is traced to C.P. Gasquoine's The story of the Cambrian (1922 note corrected title Ottley 5670). The train had been hauled by Cambrian Railways 0-6-0 locomotives Nos. 75 and 77 and the leading vehicle of the train was an old four-wheel brake van owned by the L&YR. The Inspecting Officer Colonel Yorke blamed poor track and speed excessive to that track nwhilst exonerating the footplate crews. George Owen, the Cambrian engineer, William Ashton, the locomotive superintendent and George Hughes at that time in charge of LYR rolling stock were all involved in the inquiry. There are illustrations of the memorials erected at Royton and at Welshampton. See also letters from Peter Johnson (Issue 211 p. 55), R. Maund (211 p. 57), and responses to them from Frank Shackleton (Issue 211 p. 58) and again reply from author in 212 page 42..
Watts-Russell, Penny. Travelling steam: Pascoe Grenfell
MP and the London Northern Railroad. 34-46.
The railway aimed to connect London with the Cromford & High Peak Railway and was originally envisaged as taking a direct route via Northampton, but this was altered to a route up the Lea Valley to Cambridge, to Peterborough. Oakham, Loughborough, where it branched to Nottingham and Derby and thence to Cromford. Pascoe Grenfell was its promoter and Chairman and the Board was packed with the aristocracy. The company emerged in 1825 and remained active on paper until 1830 when it re-emerged as the London Northern Railway, but the author suggests that aome of the remaining finance may have become invested in the Midland Counties Railway. It was promoted by Pascoe Grenfell and Thomas Richardson was also involved: the article includes portraits of both. The article notes that several well-known engineers, notably the Stephensons, Chapman and Locke, were involved in this project.
Scowcroft, Philip. Aspects of the LNER Music Society. 47-9..
Describes both local events in Doncaster where prior to WW2 there was both an amateur choir and orchestra running under Company auspices and major events in London and in Edinburgh. The former wwas a concert in the Queen's Hall on 26 June 1925 to celebrate the Stockton & Darlington Railway Centenary and was organised for delegates to the International Railway Congress. The Edinburgh event took place on 10 April 1926 at the Usher Hall and involved a special train which left Liverpool Street No. 10 Platform at 07.02, called at Cambridge and Ely to pick up parties from Norwich (depart 06.33) and Colchester (depart 05.45); then advanced via Peterborough North, Doncaster and York and arrived in Edinburgh at 17.19 just in time for a rehearsal at 17.45 and the concert at 19.30. Breakfast, lunch and tea were served en route. Sleeping accommodation was provided in trains in Waverley station: the musicians were then treated to a view the Forth Bridge whilst breakfast was eaten. On return the special left Waverley at 10.35 and reached Liverpool Street at 20.30 with meals provided.
The world's first railway system. Reg Davies.
Comment on Gordon Biddle's caustic comments on Mark Casson's counterfactual approach to the British railway "network"
The world's first railway
system. John Poulter.
Comment on Gordon Biddle's caustic comments on Mark Casson's counterfactual approach to the British railway "network"
Encounters with waterways history:
Willan, Hadfield and Rolt. Jean Lindsay. 51.
Note on Hadfield's aversion to economic history annual meeting was due to its concentration on gossip and pulling strings for academic appointments.
Pneumatic dispatch. Miles
Macnair. (RCHS Journal, November 2010,160-164)
As a postscript reference to this interesting article, readers may like reminding that Thomas Webster Rammell 's pneumatic patents of 1856-83 had been anticipated by that other prolific patentee, William Henry James in his patent 9473 of 1842. This was lauded by the Mechanics Magazine for offering the potential of very high speed mail transit over inter-city distances. (RCHS Journal, November 2007,682-3)
Ward's tramroad. Peter Brown.
Encounters with Waterways History:
Willan, Hadfield and Rolt. Jean Lindsay (RCHS Journal, November
2010, 146). 51
Joseph Boughey's article was interesting and timely. Willan, Hadfield and Rolt deserve to be remembered for their achievements and contribution to the development of the study of transport history. I should like to make one small point, which illustrates perhaps Hadfield's character. Boughey states that the economic history annual meeting daunted Hadfield because of its 'academic tone', but the version I had from him was that the reason why he never attended again was that its main purpose was an opportunity for gossip, and the pulling of strings for any academic post that was vacant. He felt an outsider, and that he had not been made to feel welcome. No doubt this was unintentional, but Hadfie1d retained a strong memory of this unpleasant meeting.
Ward's tram road. Peter Brown (RCHS
Journal; November 2010, 168)
In my article about the P1as Kynaston Canal I speculated that in about 1830 T E Ward built a tramroad about 1,000 yards long from the end of the Plas Kynaston Canal to his Plas Kynaston Colliery. I based this assumption on the map of 1829 showing what appeared to be his proposal for a canal the full way to the colliery, and the Ordnance Survey map of 1873 which showed the trarnroad.
