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ONE DOG AND HIS MAN - A 2001 Farming Diary
by Keith Williams

For the first few weeks of the year 2001 started out much the same as any other year in the farming world. An outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease that was to become the worst outbreak in living memory changed all that, turning 2001 into something of an annus horribilis for rural Britain.

The author, Keith Williams, a Welsh borders dairy/arable farmer for the past 30 years, saw events unfold. He was fortunate in not having any stock destroyed, but was within two miles of an outbreak and spent many months under severe restrictions with virtually no income. The whole of farming suffered so badly that parts of it will probably never recover fully.

This book tells the story of the year through the eyes of Keith’s dog, Ben, told in a wry manner, as we watch the farcical efforts of the authorities as they attempt to restore order to the farming community.

The book is to A5 format it consists of 128 pages and features 24 specially prepared cartoons by Tony Grenow. It has a full colour laminated card cover, perfect bound with a square-backed spine.

ISBN 0 85361 591 8
ISBN 978 0 85361 591 4

£ 7.95

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by  Keith Terry

This autobiography, based at the former LNWR shed at Bushbury near Wolverhampton, will bring back the many nostalgic memories of all those who worked with steam locomotives between the late 1940s and 1960s. The younger reader, also, should be able to catch the spirit of that period when the romance of steam brought out in the energetic, youthful, would-be fireman, a proud and dedicated outlook to master the art of locomotive management. To be an engineman in the fullest sense of the word. This book takes us through the dirt and ash of the lowly ‘bar lad’s’ lot – to the pinnacle of the footplate man’s dream and ambition, to become finally qualified as a driver. Keith succeeded in attaining this. His ‘Tale’ unashamedly reveals his own self-confessed weaknesses along the way, as he strove after the ideal and the standard he set for himself. We also get a glimpse of his psyche, which often reveals a stubbornness, which teetered on the brink of belligerence at times, and his dislike of official interference, but most of all this book is the story of the author’s love for railways and trains in general, and steam engines in particular.

On the way, we look at the structure and anatomy of the steam railway locomotive, from the footplateman’s viewpoint. The merits, or otherwise, of the different classes of engines upon which the author worked are discussed.  Keith recalls anecdotes of events and incidents that occurred along the way, and describes the few years he spent train-spotting in his boyhood.

The book is to A5 format, it consists of 224 pages with 95 illustrations and is printed on art paper throughout. The book has a full cover cover, perfect-bound with a square-backed spine.

If you are a member of RNIB Talking Books, this title can be requested in DAISY FORMAT
from RNIB Talking Books Customer Services Dept. Tel. 0845 7626843 (11½hr disc)


ISBN 0 85361 649 3
ISBN 978 0 85361 649 8

£ 13.95

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"OVER THE ALPS" on the Watercress Line - Realising a Boyhood Dream in the 21st Century
by John Richardson

The widespread availability of trainspotting books in the aftermath of World War II saw a huge surge of interest in trainspotting. Groups of young spotters were a common sight at many stations throughout the country from the late 1940s onwards.

To become an engine driver was the dream of many a young boy. The world speed record for a steam locomotive had been set by Mallard in 1938 and Britain’s main line expresses were still in the hands of the likes of Gresley Pacifics from Kings Cross, ‘Royal Scots’ and ‘Duchesses’ on the former LMS lines, and the erstwhile Great Western had its famous ‘Castles’ & ‘Kings’. Meanwhile the Southern’s expresses were in the hands of Mr Bulleid’s extraordinary ‘Merchant Navy’ and ‘West Country’ Pacifics. With this wealth of steam, power and speed on show it is little wonder that these engines caught the imagination of the young. But with the Modernisation Plan of 1955 the 

writing was on the wall for these mighty engines, although it was not until 1968 that steam was finally eradicated from Britain’s main lines. With the demise of the steam locomotive the dreams of many were to remain unfulfilled.

This book then is a the story of a long love affair with the steam locomotive and the realisation of a boyhood dream in the 21st century on the Mid-Hants Railway.  The Mid-Hants line was

List of Abbreviations
Joining the Railway
Third Man
Experience Gained and Some Weight Lost
‘Thomas’ and the ‘U Boat’
Bulleid Pacifics - the Science Bit
A Firing Turn on Swanage
Motive Power Miscellany
Gresley’s Masterpiece
Learner Driver
The Other Side of the Footplate
Appendix: List of Locomotives fired or
     driven by the Author

nicknamed the ‘Alps’ in steam days because of the steep gradients involved.

