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Books Cl - Cu

by Jack Gardner
Jack Gardner’s Cleaner to Controller was published in 1994 in our now well-established ‘Reminiscences’ series, and is now out-of-print. As a result, correspondence flowed in from all over the world. All of this helped to stir Jack’s incredible memory even more. Looking back over the period covered by this book, it seems that although the travelling public and freight customers might only have viewed the railways as a service industry it was the corporate pride demonstrated by most railwaymen that made them into a valued institution. Jack had followed in his father’s footsteps when he joined the Great Western Railway in 1934, steadily working his way up the promotion ladder. A long apprenticeship ensured that his handling of locomotives was almost intuitive with the safety of all as his over-riding concern. In such conditions footplate crews depended upon mutual trust and team work to create and control the power of the steam locomotive. Taunton was a busy junction in those days with services to Barnstaple, Chard, Minehead and Yeovil as well as ‘Stars’, ‘Castles’ and ‘Kings’ on West of England main line services. 
Jack was there to see the new generation of diesel-hydraulic locomotives of ‘Western’, ‘Warship’ and ‘Hymek’ classes that arrived in the 1960s as their replacement which were destined to have much shorter working lives. Some would claim that by the time Jack had begun his footplate career the railways had already begun to decline; but thanks to the Great Western publicity machine of the 1930s it is still possible to view this period as a ‘golden age’. Certainly World War II and then the Summer Saturdays of the 1950s created levels of rail traffic that have never been exceeded and so Jack’s memories recall a period when the railways were at their busiest. Sadly for his family and his many friends Jack Gardner died in August 1995. His written accounts of his railway career will serve as a legacy to future generations.  The book is to A5 format, and it consists of 176 pages printed on art paper throughout. There are 120 photographs included which illustrate the changing scene in and around Taunton. The book has a full colour laminated cover with a square-backed spine.

ISBN 0 85361 568 3
ISBN 978 0 85361 568 2

£ 11.95

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by M.R.C. Price
  Telling the fascinating history of this unusual railway which lay in rural southern Shropshire. The railway’s course runs parallel with the Severn Valley Railway, which lies to the east of it. The junction was Cleobury Mortimer which lay on the GWR’s Tenbury Wells-Bewdley line. Ditton Priors, appeared on the railway map at a rather late stage, the line was not opened until 1908. Originally the line was worked by two Manning, Wardle 0-6-0STs. The line was absorbed into the GWR at the Grouping in 1922. The main freight traffic was stone from the quarries in this part of the Clee Hills. Passenger traffic ceased in 1938, and goods in 1939.

 However, the railway was not yet set to disappear into oblivion. At the outbreak of World War II a Royal Naval Armament Depot was opened at Ditton Priors, ensuring the line’s survival into the 1960s. At this stage the pannier tank steam locomotives were fitted with their distinctive ‘balloon stack’ spark arresters. The RNAD also had diesel locomotives of its own.

This title was first published in 1962, a second edition appeared in 1978. This, the third enlarged edition includes a number of previously unpublished photographs.

A5 format on art paper throughout, 88 pages, with 86 photographs and a Linson cover. Also included are track plans, timetables, tickets etc.


ISBN 0 85361 447 4
ISBN 978 0 85361 447 0

£ 6.95

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by Alan Chivers

The beginning of the 20th century saw the coal and iron industries in the Welsh valleys reach a peak of production, then enter a slow but accelerating decline and finally close down in the 1960s. During this period valley towns, of which Risca is typical, experienced a radical Change in their way of life.

As in the rest of Britain, the changes ,were initiated and sustained by advances in science, technology, education and communications. They were compounded in the valleys, however, by the contraction of the two basic industries that gave employment to the great majority of the men.  Each village was a tightly-knit community; living in terraces in relatively small communities brought the people into close contact with each other. As the author writes, a symbiotic relationship existed between the workplace, the chapel, local politics and sport. Percy Chivers, the subject of this book was to represent both Risca and Cross Keys rugby teams. Mutual help societies gave financial assistance in times of unemployment as well as for medical care and funeral expenses.

All these institutions and activities reflected the inter-dependence of the men in the mines as far as mutual safety, help and support were concerned. World War I took many men away, and their experiences in the conflict greatly affected their viewpoints and attitudes when they returned.

This book offers snapshots from the life of a person who lived through these momentous years, as recounted through the eyes of his son. It provides glimpses of a way of life which, together, contribute to a fuller picture of a period so unlike our own. It reveals the accommodation of Percy Chivers to the harshness of the conditions under which the miners were forced to live and work. At the same time, it shows that, through the harshness, there was a will to service and a capacity to serve, manifested in a community spirit and a sense of belonging. As well as offering details of the history of the mines, Mr Chivers provides vignettes of social life, including his father’s time he served in the Home Guard. This will remind older readers of a time past, and provide a few surprises for younger readers.