However, there is no hint of the railway on the on the statutory deposit maps for railway proposals in 1845 and 1846.1 Assuming these maps are accurate, and they certainly seem to be in other respects, there are two obvious possibilities. Ward could have built the trarnroad but it had been abandoned by 1845; ifit had not become used as a footpath, it may not have been considered worth noting by the various surveyors. Then for some reason it was reinstated in later years. Alternatively, it was not made until after 1845. In 1845 the Shrewsbury-Chester railway was being planned, its route virtually passing through the site of Ward's Plas Kynaston Colliery. Ward died in 1854 but the colliery continued for several years. A new Plas Kynaston colliery was sunk to the east of the GWR line, and was active from 1865 until 1897.2 For the colliery owners to build an old- fashioned horse-drawn tramroad to a canal after the railway had opened seems illogical, yet in 1873 this trarnroad certainly existed and was owned by the colliery company.'
A possible explanation for the tram road being built or reopened in the late 1860s was Robert Graesser's chemical works. This was built in 1867 alongside the Plas Kynaston Canal with the intention of producing shale oil from colliery waste. The old Plas Kynaston Colliery had been one of the largest collieries in the area, so would have been an appropriate source of the raw material. Indeed, the railway does not terminate at the end of the canal but crosses it and goes to the chemical works. After a few years Graesser found this process uneconomic, and switched to making phenols from tars and wastes from gas works.'
I. Birkenhead, Chester, Mold, Ruabon & Vale of Llangollen Railway, deposited plan, 1845: Denbighshire Record Office, Ruthin (DRO), QSD/DR/36; Shrewsbury & Chester Railway, deposited plan, 1846: DRO, QSD/DR/43
2. G G Lerry, The Collieries of Denbighshire, 2nd edition, 1968, 132
3. Birkenhead, North Wales & Stafford Railway, deposited plan and reference book, 1871: DRO, QSD/DR/l91
4. R Graesser Ltd 1867-1967: DRO, NTD/98; Ifor Edwards, 'History of Monsanto Chemical Works', DHST, vol.16 (196), 128-48
The Great Western Railway in the First World War. Sandra Gittins.
History Press. 256pp. Reviewed by Philip Scowcroft.
"A very full, detailed survey of the subject". Many of the illustrations came from the GWR Magazine.
The Railway Operating Division on the Western Front:
the Royal Engineers in France and Belgium 1915-1919. William Aves.
Shaun Tyas. 208pp. Reviewed by Grahame Boyes. [52-3]
This book fills an important gap by concentrating on the ROD's 'broad' (i.e. standard) gauge operations, rather than the tactical narrow-gauge lines that have received most attention. Although the first Railway Company of Royal Engineers landed in France within days of the onset of war, its role was to repair the railway infrastructure; operation of the railways was still the responsibility of the national railways. The ROD, employing largely volunteer professional railwaymen from Britain and the empire, was not formed until 1915, when it was agreed that the British army should take over railway operations supporting the British Expeditionary 52 Force. Part 1 of the book (100 pages) describes the strategic roles of the standard gauge railways, including the new lines and operational facilities that had to be built to serve the 120-mile British front and the variety of traffics and train that they handled. These included trains of troops and their horses from and to the ports; ambulance trains and 'sick horse specials'; supply trains of food and equipment; considerable movements of materials for building and repairing railways and roads and, under cover of darkness, the deployment of rail-mounted heavy guns and tanks. Chapters on the ROD's 50 locomotive depots and workshops introduce Part 2, the 80 pages of which are devoted to the histories of the 1534 ROD engines that served on this front.
To avoid congestion in marshalling yards, the French practice of running fixed-formation supply trains was adopted, but the overall scale ofthe railway operations and how they were organised is now difficult to imagine. The focus on locomotives will appeal to many, but others will wish for more information on the volumes of traffic and the intensity of train working. How was it all controlled day-to- day? Was there any form of timetabling? The book is attractively produced, with a very interesting selection of photos.
To Western Scottish Waters by rail and steamers to the Isles. Robert N. Forsyth. Amberley Publishing. 160pp. Reviewed by Rodmey Hartley.
The London, Tilbury and Southend Railway: a history of the company and line. Volume 3. 1912-1939: the Midland and LMS years. Peter Kay. 88pp. Reviewed by Tony Kirby.
An encyclopaedia of Britain's bridges. David McFetrich. Kettering:
Priory Ash Publishing, 2010. 352pp. Reviewed by Martin Barnes.
About 1650 bridges are included in this catalogue and about half of them are illustrated, mainly in colour.The author is a civil engineer and the prose is precise
The Chiltern Railways story. Hugh Jones. History Press. 2010.
