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Re: New Books

Postby Ian Prince » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:07 pm

British Rail Scene; The 1970s and early 1980s in photographs.
Andy Sparks
The History Press
ISBN978 0 7509 7013 6

This soft back book is the third in the author's series, and kept me enthralled throughout. Not least because it was in an era I knew very well. Such nostalgia!

Well written and accurate captions from the time, with more than just an emphasis on the motive power, but on the whole changing scene. All photos in B&W, but that somehow adds to the feel of the book.

Very well recommended to those active in that era.

(A further collection of photographs on the same theme is due to be published in April 2018; Amazon and Wordery already taking pre orders)
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Re: New Books

Postby RichardCoulthurst » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:07 pm

Two more books from Graffeg in their Lost Lines of Wales series have arrived.

Bangor to Afon Wen 978 1 91221 311 5
Rhyl to Corwen 978 1 91221 310 8

The authors are Paul Lawton and David Southern.

They are both hardbacks (laminated boards), 64 pages, 150 x 200mm, with monochrome and colour photographs.

The cover price is £8.99 for each book.

The books are available from your local bookshop or on-line from the publisher http://www.graffeg.com.

Later this year Graffeg will be publishing two more titles in the series: Conway Valley Line and The Heads of the Valleys Line and next year plan to publish Newport to Hereford, Hereford to Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury to Chester in a new series called Lost Lines of England and Wales. Also forthcoming next year will be Swansea to Llandrindod Wells and Llandrindod Wells to Craven Arms.

For those interested in trams Graffeg are also publishing an new series called Lost Tramways of Britain which will include titles such as Cardiff, Swansea and Mumbles, North Wales and South Wales and the Valleys. Check the publisher's website for the latest information.
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Re: New Books

Postby RichardCoulthurst » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:14 am

The Shropshire Union Canal - from the Mersey to the Midlands and Wales - Peter Brown, hardback, 288 pages, 250 x 193mm, 110 illustrations, 19 maps, Published by the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 2018, ISBN 978 0 901461 66 7, Special price of £30 until 31st October, thereafter it will be £35.00.

Not a railway book as such but the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company (to give it it's full name) was eventually a subsidiary company of the LNWR and the LMS after the Grouping.

The publisher's description is as follows:
The Shropshire Union was created in the 1840s by the amalgamation of the Ellesmere & Chester, Birmingham & Liverpool Junction, Montgomeryshire and Shrewsbury Canals to form a network some 200 miles in length.
The main line went from the north-western edge of Wolverhampton, through Market Drayton, Nantwich and Chester to the Mersey at Ellesmere Port, together with a branch to Middlewich. The long ‘Welsh Branch’ ran from near Nantwich via Whitchurch, Ellesmere, Llanymynech and Welshpool to Newtown, together with a branch to Pontcysyllte and Llangollen. A further branch served Newport, Wellington and Shrewsbury. The intention when the companies merged was to convert many of their canals into railways and to build further railways. In the event, only one railway was built, from Stafford to Shrewsbury. Not long after the merger, the Shropshire Union was leased to the mighty London & North Western Railway.
This book relates the history of the constituent companies all of which were originally formed in six decades from 1770, comparing their policies and progress. It follows the Shropshire Union under railway control, examines the reasons for the decline and closures, then brings the story up to date with nationalisation, revival and restorations. To keep the length of the book manageable, Ellesmere Port, Liverpool docks and the cross-Mersey trade are considered only to the extent that they relate to the canal network.
The emphasis is on the canals as businesses and as part of local history, the economic and social aspects being stressed. As far as possible, the reasons why decisions were made is explained. The final chapter discusses the changing role of the canals and considers the lessons to be learnt from the various restoration schemes.

To order see the publisher's website https://rchs.org.uk/product/the-shropshire-union-canal-from-the-mersey-to-the-midlands-and-mid-wales/or contact your local bookshop.
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Re: New Books

Postby RichardCoulthurst » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:05 am

Another book that although not specifically about railways in on a closely associated subject. Many of the docks in South Wales were railway owned and created a lot of traffic for the owning companies.

Policing Sout Wales Docks: An Illustrated History by Viv Head, paperback, 96 pages, 234 x 165mm, 100 illustrations, Amberley Publications, ISBN 978 1 4456 7366 0, £14.99

The publisher's description says:

Alongside the emergence of the railways in the nineteenth century came a huge expansion of docks and shipping. Worldwide demand for Welsh steam coal also saw a population explosion in the towns of Newport, Cardiff, Penarth, Barry and Swansea. Foreign seamen, ship owners, opportunists, thieves and vagabonds all came in search of a share in the new prosperity. It resulted in hard-living overcrowded communities where drunkenness, prostitution, thieving, violence and murder flourished. Embryo Borough police forces were stretched to the limit and beyond to deal with it.

Each of these coal ports formed their own police forces to deal with the mayhem. Like needed to be met with like; it was not a job for the fainthearted. The Bute Dock Police went out on patrol armed with cutlasses; and two of its officers drowned on duty on separate occasions, one in particularly suspicious circumstances. Strikes, two world wars, organised crime and drugs were all part of the story. In 1923, the railway amalgamations meant that for the next twenty-five years it was the GWR Police who kept a grip on the docks, followed, in 1948, by the British Transport Police – the first national police force in Britain.

Following privatisation, the police were withdrawn from the docks in 1985. And so it was that after 125 years of continuous police service, the last dock copper took off his helmet, locked the police station door and went on his way. This book tells the story of the dock police in South Wales.
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Re: New Books

Postby RichardCoulthurst » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:49 pm

Another book from a small local publisher that may have escaped attention.

Re-shaping Rail in South Wales – The railways of Briton Ferry: past, present & future by Philip Adams & Martin Davies, softback, A4, 288 pages, colour & b/w illustrations, Briton Ferry Books, 144 Corve Street, Ludlow, SY8 2PG, ISBN 978 0 9930671 4 3, £25.00 plus £3.50 p&p (order on-line from britonferrybooks.uk or by post).
Publisher’s description:
Profusely illustrated with colour and black-and-white photos, maps and diagrams, the book touches on most topics. The bonding agent between them, which makes the book somewhat singular, is the people of Neath-Port Talbot and their social experiences of the area’s railways.
The book covers three historical periods:

1. From the inception of the railways until the mid-twentieth century.
2. The mid-twentieth century from 1955 to 1975
3. The final decades of the twentieth century to the present day and the prospects for the future.
No reader should fail to consider the issues raised about future transport needs and how integrated transport systems, with heavy railways as their core, can contribute to the redevelopment and prosperity of regions such as Swansea Bay.


If you buy this book please mention that you saw it mentioned on the RCTS Website Forum
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