Foreword & Preface
The Search for Black Gold
That Old Football
Gardener, Father, Fireman, Clerk
God and Mammon
The Defence of the Realm – The Risca
Guard and High Cross Gunners
Training Officer - A Step Up
Death of a Colliery - Nine Mile Point
    to 1964
My Father’s Friends


ISBN 0 85361 643 4
ISBN 978 0 85361 643 6

£ 12.95

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by Robert Western

In The Times of 26th August, 1998 there was a news item headed 'Ministers pledge cash for revival of rail links'. Prominent against the text was a large photograph of Bassenthwaite Lake station, taken in 1959. Holidaymakers and local people are alighting from the two-coach train, the people in , the photograph look happy. The station is well cared for with hedges neatly trimmed and flowers in the borders. The hills, so impressive, make a superb back-drop to the scene. It is idyllic. Yet all is not well even though the people in the picture are smiling, possibly for the camera. The guard seems to look rather more concerned than happy; the railway system in this part of the country was coming under close scrutiny and, ultimately, a threat. In only a little more than a decade after the photograph was taken, the line would be closed. In the accompanying article the writer informed his readers about the recent move by the Government to give one the green light to a string of railway construction projects. Railtrack, it was reported, was supporting proposals that it considered to have a strong commercially viable case. These included a connection from Penrith to Keswick, on the former CK&PR. . .

An Awakening
East is East and West is West
Construction and Other Developments:
The Railway Opens - Rise and [some] Fall:
Changing Fortunes: 1880-1890
Some Significant Decisions: 1890-1900
The End of an Era: 1900-1923
A Journey down the Line in the Summer
    of 1921
Life in the LMSR: 1923-1948
The British Railways' Period: 1948-1972
Distance Table for each stage from Penrith
    to Cockermouth Junction
Timetable, July 1869
Working Timetables for 1903 (July -
    September) and 1921 (October)
Freight Working Timetable, September 1930

It is probably true to say that until a few years ago, only a small number of people in their wildest dreams would have countenanced such a possibility. The Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway was something in the past; assigned to history. The story had ended. However, the final decade of the 20th century witnessed a remarkable change in attitudes. As a result the railway, thought of as finished and gone for ever may not be so.

This book gives an account of the planning, building and operating of a railway which fell foul of the draconian measures applied to numerous rural lines in the early 1960s - which led to closure. A railway once considered to be gone forever but which now may well be revived - at least in part. A railway many would argue should never have been closed in the first place, serving as it did of the most strikingly beautiful areas of rural England.

A5 format, 200 pages, 120 illustrations.


ISBN 978 0 85361 564 4

£ 12.95

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The Coey/Cowie Brothers, All Railwaymen
by John Chacksfield

Robert, James and Henry Coey / Cowie were three brothers who all chose the railways in Ireland as their career path, and who all got to top positions, Robert in Dublin on the Great Southern & Western Railway with Maunsell as his Works Manager, and James and Henry in Belfast with the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway as it was prepared for take-over by the Midland Railway. The stories cover their involvement in important developments in  engineering and management techniques at a time when the railway reigned supreme as the prime transport medium. The Span of their careers also covers a time of great change in Irish history, as that land struggled for its own identity and political voice. The one notable event linking the two themes of the book, engineering in the South and management in the North, was the birth and brief career of the Titanic. James and Henry watched the building of this vessel and Robert's locomotives and stock took several hundred of the passengers to Cobh for their last fateful voyage.

It is hoped that this book will enable the readers to understand the expertise that undoubtedly sprang from the competent brothers which eventually passed to others under them. Many of those so influenced were to go across to England and ply their trades on railways there to good effect. As with all biographies, access to family data helps in the formation of a more complete assessment of the subjects. Such information was unearthed in written and pictorial form and has been used to good effect in building a picture of the three brothers careers. Irish history is a fascinating subject, the interweaving of events over the late 19th to early 20th centuries with the railway developments attributed to the brothers shows how politics can interfere with the smooth running and development of transport services so vital to a land's economy. This, then, tells the story of three exceptional men who played such an important part in the Irish railway scenario.

The book is to A5 format, it consists of 176 pages with more than 150 illustrations. It is printed on art paper throughout, with a full colour laminated card cover with a square-backed spine.