192pp. Reviewed by Tim Edmonds. 
"book gives a valuable insight into recent railway history"
Monorails of the world. David Voice. Adam Gordon. 96pp. Reviewed
by Miles McNair. 
It is difficult to recommend this expensive publication to members, because the historical aspects of the development of monorail systems occupy a relatively small portion of the book. But there are several rare illustrations of early experiments although no mention of the pioneering maglev work of Emile Bachelet before World War I.
Trains, coal and turf: transport in Emergency Ireland. Peter
Rigney. Reviewed by John King. 
It is always a pleasure to review a book that makes good use of primary sources, covers new ground and is relevant to a wider audience. Such a rare book is Peter Rigney's masterly work about an Irish railway during the Second World War. The author's interest in the subject began after he examined the files of the General Manager of the Great Southern Railways of Ireland. The book could probably have been written from just the railway files but the author endeavoured to examine all relevant primary material in Ireland and Britain. The book is about the improvisation of the railway company during the war. It contains many fascinating insights into Ireland's neutrality and how it was openly and covertly subverted by many parties. Before the war, the railway was dependent on quality South Wales coal which the British reduced in retaliation for Ireland's denial of the use of its ports. The author explains how the railway improvised with varying degrees of success with other fuels. There was great hope that turf could be used successfully as locomotive fuel but, by 1942, it was realised that it had no future.
The British policy was always problematic and almost self-defeating. There was some pressure by civil servants for the quantity and quality of coal exports to be improved as the Great Southern was reliant on coal for moving cattle to the ports for export to Britain. At first any increase was rejected but civil servants, with the connivance of their minister, 'manipulated shipments within existing quotas.' The author gives several interesting examples of the close co-operation between the two countries. When coaches and wagons were destroyed during the Blitz on Belfast, the Irish railways helped by the loan of buses, albeit with their markings obliterated. It is difficult to criticise this book. The author could perhaps have brought out more of the character of Sean Lemass who was the Minister for Supplies and who had a hatred of the LMS Railway. But that is a small point when seen against a major work of quality that brings new information on an important period of Anglo-Irish history.
Engines of war: how wars were won and lost on the
railways. Christian Wolmar. Atlantic Books. 310pp. Reviewed by Philip
There are too few maps and the bibliography is short, but the book is eminently readable... It will surely becoame the standard work in its field in English.
Ratgoed a study in slate: the slate, the quarries, the tramway
and social life of a Merionethshire valley. Sara Eade. Author. 132pp.
Reviewed by Tim Edmonds. [56-7]
A "fascinating selection of illustrations, including recent colour photographs", but few direct references to sources and many captions inadequate.
The essential guide to Welsh heritage and scenic railways.
Mervyn Jones. Oakwood. 192pp. Reviewed by Graham Bird.
Lost stations on the Far North Line. Keith Fenwick, Neil T. Sinclair and Richard J. Ardern. Highland Railway Scociety. 60pp. Reviewed by David St John Thomas
John Moss of Otterspool (1782-1858). Graham Trust. Author. 253pp. Reviewed by Gordon Biddle. 58
Biographical material in review used to make brief entry herein (it is worth noting that Reed fails to incorporate sufficient information about Moss to create an entry and that the book under review provides a solid link between finance gained from slavery and railway promotion. Reviewer is critical of the book's construction which makes excessive use of footnotes and on the bibliography. Nevertheless, primary sourcees have clearly been used: mainly letters between Moss and Sir John Gladstone.
Blood on the tracks. David Brandon and Alan Brooke. History
Press. 192pp. Reviewed by Adrian Gray.
Crime on the railways: intended for the "general reader" Murder represents about 40% of the content. Fraud is largely limited to Hudson and Redpath. Very little on terrorism. Prize fighting is limited to one incident. Some errors were noted: Mangham not Margham: a criminal gang of the 1950s. Sometimes there is a lack of context. Sources not cited.
Doctor Griffiths' Tramroad and Canal. Robert Large.
Pontypridd Museum. 52pp. Reviewed by Gerald Leach. 59
Richard Griffiths (1756-1826), a medical practitioner, became involved in coal mining and built a 2¼ mile long tramroad and a 1 mile long canal in 1809 to link into the Glamorganshire Canal at Dynea. Notes failure to refer to The Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canal. Volume 2 by Stephen Rowson and Ian Wright.
