Published by friends at Pen and Sword Transport “Seventy Years of the South Western – A Railway Journey Through Time” is Colin Boocock’s romp through the South Western railways on which he grew up and later worked on. With yesterday, July 9th, marking 55 years since the end of the steam on the Southern Region a review of this recently published book seems apt.
This comprehensive 240 glossy page book covers through its 24 chapters: the Southern main lines to the west of England and the ‘Withered arm’, the Direct Line to Portsmouth, Waterloo, Clapham Junction, the suburban network and the Isle of Wight. Five chapters provide more details on the ‘Railway hubs’ of Southampton, Eastleigh, Bournemouth, Salisbury and Exeter. Other chapters look at the railways through the Counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Hampshire, and finally the book takes a look at the Hampshire Diesels, electrification, news trains, Franchisees and onwards to the future.
Colin started his career at Eastleigh in the 1950s before returning in a management role in the 1960s. Being part of the senior management at the time of privatisation Colin is able to write with authority on the processes and outcomes at that time. Many of the photographs used to accompany the researched text throughout the book are Colin’s own and therefore are refreshingly new, although post 1950s, and demonstrate how much he travelled across the South Western with a knack for capturing what then would have been mundane but now provides interesting reference.
Owing to its broad South Western topic the book is not, unsurprisingly, as detailed as some of the more line specific publications, it does however provide a good overview and introduction of the whole of the South Western network throughout the ages, with a balance of historical information, diagrams and photographs that will be of interest to railway historians and modellers alike; especially those looking for a broad starting point for gaining an understanding into the history and intricacies of the South Western network.
There have been many books that cover and detail the history and development of the widespread and successful Southern Railway programme of electrification, built on that started by the London and South Western Railway, resulting in ‘Southern Electric’ becoming the ‘The World’s greatest suburban electrification’. Books such as GT Mooney’s Southern Electric, David Brown’s New History of Southern Electric and the South Western Circle’s The Riverside Electric by Colin Chivers, all refer to the part played the by LSWR and then SR General Manager Sir Herbert Walker and his electrical engineer Alfred Raworth.
This substantial 340 page tome, with its 25 chapters, detailing for the first time a biography of Alfred Raworth’s entire personal story and career; staring with working for his consulting engineer father John Smith Raworth, through to joining the railway, working for the LSWR and SR, the design for an electric railway, being responsible for the implementation of all its their electrification schemes, becoming Southern Railway Chief Electrical Engineer, the Southern Electric at War, the electric locomotives and Raworth’s plans for the future.
Such schemes are much more than just about rolling stock and this book also provides a look at the infrastructure required that was often hidden behind the closed walls of sub stations etc. It also looks at the business cases, innovative engineering, and politics involved in the electrification of the railways between 1918 and 1956 especially where the Southern went its own way with the use of the third rail system.
A comprehensive and informative read, that contains a wealth of previously unpublished information interspersed with a number of both black and colour photographs, illustrations and drawings. It substantially fills many gaps in the background, lifetime and work of ‘electrification genius’ Alfred Raworth. Highly recommended.
Southern Times is the new quarterly periodical, edited by my friend Kevin Robertson, for followers of the Southern Railway, British Railways Southern Region, as well as the pre group companies; LSWR, SECR, LBSCR, and SECR. It is intended to be a quarterly publication.
If this sounds familiar, it will do, as it is effectively a replacement for the long established and enjoyable ‘Southern Way’ from a different publisher (whether Southern Way might continue under a new editor we will have to wait and see).
This first issue of Southern Times, follows the previous periodicals format of 80 pages of an eclectic mix of Southern related articles and images both black and white and in colour, many of which have been previously unpublished.
The great post war image of Schools class 905 in malachite at Eastleigh on the front cover must have been a late change as according the caption is Port Line leaving Victoria on the Golden Arrow in 1954!
Highlights in this issue includes: new light on the Joint LSWR/LBSC and LSWR steam railmotors, The Southern from the air, Stephen Townroe’s colour archive, David McKenna Chairman and General Manager, a photo feature on EMUs, Treasures from the Bluebell Railway Museum and more to dip into. If you were an ardent collector of the Southern Way then this latest incarnation Southern Times will be a sure winner.
A brand new quarterly ‘bookazine’ from Warners called ‘Smoke & Steam’ is published on 30th April. It features some of the most famous – and not so famous – routes, featuring locomotive legends. With in-depth articles, including a few Southern related, explaining some of the most important moments of Britain’s railway history from a variety of eras and regions, accompanied by rare or never-before printed photography.
The contents include:
Following the Flagman – Dover’s seafront railway – Paul Isles
Forgotten Railways – The Peak District mainline – Graham Nicholas
Iconic stations: Exploring Salisbury – Graham Muspratt
Travelling in style: The Cornish Riviera Express – Adrian Vaughan
Mallard: A Pictorial Journey – Tony Wright
Semaphore Signalling – Why the GWR was different – Mike Romans
There’s only one Edinburgh Waverley – Ian Lamb
Restoring an SR Merchant Navy – Graham Muspratt
Goods locomotives of Buckingham – Tony Gee
Moving Into BR – the GWR becomes the Western Region – Mike Romans
Modelling coal and how to weather a locomotive – Phil Parker
Available digitally or on high-quality paper, Smoke & Steam should make an ideal coffee table companion.