ISBN 0 85361 605 1
ISBN 978 0 85361 605 4

£ 12.95

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The Croydon, Oxted & East Grinstead Railway
by David Gould
Why should the Oxted line, amongst so many in the southern counties, deserve a history? After all, it is nowadays just another suburban electric railway whose trains look the same as those anywhere else in the south. But it was not always so. Long after all the other lines into London had been electrified steam traction was retained and the line definitely had the status of a secondary main line. Even when diesel trains took over the sense of being 'different' and somewhat special did not entirely disappear.

The origins of the line lay in two companies, the Surrey & Sussex Junction and the Croydon, Oxted & East Grinstead, both having unusual features: no engine ever turned a wheel for the Surrey & Sussex Junction, and the Croydon, Oxted & East Grinstead was a joint committee of two other railway companies. But, more than that, it was a railway in the round, for no narrow straits confined its traffics.

It took away lime from Oxted and bricks from Lingfield, and brought in coal for ample firesides. Racehorses and bananas both received special treatment. Bookmakers mingled with well-connected families going to their country seats. Even today, it is more than merely a commuters' line, for there is an appreciable leisure traffic (mainly shoppers) and journeys are still made between some of the intermediate stations. So here then is the full story of the Oxted line and its fascinating services, from construction to the present day.

The book is to A5 format and consists of 208 pages with 140 photographs, maps and plans, etc. It is printed on art paper throughout and is perfect bound with a square-backed full colour laminated card cover.


ISBN 0 85361 598 5
ISBN 978 0 85361 598 9

£ 13.95

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CULM VALLEY LIGHT RAILWAY -  Tiverton Junction to Hemyock
by Colin G. Maggs

In 1870 what did most Victorians know of the Culm Valley in Devon?   Nothing or very little. An exception was Arthur Pain whose brother lived at Hemyock. Pain was a proponent of light railways and had been trained by R.P. Brereton, I.K. Brunel’s chief assistant. Pain’s plan was for a track with minimal earthworks and thus have a low cost of construction. Where better than to try out his idea than in the Culm Valley which had industry, farming and the tourist potential of the Wellington Monument only three miles from Hemyock, the great exploits of the Duke still within living memory? The River Culm rises three miles away in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset, it give its name to several settlements on its banks and, in the 19th century, powered corn and cloth mills.

The Culm Valley Light Railway epitomised the idyllic English country branch line railway as it wended its way along the unusually tight curves along the Culm Valley.

Passengers continued to be carried on this railway backwater up until 1963, and the demise of the passenger service brought the end of regular steam working over the line. Goods traffic still ran, the dairy at Hemyock ensured that diesel-hauled goods train continued. The dairy dropped a bombshell when it announced it was to close in October 1975. Although tickets were printed for a final run along the line, safety regulations of the Department of the Environment prevented the trip from being operated with passengers, so the line closed without ceremony - it had missed its centenary by just seven months.

A5 format, the book consists of 144 pages with 178 illustrations and is printed on high quality art paper. It has a glossy colour card cover with a square-backed spine.

ISBN 0 85361 652 3
ISBN 978 0 85361 652 8

£ 10.95
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Kate Robinson & Robert Forsythe

William Nash (1909-1952) was a gifted individual born at St Bees in Cumbria. Between 1926 and 1952 he worked on the railway starting out in a signal box at the time of the General Strike. His talents were recognised with promotion. In World War II he was assistant district controller at Rugby and by 1952 he was working in the London Midland Region headquarters planning Royal Train journeys. All this was cut short when he lost his life in the Harrow railway disaster of 8th October, 1952.

When only 14 years old, he started taking railway pictures. Outside the family circle, these remained unknown until 2000. Nash had, for one so young, a good eye for composition and a keen awareness of what would be a worthwhile subject. Furness Baltic tanks, the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway and the LMS’s West Coast main line are amongst the many subjects that fill his albums.

His youngest daughter Kate Robinson and transport historian Robert Forsythe have shared the task of presenting his material. This volume has been produced to coincide with a series of retrospective exhibitions being staged in Cumbria to mark the 50th anniversary of William Nash’s death. It focusses on his material covering the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, standard gauge steam in Cumbria, along with his images of the railway owned Lakeland steamers and a selection of Lake District landscapes. All the material was taken between 1923 and 1935 or thereabouts. Newly originated hand prints from the original negatives have been made for the book by Kate Robinson. A number of railway postcards from Nash’s own boyhood collection are included, along with biographical detail.

The book is to A5 page size in landscape format, printed on high quality ivory silk paper, and includes just over 100 photographs. It is perfect bound with a square-backed spine with a laminated colour cover.


ISBN 0 85361 592 6
ISBN 978 0 85361 592 7

£ 9.95
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