The History of the Calderstones Hospital Railway
1907-1953. C.M. Cornwell. 136pp, Reviewed by John Howat. 60
The Lancashire Asylums Board built four large institutions in the Ribble valley in Lancashire: two had a railway connection to a nearby public line. Cornwell wrote authoritatively on the first of these, the Whittington Hospital Railway, and now turns to the Calderstones Hospital Railway. This linked to the Lancashire & Yorkshire line at Barrow sidings, Whalley. The construction and course of the line, its working, with particular emphasis on the unusual fireless locomotive of latter years, a fatal accident and the eventual decline are covered, but this book embraces much more than the the railway. The selection of an ideal site, the construction of the hospital and its use as both an asylum and as a military hospital during WW1 are recounted and there is a chapter on ambulance trains. The profuse illustrations, with extended captions, show not only the railway both in working and derelict condition, but also the vast hospital during its heyday, military occupation and subsequent demolition. Written in a slightly whimsical style and easily read, it is creditable companion to the earlier work. Highly recommended.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel through time. John Christopher. Amberley
Publishing, 2010, 96pp. Reviewed by Martin Barnes.
Brunel continues to inspire new books and this is a good one. It comprises then and now pictures with comprehensive captions. The 'then' pictures are old photographs, lithographs, etc., mainly from the earliest times but some from in between. The 'now' pictures are high quality colour photographs mainly by the author. Starting with the Thames Tunnel, there are then sections on Railways, Bridges and Steamships. Almost all the railway pictures are on the London to Cornwall main line via Bristol. Predictably, J C Boume features in the 'then' pictures but there are also some little known images. Pictures are not attributed and there is no index or bibliography. The 'now' pictures are the better feature of this book. They include some unexpected subjects such as the whistle of the Great Britain, the Bristol & Exeter offices in Bristol, an unusual view of Hanwell viaduct and good modem views of Swindon 'railway village'.
Swanage: 125 years of railways. B.L. Jackson Oakwood Press,
2010, 288pp, Reviewed by Graham Bird.
Includes restoration period and brief notes on the former narrow gauge railways which served the clay industry: "competent and readable history": index criticised.
No. 211 (July 2011)
Barnes, Martin. Joseph Locke (1805-1860): pioneer
engineering project manager. 2-10.
2010 Clinker Lecture presented on 30 October 2010 at the Birmingham & Midland Institution. Barnes concluded his lecture by emphasising Locke's achievements: Stripped of hyperbole. it is quite simple but in two parts:
Firstly, he produced more successful railways in the UK and beyond than his more famous contemporaries. They were successful because he had worked out how to design and build them so that they would be successful for their users and, hence, also for their promoters.
Secondly, he deduced for himself and applied without precedent, over a hundred and fifty years ago, those fundamental principles and practices of good project management which have only been recognised again in our own time. In particular he worked out the rules by which projects could meet all three of the classic competing objectives. They should be finished within the budget, on time and in such a way that, in use, they performed as expected.
In a recent book, Will Howie and Mike Chrimes wrote:
'Of the triumvirate, BruneI was flamboyant and daring, and these characteristics led him to dazzling successes and striking failures; Robert Stephenson was safe and steady, but he never shrank from the grandiose when it called to him; Locke was precise and workmanlike and, above all, he was careful with other people's money. If all these characteristics are necessary to some degree in an engineer, it was mainly Locke's example that the profession later followed.'
In the crypt of St Paul's cathedral is a small tablet commemorating
the life of Sir Christopher Wren. On it is inscribed the injunction: 'Si
monumentum requiris, circumspice' 'If you seek his monument, look around
you'. In Locke's day, nearly all the businesses whose shares were quoted
on the stock exchange were railway companies. Manufacturing businesses were
still all privately owned. Joseph Locke's obituary in The Times ended
thus: 'If you seek his monument, look in the share lists'. Today, 150 years
later, if you seek his monument, all you have to do is look out of the window
on your journeys on the railways which he conceived, designed, built and
brought into use.
These four things are what modern project managers have to do. Very few do them as well as Joseph Locke did 150 years ago. Also includes an excellent biography of Locke.
Messenger, Michael. The North Cornwall Coach Company Ltd. 11-15.
Established in Camelford in 1875 to connect Wadebridge with the London & South Western Railway at Launceston.
Pearson, David. The Aberdeenshire Canal up to 1810. 16-28.
Dow, Andrew. British Transport
Journal published three times per annum by the British Transport Commission between April 1950 and January 1964 and intended for senior management throughout the nationalised transport industry. It was instigated by John Benstead and implemented by Jock Brebner, the public relations and publicity officer of the BTC. Although the actual editor was not named Dow considers that it may have been Christian Barman, The total number of essays published was 268 and a sample of 24 is listed. The whole has been indexed by Andrew Dow. Note is taken of libraries where full sets are available. See also letter from Robert Humm in Issue 212 page 44:
Mystery house. Adrian Gray. 31.
Photograph from the Strand Magazine of a railway carriage built into the upper storey of a country cottage: see letter from Mike Day in Issue 212 page 42 which suggests building, which is extant is near Newbury.
