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Books Fi - G

FIFTY YEARS OF NEWPORT 1900 - 1949   Some Incidents in the History of Newport and other events in Britain and the rest of the world during the same period  
by Cliff V. Knight & Alan V. Jones
Newport and Gwent has generally been well served by local historians. Amongst this diligent activity Cliff Knight’s work stands out because the recollections of a man who has lived through almost all of the last century are bound to have an especial timbre.

Cliff Knight was known for his accurate memories of Newport, where he was brought up ‘in the shadow of the Transporter’. On leaving school he was employed on the Transporter selling tickets to the workmen crossing the bridge. After World War II he worked for the council’s planning department. ‘I learned a lot more about Newport during that time’, he said. Cliff retired in 1982 and was encouraged to write accounts of Newport’s local history. He was also a frequent contributor to the South Wales Argus on historical matters.

Contact with the internet etc. has been the task of the other writer, Alan Jones who has acted as the ‘legs’ for some of the work. The suggestion that Alan made of putting the years in a more global context led to more bookwork and research.

This book takes us on a chronological journey through the first half of the 20th century with supporting photographs, and it complement’s Cliff Knight’s, now out-of print and much sought after, previous publications. To help put the local history into a wider context, it was decided to put the British and world scene at the start of each year to show up Newport in the light of world events. Emphasis has been on the photographs and events of Newport, however.

The book is to A5 format, it consists of 160 pages and includes more than 200 illustrations. It is printed on high quality art paper throughout and is perfect bound with a laminated colour card cover and square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 682 5

£ 12.95

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by S. Jordan
The Fire Brigade in West Sussex has a long and meritorious history. Until the Watching and Lighting Act was passed in 1835 there was no legal requirement for towns and villages to provide a fire service; this did not, however, stop many towns in West Sussex providing their own 'parish pumps' or small manual fire engines which would be rushed to the scene of a fire by a team of willing volunteers.

The Towns Police Clauses Act of 1847 gave provisions for the purchase of fire appliances, fire stations and the payment for firemen to crew them, all to be provided for out of the Poor Rates. By the turn of the 20th century there were town Brigades in Arundel, Bognor, Burgess Hill, Crawley, East Grinstead, Hassocks, Haywards Heath, Henfield, Hurstpierpoint, Littlehampton, Midhurst, Steyning and Worthing.

Up until the mid-1930s the town Brigades continued to give sterling service, but the looming clouds of war caused the Government to create the Auxiliary Fire Service in 1937. On 1st September, 1941 the National Fire Service was born, and West Sussex became part of Region 12. However, the Government promised that this was only a wartime situation and that control of the Brigades would be returned to local councils once the war was over.

At war's end the town councils agitated for the return of their Fire Brigades. The Government, however, had seen the advantage of a large well organised fire service and was reluctant to return to the pre-war situation. As a compromise it was decided in 1946 that the control of Fire Brigades would become a County Council responsibility. The date chosen for the formation of West Sussex Fire Brigade was the 1st April, 1948.

So here is the story of the last 50 years which includes

Fire Control
The Brigade Training Centre
Brigade Workshops
Special Services
Station-by-Station guide
Diary of the last 50 years
Appliances, HPs and Specials
1998 Fleet List

The book is to A5 format and consists of 120 pages and is printed on art paper throughout, it is illustrated with around 140 photographs and has a full colour laminated card cover with a square-backed spine.


ISBN 0 85361 549 7
ISBN 978 0 85361 549 1

£ 8.95

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FLEXICHAS - A Way to Build a Fully Compensated Chassis
by M. Sharman

36 pages. A5, two-colour, stapled cover. A must for the railway modeller particularly if you are a scratch-builder. French language version also available.





MS2a (Fr.)

ISBN 0 86093 072 6
ISBN 0 85361 501 2

ISBN 978 0 85361 501 9

£ 3.95
£ 4.95

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by Peter Paye

In Suffolk the cultivation of the land had for generations been the main industry, but agriculture was dependent on good transport to get produce to market. The advent of the railways in East Anglia brought drastic improvements and after initial scepticism there was the urgent desire for towns to be served by the new lines. East Suffolk initially benefited with the building of the Halesworth, Beccles and Haddiscoe Railway. Its original focus was a link with the Norwich to Lowestoft line, connecting it directly with Norwich and Great Yarmouth, but no sooner was the original plan nearing completion than there was clamour for a southwards extension towards Ipswich. An Act of Parliament in 1854 gave authorization to build a line from Halesworth to Woodbridge, to connect with the Eastern Union Railway onto Ipswich. To engender further trade and traffic, the Act also authorized the building of a number of branches including one to the ancient market town of Framlingham. The main line and branches were ultimately opened for traffic in 1859.

Framlingham served as the railhead for a considerable area of rural East and Central Suffolk. The branch continued to serve the locality for almost half a century before the opening of the Mid Suffolk Light Railway in 1904 for goods traffic, and 1908 for passengers. Even then the loss of traffic was minimal and the Framlingham branch continued under the London & North Eastern Railway from 1923 and finally British Railways from 1948. The 1930s were lean years and after World War II much traffic transferred to the road. Passenger traffic was especially poor so that such services were withdrawn on 1st November, 1952. Thereafter farmers and growers quickly transferred their custom to road transport and freight facilities were withdrawn from the branch on and from 19th April, 1965 and the line closed completely. This then is the fascinating story of the Framlingham branch from conception to closure.