To make the book more readable, the author has tried to avoid too much in the way of technical detail, apart from the chapter on Bulleid Pacifics. However, throughout the book the author gives clear explanations of the locomotive equipment used by the fireman and driver to help readers understand how steam engines work and the partnership necessary between their crews to make their powerful steed operate safely and efficiently.

The Bulleid Pacifics are still the focus of a great deal of argument amongst steam enthusiasts some 60 years after they were introduced and as a qualified engineer the author makes his contribution to the controversy.

It is now 40 years since the end of steam on the national rail network. It is hoped this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in steam railways, whether they too harboured a dream of becoming an engine driver or just enjoy preserved railways today. Perhaps it will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of engine drivers on Britain’s preserved railways.

The book is to A5 format, 144 pages with over 60 illustrations, it has a laminated card cover with square-backed spine.

See Book Review


ISBN 978 0 85361 683 2

£11 .95

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An Encyclopedia of Oxford Pubs, Inns and Taverns      
by Derek Honey
An Encyclopaedia of Oxford Pubs, Inns and Taverns, is the most precise collection ever published on past and present pubs of Oxford. The author has researched over 700 licensed premises, from early Norman times to the present day, with full details of their individual histories, and often a history of the area or street.
Starting at the Abingdon Arms, a tavern once in Market Street, and ending at Yates’s Wine Lodge in George Street, the book covers nearly a 1,000 years of Oxford history. Famous pubs and inns such as the Mitre and the Bear are fully covered as are the lost and unknown ones
With a foreword written by Colin Dexter, the creator of Inspector Morse. Whether a reader is interested in history, pubs, Oxford, or all three, this book will be a valuable source of reference and enjoyment.
In 1840 Oxford had 400 pubs, a high proportion of one to every 60 inhabitants. In 1880 over 200 pubs were listed in central Oxford alone.

Oxford’s most famous fictional policeman, Inspector Morse, created by Colin Dexter, solves many of his cases in pubs, creating a brand new enterprise with a walking Morse Trail Pub tour operating within the city. Many tourists, now visit the city to view these pubs.
Before the railway came, Oxford inns and hotels were the best in the world, but by 1860 it is said they had declined so much that a guide written at the time stated they were ‘bad, dirty, comfortless and very high in charges’. Until the 1950s, ‘officially’ all central pubs were out-of-bounds to undergraduates, and the Proctors accompanied by the Bulldogs (university policemen) would visit them inquiring of any intoxicated young man, ‘Are you a member of this University Sir?’ Offenders were threatened with ‘gateing’ (confined to college), fined, or ‘sent down’ for the rest of the term. Yet at one time the University granted wine licences as well as the local council.
Oxford pubs past and present, vary according to their customers. Some are still Varsity pubs, like the King’s Arms opposite the New Bodleian Library and owned by Wadham College next door. So remote is the Isis Inn at Iffley Lock that the beer was taken there in a special punt along the River Thames from Donnington Bridge, while the romantics punted up the Cherwell to the Victoria Arms at Marston. Tourists are led to the Turf Tavern hidden away down St Helen’s Passage and under the old city wall; and old Oxford men recall their student days in the Trout at Godstow.

The book is to A5 format and consists of 128 pages, with more than 70 drawings by the author. It has a laminated card cover and is perfect bound.


ISBN 0 85361 535 7
ISBN 978 0 85361 535 4

£ 8.95

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OUR HISTORY: The First Fifty Years 1910 - 1960    
by Oxfordshire Guides
This book traces the history of the Girl Guides in the County from the earliest days, it is also a fascinating slice of Social History. The book tells of the camps, activities, service and achievements of a Movement that is still very much alive. With a total of 176 pages, to A5 format with over 100 photographs and a sparkling laminated colour cover this is an attractive book that will appeal to Guides and non-Guides alike. Using the enthusiasm which shines through the memories, the author has captured the atmosphere of bygone days and the reader will live with these Guide through their camps and hikes, their Good Turns and sustained service. Above all there is the feeling of fun, friendship and shared experiences. Did you know that the Guides made a tremendous practical contribution to the refugee crisis after the Second World War or that Guides regularly helped the families of out-of-work miners in Wales? Can you imagine a gamekeeper tying a middle aged lady to a tree while he went to ask the Duke if she really had permission to practise tracking and stalking on the Estate?
How about the early Guides who used sugar and water and a hot flat-iron to stiffen the brims of their hats and the Trefoil Guild which arranged to lend their children to Guides practising for Child Nurse badge? We join Guides and Brownies watching spellbound as Father Christmas descends the chimney with a sack of presents. We hear of the two adult Guides cooking sausages over an open fire the evening before attending a Buckingham Palace Garden party - it took them hours to get the smell of wood smoke from their hair.

