Home Page
Book Library (A-Z)
Book Library (Area)
Video Library

DVD Library

New Releases

Books In Print
Books Out Of Print
Book Reviews
Request Catalogue
Contact Oakwood
Shows & Events
History of Oakwood
Oakwood Appeals
Your Reviews


Web Site Design

Books  He - Hu

by Stanley C Jenkins

The Helston branch was the southernmost railway on the British mainland, and also the very last branch line to have been built in south-western Cornwall. Sadly, it was also one of the first to close (1962 for passengers, 1964 for freight), and perhaps for this reason it has not enjoyed the attention that has been lavished upon certain neighbouring ex-Great Western Railway lines.

The branch has a special historical significance as railway-owned buses were introduced in 1903 providing a service from Helston to the Lizard. The GWR liked to imply that ‘road motors’ were its own idea. This was not quite true, as a railway-owned road parcels van fitted with some passenger seats operated in Northern Ireland earlier than this, and the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway had also operated a short-lived road feeder service. Nevertheless, the bus route to the Lizard is accepted by many as being the first truly railway-owned bus service.

This new, much-expanded edition of The Helston Branch adopts a broadly chronological framework, in that Chapter One deals with the pre-history of the line, while Chapters Two and Three deal with the construction, history and operation of the railway from its incorporation until the end of the GWR era. Chapter Four is a detailed examination of the stations and route of the line, while Chapter Five is devoted to the British Railways period. A considerable amount of additional material has been added, including details of the present-day ‘Helston Railway’, which has been re-established as a ‘heritage line’ and an added attraction at Trevarno Gardens, between Nancegollan and Truthall Halt.


Historical Summary
Origins of the Helston Branch
  Pre-railway Helston – Early railway development – The Hayle
  Railway – Formation of the West Cornwall Railway – Effects
  of the Railway Mania – Developments in the 1860s – The
  Helston & Penryn Junction Railway – Formation of the
  Helston Railway Company – Some details of the Act
Construction, Opening and Early Years
  Cutting the first sod - Preliminaries to construction –
  Construction begins – Construction resumes - An Agreement
  with the GWR - The ‘Dreaded Navvies’ – The Board of Trade
  Report – Opening of the line – Some details of the line –
  Early years of the line – The Helston Railway promoters: A
  further note – The Lizard Light Railway

The Line in Operation
Operation in the early 20th century – Excursions and tourist
   traffic – The Lizard Road Motor Servicse – Trains and traffic in
   the 1930s – Rural collection and delivery services – Other
   developments - A line of character – World War II
Through the Window: The Route Described
Gwinear Road – Praze – Nancegollan – Truthall Halt –
Later History and Minor Details
   Dieselization in Cornwall – Road competition – Towards
   closure – The Beeching period – The withdrawal of
   passenger services – The post-closure period – Conclusion –
   Envoi – Trackwork – A note on tickets – Revival at Trevarno
& Sources

A5 format, 168 pages, 157 images, with a laminated card cover and a square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 711 2

£ 12.95

Back to Top Back to Books (A-Z) Back to Books (Area) Back to Home Page
HILLHOUSE IMMORTALS, The Story of a London & North Western Railway Shed and its Men  
by Neil Fraser
London & North Western: a name that excites the imagination and charged the atmosphere with great achievements in the realm of railway enterprise.  One of the LNWR's less fashionable engine sheds forms the background to this work, a shed where there were no household names and few famous engines - its stud being drawn from a worthy assortment of hard slogging dividend earners.  Situated half a mile north of Huddersfield on the Manchester-Leeds route, Hillhouse Shed was animated by highly contrasting figures possessed of many good human qualities, and a few with a share of human failings.  Men whose words and humour deserve recall and whose stirring deeds quickens the blood.  Remembrance of past generations of men and engines is tempered by the fact that of all the characteristics with which humans are endowed, it is often by some particular incident that they are remembered.  Here is the story of men who left their own indelible mark in railway history.  A5 format, 112 pages with 113 photographs/plans.

ISBN 0 85361 548 9
ISBN 978 0 85361 548 4


Back to Top Back to Books (A-Z) Back to Books (Area) Back to Home Page
by J.N. Clarke
Horncastle’s link with the River Witham which enabled navigation south to The Wash, and north to Lincoln, then via Fossdyke to the River Trent. The opening of the GNR’s Lincolnshire Loop Line sent the canal into decline. The canal was officially declared defunct in 1889 and so closed what had been a vital link in the development of Horncastle’s growth and prosperity during the first half of the 19th century.