Duncan, John. North British and Caledonian Railway rivalry in
"almost suicidal rivalry between the NBR and the CR during the 1850s and 1860s"
Reynolds, Paul. Railway investment in Manchester
in the 1820s. 38-48.
See also letter from David Hodgkins in Issue 212 p. 43 who considers that Cromford & High Peak Railway was a contributory factor.
Clarke, Neil. The Eytons and the Shrewsbury Canal: three generations of involvement. 48-53.
Peter Smedley-Stevenson, 1932-2011. 54
Obituary: author of works on The Midland Counties Railway (1989) and The Nutbrook Canal, Derbyshire (1971): early member of the Society and contributed to much research on transport in the East Midlands.
A terrible accident. Peter Johnson. 55-7.
See Issue 210 page 23: both this and the following letter throw considerable light on the management of the Cambrian Railways under the Denniss and Yorke's response to the poor permanent way
A terrible accident. R. Maund. 57-8.
See Issue 210 page 23:
A terrible accident. Frank Shackleton. 58.
See Issue 210 page 23:
Reviews. Andrew Overton.
Aspects of the LNER Musical Society. John Watling.
Lambert's Railway Miscellany Anthony Lambert. Ebury Press. 2010. 240pp. Reviewed by Martin Barnes
This is a book which everybody with an interest in railway history will enjoy. It comprises about 300 separate texts each describing some interesting or surprising characteristic or event related to the history of railways. Most are from the British Isles, some from further afield. They are grouped into ten chapters each covering a particular topic. Most readers will be familiar with some ofthe things described but will not have come across the majority of them. It is impossible to describe how intriguing the texts are and to quote some of them in this review would be invidious. So, instead, here are three questions to which the answers are in the book. Why were the nameplates of 6122 Royal Ulster Rifleman removed for a particular journey in 1938? Where on the ECML were two young schoolgirls seen to be the footplate crew in charge of an A4 on a passing passenger train? Which chairman of the Labour Party had, in his youth, tried to blow up the gents' lavatory at Oxted station? These, and many like them, are things you really need to know. But seriously, this is the most intriguing railway history book for a very long time. It seems to be accurate and there is a bibliography and an index.
Thomas Telford's Scotland. Chris Morris. Tanners Yard Press.
2009. 80pp. Reviewed by Martin Barnes
This book is a sequel to On Tour with Thomas Telford by the same author, reviewed in the issue of this Journal of April 2005. It comprises recent pictures of the highest quality and artistry of Telford's works in Scotland. Captions are interesting and informative and there are maps locating each picture. There is a bibliography and an index which gives OS map sheet numbers and grid references.
The only railway or canal interest, of course, is the Caledonian Canal which gets sixteen pictures. However, no transport historian will be unimpressed by the pictures of the great man's elegant road and harbour works set in their Scottish landscapes. The picture of Craigellachie bridge confirms that it is no more than a curvy and castellated version of Galton Bridge on the Birmingham Canal in less interesting but more conventionally attractive surroundings.
George and Robert Stephenson a passion for
success. David Ross. History Press. 2010. 317pp. Reviewed by Peter
It is strange that so many more pages of print have been devoted in recent years to Isambard Brunel than to George and Robert Stephenson whose influence on the world at large was so much more important. Even L.T.C. Rolt in his three civil engineering biographies published in 1957-60 wrote about Brunel first, Telford next and then the Stephensons. Since then there have been Hunter Davies' George Stephenson: Father of Railways (1975), Michael Bailey's Robert Stephenson: the Eminent Engineer (2003) and Addyman and Howarth's Robert Stephenson: Railway Engineer (2005), which tend to emphasise the works rather than the lives of their subjects. David Ross's new book sets out explicitly to look at the Stephensons together and how they reacted to each other to create what Rolt called the railway revolution. Although the author inevitably devotes much attention to the progress of their mechanical and later their civil engineering, their relationships with other engineers and the people who promoted their works are dealt with at length. The book is divided into three parts, headed George, George and Robert, and Robert and George, as the wider impact of their careers changed over the years, but a common theme throughout is the overpowering competitiveness of both men the passion for success of the book's title. The contrast between their characters is explored George, self-assured and domineering and Robert, functioning best within a group of supportive friends. Perhaps more could have been made of Robert's development of the modern type of engineering consultancy, brought out admirably in Bailey's book. Their achievements are described clearly and set in the wider context of the world in which they lived, but this is no hagiography in the tradition of Samuel Smiles or even of Rolt. George's treatment of those who dared to stand up to him and his persistence in mismanaging affairs which he was not qualified to organise and Robert's morally dubious responses to the Dee Bridge disaster and the Suez Canal Commission are dealt with openly. Based on a wide range of sources, it is a balanced portrayal. Easy to read, this book supersedes Rolt and its new perspective makes it a valuable addition to Bailey and Addyman/Howarth. At £20 for a substantial, hardback book, it is also excellent value.