'We used o camp on the Squire's rabbit warren.'
'We dug (unwillingly) for Victory.'
'Father took us to Crystal Palace, when we saw the Girl Scouts following the Boy Scouts, we wanted to join. I knocked on the Officer's door and asked if I could be a cruet. I meant recruit of course.'
'My first Guide Meeting.....I learnt how to cut turf, lay and light a fire and cook on it - cheese dreams and dampers. Afterwards all traces of the fire had to be removed, the turf replaced and watered.'
'1930 one year's post 1/- [5p]'
'1937 - one year's rent of hall £1.'
'Hire of room for 1938 £1.10s'

£ 9.95

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by C.R.Potts
The author presents a comprehensive history of a line opened in 1854, a short portion of which remains open for freight traffic today. The railway from Princes Risborough to Oxford via Thame, was part of the Wycombe Railway, from Maidenhead to Oxford. Once the line was open to High Wycombe (1854), thoughts very soon turned to extension first to Thame (1862), and then Oxford (1864). For many years the entire railway was run as one section Maidenhead - Oxford, just as intended when it was built, but early in the 20th century the GWR started treating Princes Risborough -Oxford as a separate branch. The line was also used as a secondary route, as it provided an alternative link between Oxford and the capital, this could result in an interesting variety of motive power.

The station at Thame is noted as a fine example of a BruneI trainshed roof that survived until the end of passenger services.

The line is strongly associated with the Morris Motors and Pressed Steel works at Cowley. The works were to play a huge part in assisting the war effort and there were frequent expansions of the railway facilities inside the works.

A5 format, 256 pages, over 180 photographs, illustrations and plans. It has a full colour card cover.


ISBN 0 85361 629 9
ISBN 978 0 85361 629 0

£ 15.95

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by Peter Marshall             

Peebles stands in a delightful setting, through which the River Tweed flows, in one of the most charming reaches of the Scottish Borders. The evidence that there were once three railway lines radiating from the town is now almost gone. However, the glimpse of an occasional earthwork on the road from Edinburgh, or the remnants of a metal bridge on the road from Galashiels, will suggest that the railway traveller of the past might have enjoyed the journey by train to the Borders town.

The first line, the Peebles Railway, opened to the public from the county town of Peeblesshire to Edinburgh on 4th July, 1855 and it was said that the very next day the calls of fish wives could be heard in Peebles offering fresh fish to the locals for the first time.

The Caledonian Railway encouraged the small Symington, Biggar & Broughton Railway to build a line towards Peebles, determined to reach the east coast of Scotland through the Borders. This objective was obstructed by the North British Railway, which intended to dominate the Border railways. Eventually, the Peebles Railway was taken over by the NBR and the Caledonian swallowed up the SBBR. Both these companies built attractive stations in the town and both ran express commuter services to Edinburgh, the ‘Tinto Express’ via Symington and the ‘Peeblesshire Express’ direct to Waverley via Eskbank.

Peebles Railways, published to celebrate 150 years since the opening of the first service in 1855, brings together a history of the three lines from promotion in the 19th century to closure in the British Railways era. While concentrating on the main lines, the author gives us a taste of the Talla Reservoir line and that at Culter Waterhead near Biggar, as well as branches to Polton, Penicuik and Dolphinton.

The book does, however, cover the railway operations, the occasional accident and even the Border Show in 1906, a major event of its day. Bringing the reader up to date with details of closure notices and last trains, the story concludes with the plan to re-open the line to Galashiels from Edinburgh.

A5 format, perfect bound with 240 pages and more than 200 illustrations.

ISBN 0 85361 638 8
ISBN 978 0 85361 638 2

£ 14.95

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by  Mervyn Jones           

This book is the first Pictorial Guide to be produced by the author. It follows on the successes of Essential Guide series on French (2006), Swiss (2007) and Austrian (2008) railways. This book is radically different from the previous publications in a number of ways.


In researching about alpine railways, the author, in addition to information about the railways has chosen to include interesting facts about the places through which trains pass.

For instance: Where is the loudest church bell in the world? Where did the meringue originate? Where is the largest glacier in Europe? Which is largest inland lake in Europe? Which was the first town in the world to install electric street lighting? Where did Sherlock Holmes meet his end? Where in Europe are brown bears still living in the wild? The answers to these questions and many more can be found here.