The book is to A5 format, it consists of 248 pages, with 255 illustrations and it has a perfect-bound colour cover.


ISBN 978 0 85361 678 8

£ 15.95

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The Freshwater, Yarmouth & Newport Railway
by R.J. Maycock & R. Silsbury
This is the third book in the history of the railways of the Isle of Wight by the authors, in what is building into the definitive history of the railways of the Island. It might be thought that there was little to say about a 12 mile single line railway that was worked for most of its life by another company. However, the history of the Isle of Wight railways has often been not what it seemed and the Freshwater, Yarmouth & Newport Railway was no exception. Railways were late in coming to West Wight as it was not until 1880 that the Freshwater company was formed and another nine years before its railway opened to passenger traffic. By then the company's finances were in a parlous state, thoughts of extensions were given up and it was only a matter of time before a receiver was appointed. The poor state of the railway matched the company's finances and the Board of Trade had to intervene before improvements were made.
Soon afterwards the promoters of the abortive Solent Tunnel scheme purchased the undertaking. Relations with the Isle of Wight Central Railway, which worked the Freshwater line, were never good and there was constant friction between the two companies. The well-publicised break took place in 1913 when the Freshwater company took over the operation of its railway albeit in the hands of a Receiver for a second time. In this form the railway survived until its purchase by the Southern Railway in 1923.

As in previous books in this series, the history of the company has been described in detail. Maps and the few surviving drawings have been reproduced accompanied by a series of photographs of the railway prior to 1923.

The book is casebound with a gold-blocked spine, A5 format, printed on art paper, 176 pages with more than 110 photographs, maps and plans etc., printed end papers and a laminated dust jacket.

OL125 ISBN 0 85361 601 9
ISBN 978 0 85361 601 6

£ 14.95 (Hardback)

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FROM STEAM TO STONE: A BR life - Engine Cleaner to Stone Projects Manager. Volume One: The Footplate Years
by David Butcher

This volume is the first of two that together describe a career with British Railways from 1951 to 1968. It is a memoir of recollections that divide naturally into three phases covering, respectively, the footplate, office, and management years. It describes a career that was considered most unusual related to the times in which it occurred. Never, in the few fanciful dreams occasionally indulged in as it progressed, was it ever remotely imagined it would ultimately take the course that occurred.

Early years were spent at ex-Great Eastern sheds at Southend and Cambridge. Redundant, the author was moved to Kings Cross where he experienced the antipathy so often directed against ‘foreigners’ since the Grouping in 1923 when there was an influx of ex-GCR men on promotion. Booked with a certain difficult ex-GN driver, David triumphantly overcame this virulent ill-feeling in the only way open to him, a sign of things to come.

By 1958, when the diesels had arrived, David felt the job would lose the challenge of steam work that he treasured: so he decided to leave the footplate and, having had a good general education, had no difficulty in passing the clerical examination to seek fresh challenges in an era of rapid change. . . the full story continues in Volume Two.

The book is to A5 format, 240 pages with 130 illustrations and a full colour perfect-bound jacket.

RS12 ISBN 0 85361 623 X
ISBN 978 0 85361 623 8

£ 14.95

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FROM STEAM TO STONE: A BR life - Engine Cleaner to Stone Projects Manager. Volume Two: Onwards Into Management
by David Butler

This book completes the story of a career with British Railways from 1951 to 1968. Volume Two covers the period from 1958 to 1968. It opens with the author's final months working on the East Coast route out of King's Cross to Newcastle, to give the background behind the entirely unintended decision to exchange the firing shovel for the ball-point pen.

The final decade of main line steam on our nationalised railway system had begun to unfold and with it the increasing rundown of the steam fleet, completed in 1968. Dieselisation introduced fresh challenges to staff of all grades. The fundamental changes created a major upheaval in how the industry was managed and operated. The early development of the new 25kv ac traction was to introduce even greater changes, commencing in 1960 with the north-east London electrification scheme which modernised the intensive steam suburban services working out of London (Liverpool Street) station.

The decade covered by this volume proved to be one of dramatic re-thinking by BR, following the announcement of the 1955 modernisation plan. The author feels extremely fortunate to have been directly involved with the early dieselisation and electrification schemes introduced by the Eastern Region. It was an absorbing and fascinating period. Railway staff had to accept and adapt to totally new working methods. David Butcher experienced at first hand so many of the upheavals that were forced upon railwaymen at the time, and became part of the planning processes that drove it forward, before becoming a manager required to implement the new thinking. David reaIised he had become a sort of 'poacher turned gamekeeper', something that was not deliberately intended, but nevertheless happened.

Promotion to Westbury on the Western Region revealed a less than satisfactory situation had been inherited. It required early action to resolve, to achieve the benefits of effective cost management. Steam age attitudes still prevailed even with full dieselisation almost completed. The subsequent commercial developments arising from this challenge were an unexpected, but welcome situation, but one that eventually became one difficulty too many.

The latter years of David's BR career placed him in a strong position when he joined Foster Yeoman and became responsible for creating the Foster Yeoman rail system, where he developed their railborne stone traffic for the next six years. This, and subsequent developments, is covered in the book's Epilogue.

The book is to A5 format, 232 pages with 125 illustrations and a full colour perfect-bound jacket.

RS13 ISBN 0 85361 624 8
ISBN 978 0 85361 624 5

£ 14.95 

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