Although not strictly model news this latest book from the excellent Irwell Press stable will provide an invaluable resource for LSWR, Southern or Southern region modellers alike. ‘Southern Nouveau: An essay in concrete’ was originally published as a small paperback comprising of only 56 pages, 30 years ago in 1987 by Chris Hawkins and George Reeve via Wild Swan Publications, and has long since been out of print, with some copies fetching silly amounts of money on well known auction sites.
The latest, hot off the press (last weekend in fact) publication from my good friends at the Irwell Press, is “SOUTHERN NOUVEAU – And the Lineside.” a very much expanded tome at 400 pages and in hardback format It covers much more of the story of the Exmouth Junction Concrete Works, from its early beginnings, the development of its products and is somewhat expanded, from the original publication, to cover many more lineside items as the title implies.
It includes pretty much all the Concrete items, from entire huts and footbridges, to humble posts in every conceivable size and configuration, that poured out of the special concrete works at Exmouth Junction and slowly caused the ‘look’ of the Southern to change. And that was before the celebrated Southern Art Deco buildings began to appear, which are also included in this publication.
This a comprehensive record and account of those years, of developments which rippled out across the wider BR network until even the 1970s. It uses a large number of photographs and drawings, along with detailed descriptions, of almost every facet of the Southerns lineside items as they evolved well into BR days, even including details of the official painting specification for the myriad of items that are included, ranging from Posts, Platforms, Name / running boards, Bridges, Huts, Stores, Stations, Engine Sheds and Signal Boxes.
I am pretty confident that there is no other single source in which almost the entire spectrum of lineside items of the Southern Railway / Region can be found and therefore it will prove to be a most valuable resource, so I wholeheartedly recommend it to any Southern / Southern Region historian or modeller . I have even been able to provide a small contribution within the weighty book, see if you can spot it…