There is a greater concentration on the pictorial representation of the railways with an emphasis on the picturesque nature of the Alpine railway scene. All the photographs are new and have not featured in any of the author’s previous publications. The focus on presenting photographs has led to a change in the book’s format from a portrait to a landscape layout. This has allowed most of the pictures to occupy a full-size page. The previous guides were heavy on detailed information about rolling stock, operating dates, tariffs and so on. Most of this does not feature in this book in order to give more room for the photographs and to avoid replication.

The Pictorial Guide to Alpine Railways identifies in the alpine areas of seven European countries 164 locations of railway interest, of which 155 are railway routes and nine railway museums. A total of 142 of these railways are covered in detail of which 20 are in France, 29 in Italy, six in Slovenia, one in Croatia, 24 in Austria, 19 in Germany and 33 in Switzerland.

A5 landscape format, the book consists of 208 pages with 143 illustrations (96 of which are full page) and it is printed on high quality art paper. It has a glossy colour card cover.


ISBN 978 0 85361 690 0

£ 16.95 / €26.00

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by R. J. Maycock & R. Silsbury

The emergence of Ryde as the principal point of entry to the Isle of Wight was due in no small part to the opening of Britain’s first ever pier by the Ryde Pier Co. in 1814. Pre-dating the railways in the Isle of Wight by upwards of 50 years the pier was extended on several occasions before reaching its final half-mile length in the 1840s. The pier was ideally placed to benefit from the growth in travel to the Island but its length was a grave disadvantage before the opening of a horse tramway in 1864.
When the first railways in the Isle of Wight appeared during the 1860s the pier company was dragged into a fight with other promoters for the traffic through Ryde. Add to this a local authority implacably opposed to railways on the foreshore and we have a recipe for years of frustration and expense. The construction of extensions to the railway terminus at St Johns Road crippled the finances but its horse drawn traction pleased no-one.

The London & South Western and London, Brighton & South Coast companies jointly built a railway as a replacement for the extensions and which finally ended the pier company’s ambitions. The Ryde Pier Company was a pioneer in trying different methods of traction developed not for the benefit of railways but Britain’s street tramways. Light steam locomotives were hired on two occasions and two steam tram locomotives worked the pier tramway for four years. The later electrification of the pier tramway took place well before such systems became generally accepted and anticipated by many years the use of third rail electrification by the railways.
A5 format, 176 pages with more than 120 photographs, maps, plans and illustrations. It is hardback with a gold-blocked spine, with printed endpapers and a laminated dust jacket.

ISBN 0 85361 636 1
ISBN 978 0 85361 636 8

£ 16.95

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Compiled by M. Sharman
Volumes of 7 mm drawings of locomotives, reproduced from The Locomotive magazine. The plans are printed on fold-out pages and bound to the handy shelf-size of A5 format. They offer excellent value for money.
Vol. 2: London & North Western Railway - 95 plans                  

ISBN 0 85361 315 X
ISBN 978 0 85361 515 2

£ 6.95

Vol. 3:  Great Eastern Railway (Part 1) -73 plans

ISBN 0 85361 331 1
ISBN 978 0 85361 331 2

£ 6.95

Vol.4: London & South Western Railway - 73 plans

ISBN 0 85361 386 9
ISBN 978 0 85361 386 2

£ 6.95

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by R..W. Kidner                                                                                             
The Pullman name is synonymous with luxury travel by rail. This new book examines Pullman services throughout the British Isles. There have been Pullmans on British railways for 120 years. There was a shaky period in the 1880s, when the Midland and the Great Northern purchased their cars from the Company, and only the enthusiasm of the London Brighton & South Coast Railway kept them in the public eye; but by 1911 more railways began to use them, and in the 1920s all-Pullman trains gained notable successes. After World War II a number of new Pullman trains were introduced, still using stock of traditional design and livery. From 1960 the cars themselves, which had formerly stood out proudly in a train, became very similar to ordinary coaches, and finally in the 1980s the name Pullman was sometimes used just to denote a superior first class.

Fortunately a number of ‘traditional’ cars had been purchased privately, and were often seen on the main lines, until restrictions on permissible bogies affected some; but the VSOE still runs and a few are still on private railways. The more modern stock has also largely survived; they may look rather unlike the cars of the Golden Age, but they keep alive the Pullman idea of perfection.

This book contains material originally published in Pullman Cars of the ‘Southern’ 1875-1972 (LP164), which it replaces.

The book is to A5 format and consists of 112 pages which include around 100 photographs and plans etc. It is printed on art paper throughout and has a full colour laminated cover with a square-backed spine.


ISBN 0 85361 531 4
ISBN 978 0 85361 531 6

£ 8.95

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