Dad had an engine shed. Anthony J. Robinson.
Oakwood Press. 2010. Reviewed by Allan Brackenbury 184pp, 
Accurately subtitled 'Some childhood railway reminiscences of a North Wales shedmaster's son', the bulk of the book concerns the time when his father was the well-respected shedmaster at Mold Junction near Chester from 1952 until its closure in 1966. The period roughly coincided with the author's schooldays. He is an engineer whose career has been outside the railway industry, thus he writes about railways knowledgeably yet objectively. The book gives a fine insight into the work and maintenance of steam locomotives and goods trains, with staff proud of their job, prepared to work in all weathers to keep trains running. There are several references to J M Dunn who was shedmaster at Bangor and a lifelong family friend. This book is entertaining reading. Laymen will find out about many practical operations at vital but unspectacular parts of the railway system.
The ironmasters' bags: the postal service in the South Wales Valleys,
c1760 to c1860. Paul Reynolds. 'print on demand' publication available
from Amazon. 275pp, Reviewed by Richard Coulthurst. 
In the middle ofthe 18th century the northern parts of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire were a remote, sparsely populated area which was transformed by the arrival of the iron industry. There was no public postal service but the iron company managers needed to communicate with their owners, agents, solicitors, suppliers and customers by letter and resorted to using a private bag service to link up with the official Post Office services that did exist in surrounding towns. Others could use the ironmaster's bags for a fee. Eventually, a public postal service was introduced using various means of transport with these being replaced by railway services, although some of the ironmasters were reluctant to give up their private service as they had found it a profitable side-line. The transfer of the mail to the railways did not always go smoothly and one chapter studies the uneasy relationship between the TaffVale Railway and the Post Office. This is a well researched and fully referenced book which draws on the Royal Mail archives and the letter files and letter books of the ironworks held by a number of record offices and libraries.
No. 212 (November 2011)
Early lectures on railway and canal history. Stephen Bragg
and Martin Bames. 2-3.
Stephen Bragg participated in a series of lectures presented by C.R. Clinker in Derby during 1954 under the auspices of the Workers' Education Association. These led to the formation of the Derby Railway History Research Group based in Derby Public Library and eventually to a branch of the Railway & Canal Historical Society and its early Midland Counties Railway. Continued contact with Clinker led to his collection being deposited in the Brunel University Transport Collection. Martin Barnes also encountered Clinker, but at Mason College in Birmingham in 1955. Other lecturers included Charles Hadfield and Alick Jenson (on the Black Country tramway network). W.A. Camwell was also an influence.
Shill, Ray.Trent Navigation Improvements in the 20th century. 4-13.
Based on paper presented to the seventh Waterways History Conference held at Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 9 April 2011. Aim of the work was to improve the navigation to Nottingham with new locks above and below Newark at Cromwell and a modern bridge at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Tucker, Joan. The Stroudwater Canal 1954: the end and the
Based on a paper presented to the seventh Waterways History Conference held at Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 9 April 2011. The Stroudwater Canal was one of the canals not nationalised in 1948 and had fallen into disrepair and the owning company sought an Act of Abandonment in 1954. This brought the Inland Waterways Association into action and although the Act was passed the Stroudwater Preservation Society was formed. The Parliamentary debate is outlined.
Constable, Mike. Canal boatwomen on the Oxford Canal 1944-45. 19.
Based on a paper presented to the seventh Waterways History Conference held at Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 9 April 2011. Female labour was used during WW2 under the direction of the Ministry of War Transport. Daphne March operated the Heather Bell on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and acted in an advisory capacity to assist in the movement of coal by the Grand Union Canal company.
Brown, David Henthom. Canal reservoirs and the effects of 20th century
Based on a paper presented to the seventh Waterways History Conference held at Birmingham Central Library Theatre on 9 April 2011. Legislation on reservoirs has tended to be driven by accidents, most of which did not relate to canals in any way. Thus the severe devastation caused by the collapse of the Bilberry Reservoir above Holmfirth in 1852 led to the Waterworks Clauses Act of 1863. The five deaths caused by overtopping of Skelmorlie Reservoir in Ayrshire on 18 April 1925 and collapse of Eigau dam at Dogarrog (see Archive 2001 (29), 30) influenced Reservoirs (Safety Provisions) Act of 1930. Specific canal reservoir failures considered include those related to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal; the Glen Clachaig Reservoir for the Crinan Canal in 1811 and again in 1859, the one on the Crumlin Arm of the Monmouthshire Canal on 14 July 1875 when nine were killed
Gray, Adrian. A review of transport and the Law of Deodand.
