Books O - P
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.
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.
0 85361 591 8
ISBN 978 0 85361 591 4
ON THE FOOTPLATE
AT BUSHBURY, 1947 - 1962, AN ENGINEMAN's TALE
by Keith Terry
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
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)
85361 649 3
ISBN 978 0 85361 649 8
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
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
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
List of Abbreviations
Joining the Railway
Experience Gained and Some Weight Lost
‘Thomas’ and the ‘U Boat’
Bulleid Pacifics - the Science Bit
A Firing Turn on Swanage
Motive Power Miscellany
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
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
|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
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
978 0 85361 683 2
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
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
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'
OXFORD TO PRINCES RISBOROUGH -
A GWR Secondary Route
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
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.
85361 629 9
ISBN 978 0 85361 629 0
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
ISBN 978 0 85361 638 2
A PICTORIAL GUIDE TO ALPINE
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
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
978 0 85361 690 0
PIERS, TRAMWAYS AND RAILWAYS AT RYDE
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
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
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.
85361 636 1
ISBN 978 0 85361 636 8
TRAINS IN BRITAIN
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
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
ISBN 0 85361 531 4
ISBN 978 0 85361 531 6