96 pages with 35 photographs/maps etc. Art paper throughout to A5 size. Two-colour Linson cover.



ISBN 0 85361 398 2
ISBN 978 0 85361 398 5


Back to Top Back to Books (A-Z) Back to Books (Area) Back to Home Page
by R.W. Rush

The first type of public railed transport, the horse tramway, seems to have been sadly neglected by historians. This is not intended to be a detailed history of all horse tramways, indeed such an attempt would be nigh impossible. It seeks only to trace the development from the inception, well over a century ago, of the horse tramways in general, and to compare some of the various designs of cars, and the firms who built them. A list of horse car systems in the British Isles is given as an Appendix, and is believed to be complete as far as the author can discover. It is hoped that the book will throw some light on what hitherto has been a very neglected subject.

The book is to A5 format and consists of 104 pages and includes 23 of Mr Rush's plans of horse trams, all reproduced to 4 mm scale. More than 50 photographs are also included. It has a laminated colour card cover with square-backed spine.


ISBN 0 85361 600 0
ISBN 978 0 85361 600 9


Back to Top Back to Books (A-Z) Back to Books (Area) Back to Home Page
by J.N. Fisher
The story of an unusual railway, as it was the only London & North Western Railway branch in an area where Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway branches proliferated. The branch opened for passengers in 1867, just 20 years after the railway first reached Huddersfield. The passenger service was relatively short-lived, and ceased, apart from specials, in 1930. Goods services continued over the whole of the branch for a further 35 years and over a truncated section into the 1970s. In addition to the two terminal stations, there were three other stations along the line at Deighton, Kirkheaton, and Fenay Bridge and Lepton. Although constructed and operated as a branch it was originally intended as a through route to Barnsley and the Yorkshire coalfield. It was perhaps in its service to industry where the benefits of the branch were most in evidence. In addition to carrying raw materials in for local industry, and manufactured goods out, the railway connected directly to a number of private sidings and even fully fledged industrial railway systems.
The largest and the best private industrial railway in the district served ICI’s Dalton Works, this system consisted of around 20 miles of track. Interest in the branch has already been re-kindled with the re-opening of a passenger station at Deighton. There is also currently a proposal which could result in the relaying of the first nine furlongs of the branch to enable ICI Organics to convey bulk train loads to its works. And so in spite of the early loss of a passenger service from this branch the final chapter may well not have been written and it is just possible that at least a section of the line could again provide some service which will be of benefit to the local economy. A5 format, 80 pages, art paper throughout and including 66 photographs and illustrations with a 2-colour Linson cover and a square-backed spine.

ISBN 0 85361 510 1
ISBN 978 0 85361 510 1

£ 6.95

Back to Top Back to Books (A-Z) Back to Books (Area) Back to Home Page
HUNSLET 1215 - A War Veteran's Story
by I.G.Hughes

Hunslet 4-6-0T No.1215 was one of a class of locomotives built to the order of the British War Department for use by what became the Directorate of Light Railways. This organization used 600mm gauge railways to supply the trenches by bridging the gap between the end of the standard gauge railways and the relatively static front line of World War I on the Western front. They were used to move huge quantities of troops, casualties, shells, rations and other supplies over a network that, at its full extent, included over 3,000 miles of track.

Apart from being one of the largest classes of one single type of narrow gauge locomotive built within the UK, the vast majority were also completed within the space of three years. A total of 155 of them were ordered by the War Department from the Hunslet Engine Co. at a time when Hunslet were also constructing howitzers, shells, and machinery to make shells, as well as a limited number of other locomotives. By comparison, in peacetime they averaged about 40 locomotives of all types per year.

The other remarkable feature of these machines is the diverse locations in which they, and the nine built post-war, ended up. From hydro-electric schemes of the Scottish Highlands, to the pampas of Argentina, Harrogate gasworks to Australian canefields, Oxfordshire ironstone to Palestinian power stations, Nepalese forests and Chilean nitrate mines, all made good use of these neat little locomotives. Happily 1215 survives and resides at the Apedale Heritage Centre.

A5 format       56 pages    43 illustrations (18 in colour)  

The Hunslets Get Call-Up Papers
Specification and Construction
War Work
Demob and Army Surplus
Retirement and the Long Journey Home
Hunslet 1215 in the UK
Archaeology on 1215
Other Survivors


ISBN 978 0 85361 709 9

£ 7.95

Back to Top Back to Books (A-Z) Back to Books (Area) Back to Home Page