It seems remarkable that this medieval measure survived into the railway age and it was the cases where plaintiffs lost that illuminated its futile nature in th machine age. For instance when a boiler exploded and killed four men on the Bristol & Gloucester Railway it was claimed that there was nothing of value left to pay a deodand, but many successful (from the plaintiif's standpoint) cases are listed and relate to many early railways including the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway, the London & Birmingham Railway and tyhe Newcastle & Carlisle Railway. The Fatal Accidents Bill of 1846 largely superceded deodand.
Brown, Peter. A Maglev for Brighton? 34-6.
System developed, but not implemented, at the University of Sussex by Professor Bhalchandra Jayawant to replace the Volks Electric Railway in association with the then new Brighton Marina.
Scowcroft, Philip. Road Transport in Doncaster. 36
Coaching reached its zenith in 1815-35 when Doncaster could be reached from London in 16½ hours. This was due to better fed horses, better coach design and most ikportantly to road improvements. Railways were relatively late in arriving 1848.
A terrible disaster. Frank Shackleton.
See No. 210 page 23 for original contribution and No. 211 page 55 for letter from Peter Johnson: mainly argues that David Mawson, the L&YR guard's evidence that it was the tender of the second locomotive which initially derailed and the Cambrian Railways were aware of Col. Yorke's strictures.
Mystery house. Mike Day.
Photograph from the Strand Magazine of a railway carriage built into the upper storey of a country cottage: Allan Garner, Chairman of the Broad Gauge Society states building, which is extant is near Newbury and notes two other similar buildings, also extant: one in Gloucestershire and other near Wolverhampton..
Railway investment in Manchester in the
1820s. David Hodgkins. 43
Considers that the Cromford & High Peak Railway was a major factor as it would assist communication between the existing canals, that is link the Cromford Canal to the Peak Forest and Ashton Canals
Why do we drive on the left? Miles Macnair. 43
Carried whip in right hand
Why do we drive on the left? David McFetrich. 44
Gordon Home's Old London Bridge (1931) stated that during term of Sir Gerard Conyers as Lord Mayor of London in 1722 he sought to bring order to the traffic by ordering it to ttraverse the bridge on the left.
British Transport Review. Robert
Mainly on availability of publication in terms of individual issues.
'Merlin' Hazledine. Andrew Pattison. 44-5
An inhaled gold coin. Martin Barnes. 45
Medical sources for account of retrieval of gold half sovereign from I.K. Brunel's lung.
Reviews.  48
Sir Ernest Lemon: a biography. Terry Jenkins. Railway & Canal Historical Society. 2011. 272pp. Reviewed by John Quail. 
The GWR Handbook: The Great Western Railway
1923-1947. David Wragg. Haynes Publishing, 2010, 248pp. Reviewed
by Rodney Hartley. 
This book is a re-issue of the book first published in 2006 by Sutton Publishing. While basically, it may be termed as a 'coffee table' book, it does form a useful reference to the Great Western Railway, perhaps as a starting point for further study of the various details of the Company. Many of the items covered are quite brief, notably the constituent companies and later acquisitions, although the antecedents and neighbours together with Paddington Station are covered in some detail. Likewise, the chapter on Great Western shipping services covers only four pages, that on associated air services merits only five. There are two chapters covering the Second World War totalling sixteen pages. The Great Western's foray into bus transport is covered, and there are chapters on the named expresses and publicity. The various General Managers receive briefbiographies. There are useful appendices, ranging from Locomotive Headcodes to locomotives absorbed at the grouping of 1923 and all GWR locomotives are listed, together with Diesel Railcars and Shunting engines. There is a relatively short bibliography and an extensive index. However, the question, which must be asked, is whether this book is worth the high price?
Southern Railway Handbook: The Southern Railway
1923-1947. David Wragg. Haynes Publishing, 2010, 248pp, Reviewed
by Graham Bird. 
Originally reviewed in the July 2004 Journal, this volume has now been re-issued by a different publisher. It is a well-balanced account of its subject, with 18 chapters covering topics such as electrification, marketing, accidents, air, shipping and (rather briefly) road services, ending with nationalisation and 'What might have been'. There is also useful coverage of the Southern's London termini, its coastal destinations, and its managers. One perhaps debatable assertion is that the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway acted as a feeder to the SR; given the substantial holiday traffic which the latter brought to this part of Kent, the opposite seems more likely.
Locomotive development occupies nine pages and the various classes are also listed in two Appendices, but these should be treated with caution. There are several errors for example, the numbering of the Q, UI and W classes and omissions, such as the USA 0-6-0Ts; the lists of locomotive names at first appear complete but do not include all pre-grouping types. The eight pages of (steam) headcodes might have been more usefully devoted to tabulated summaries of locomotive dimensions and technical data, and of traffic and revenue statistics. Overall the book is attractively produced. An index and bibliography (secondary sources only) are included.
LNER Handbook: the London & North Eastern
Railway 1923-1947. David Wragg. Haynes Publishing, 2011, 256pp,
Reviewed by Philip Scowcroft. [54-5]
This is basically a readable reference book, one of four, each covering one of the Big Four, created by the Grouping of 1923. The LNER, the second largest, was the poorest funded and circumstances did not help as it was dependent on goods traffic more than the other three and, especially in the 1920s, labour relations and growing road competition conspired against the LNER particularly. Yet it achieved much. This book is divided into 22 themed chapters, which inevitably produces some overlapping but does not affect readability. We start with the LNER constituents, subsidiaries, joint ventures and immediate neighbours, then London terminals and provincial centres. Chapters follow on the company's setting-up and its leading managers, mechanical and administrative (the names Gresley, Wedgwood and Whitelaw show how fortunate the LNER was in its leading servants). Four chapters are devoted to locomotives; electrics and diesels having one to themselves. These lead to a longish and interesting chapter on named trains, almost thirty of them and others on goods traffic (it should have been longer) and passenger business, with shorter sub-studies on publicity and record-breaking runs. Shipping was important as was road transport, the latter more summarily dealt with, as are accidents three important ones from 1947 (Doncaster, Gidea Park and Goswick) could have been mentioned. Longer chapters discuss infrastructure (stations, goods depots, workshops) and, divided into two, wartime experience. The two final chapters deal with the years 1945-7 and the onset of nationalisation and pose the question whether the latter could or should have been avoided (on the whole the answer is in the negative). Five appendices variously list LNER locomotives, a bibliography is short yet surprisingly detailed, and there is an index. A very recommendable book, both for the student and general reader, and comprehensive, though maybe there should have been a chapter employees' welfare, cultural and sporting activities, perhaps covering the company's own labour relations. The photographs, variable in quality we must remember they are up to 60 years old illustrate the text appropriately.
LMS Handbook: The London Midland & Scottish
Railway 1923-1947. David Wragg. Haynes Publishing, 2010, 256pp.
Reviewed by William Featherstone. 
The dictionary [used by reviewer] defines a handbook as a 'manual, a handy compendium of a large subject', and such a volume on the largest of the 1923 Grouping companies would fill a gap on the bookshelf and be very welcome. At first sight this large handsome volume, with a series of thematic chapters including ancestor companies, managers, locomotives, freight, passenger services, named expresses, publicity, records, Ireland, ships and ports, road services, air services, accidents, WWII and nationalisation together with five appendices and a very short if dated bibliography, might meet both need and definition. It fails at the most basic level; a reference work needs to be accessible, and an index that in most cases refers the reader the wrong page and has entries relating to non-existent text (the de Havilland Dove aircraft for instance but then the LMS did not use this plane anyway) is fundamentally flawed. There are many other problems and is poorly proof read; for example, Leeds finds itself 99.1 miles from London, Wolverhampton the site of the company's carriage works, and the LMS handing seven billion tons of freight in a year. It is inaccurate with the chapter on air services missing the significant factors such as mail and parcels services and more aircraft errors. The Micheline, no doubt because it had rubber tyres, becomes a road/rail vehicle, and major accidents are the fault of infrastructure even though the preceding chapter makes clear most were human error. It is unbalanced four pages on Euston, one paragraph on Broad Street; the war ends in 1942 for the LMS. It is also repetitious, with frequent accusations that the company was too large, should not have taken over the LT &SR, and did not electrify enough (and so was nationalised!).
The book is not redeemed by its illustrations; maps too few and too small, timetables too many and it has an unexciting selection of photographs (a third three- quarter locomotive pictures). Given major revision and correction this could be a handsome and useful work but as it stands it cannot be recommended.
Lost Railways of South Wales. Mike Hall. Countryside Books, 2009, 176pp,
Lost Railways of Durham & Teesside. Robin Jones. Countryside
Books. 2010. 160pp. Reviewed by Tim Edmonds. 62.
"This book disappoints". No bibliography, no references, no index, "maps completely inadequate".
Vintner's railway gazetteer: a guide to Britain's old railways that
you can walk or cycle. Jeff Vintner. History Press. 2011. 168pp.
Reviewed by Brian Slater. 62.
Excludes short (less than two miles) routes and roads. "Very good value"
Black Country canals. Paul Collins. History Press. 2011. 128pp.
Reviewed by Peter Brown. 62
Claims to be a revised edition of a book published by Sutton in 2001, but only adds two photographs. The reproduction of the illustrations was clearer in the earlier edition.