It will be on sale from 30th April – you can pre-order your copy here. Initially, this bookazine will only be available mail order, but once things start to return to normal in the news trade, it should be appearing in good newsagents.
Despite including my articles, having had the opportunity to review some of the excellent other contributors articles from which I have already learnt new things (everyday is a school day) I think it will be a cracking publication.
Following on from the excellent Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Light Pacifics is the next title provided to me by my friends at Strathwood Publishing being Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Merchant Navy, Q1, Leader and Other Works . This follows the same wide landscape format and contains 208 pages often with multiple black and white photographs per page along with well researched and informative captions.
Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Merchant Navy, Q1, Leader and Other Works features every one of the Merchant Navy Pacifics in both original and rebuilt condition, together with a photograph of every one of the forty Q1s and all three of the Leaders that were built. Also included are some of Bulleid’s other works including his diesel & electric locomotive designs.
The photographs are from a number of sources such as: Colour Rail,Rail photoprints , Anistr.com, Rail-Online.com and the Transport Treasury so will not be new to many of us, there are also a number of photographs from other sources such as Strathwood‘s own library, that are not so familiar and many that I have not seen before. The selection of photographs covers details and variation in liveries and naming and shows the locomotives in action, on shed and in close up. The benefit is that the they are all nicely reproduced in the one book and at a good size afforded by the wide landscape format.
As well as the Leader, the book includes a few examples of: Bulleid’s drafting improvements with Lemaitre multiple-jet blast pipes and their associated large diameter chimneys, his 500hp 0-6-0 shunter 11001, the 350hp 0-6-0 shunters, the 10201-3 main line diesels and also the Bulleid/Raworth electric locos 20001-3.
By covering each locomotive in turn and including images from different periods of their working life it provides a great reference for railway historians and modellers alike, a welcome addition to my library and wholeheartedly recommended.
Two new books recently published and provided to me by my friends at Strathwood Publishing are Southern Lament – Bulleid’s Light Pacifics and Southern Electrics Scrapbook Volume II. These wide landscape format books contain 208 and 176 pages respectively often with multiple black and white photographs per page along with well researched and informative captions.
The first book, Southern Lament – Bulleid’s Light Pacifics features each of the 110 Bulleid Light Pacifics in turn covering them in both original and where relevant rebuilt form. The photographs are from a number of sources such as: Colour Rail,Rail photoprints and the Transport Treasury so will not be new to many of us, there are also a number of photographs from other sources such as Strathwood‘s own library, that are not so familiar and many that I have not seen before. They are all nicely reproduced and at a good size afforded by the wide landscape format.
By covering each locomotive in turn and including images from different periods of their working life it provides a great reference for railway historians and modellers alike.
It was good to see the number of detail variations and differences in liveries included and well highlighted within the captions. The differences in liveries and lettering styles around the time of nationalisation is a particular interest of mine and gives further food for thought for some future models. I particularly liked the image of 34036 having been renumbered but still in malachite but with a large early British Railways emblem on the tender one of only four to have that particular combination. I certainly recommend this book to any Bulleid enthusiast.
The second book Southern Electrics Scrapbook Volume II is another new selection of excellent photographs to compliment all of the previous volumes detailing the Southern Region’s fleet of EMUs, Different chapters cover topics such as: Blue is the colour, Kent Coast electrics inside and out, Snow worries, Passing the box, Everyday service, Towards push & pull on the Bournemouth line, and Specials.
As with the Southern Lament book some of the photographs being from sources such as: Colour Rail, Brian Stephenson and Anistr.com might be familiar to some however a large number are from other collections and were certainly new to me.
All the photographs include informative and detailed captions from David Brown the renowned author on all matters Southern Electric.
Obviously the majority of the photographs cover the variety of Electric Multiple units ranging from the: 1940 Waterloo and City stock, early variety of 4-Subs, 2-Nols, 2-Hals , 2-Bils, 4-Cors, 6-Pan, 6-Pul and Brighton Belles through to the BR built MK1 based units. The book doesn’t forget the locomotive scene either with classes 71, 73 and, of particular interest to me at the moment, the Bulleid Raworth booster electric locomotives.
Not all the images actually include an EMU or locomotive but include the infrastructure of the time and along with many of the photographs allowing the eye to be drawn away from the main subject the combination of details and entire scenes within the photographs will assist modellers of the period and give or take a few years as well.
Both these Strathwood Publishing books are well worth a read regardless of your particular direct interest as they include a variety of information and inspiration across a wide range of areas.
Two new books have hit as they say “all good book shops” in the last week or so, although both are technically outside of my own modelling time period they both are of interest for different reasons and whilst are of two different subjects they have both have colour in common…
The first is Colour Light Signalling for Model Railways, published by The Crowood Press and authored by my good friend, fellow modeller regular operator of both Canute Road Quay and Fisherton Sarum, Simon Paley.
Simon is a Signalling Principles Design Engineer with Network Rail so his knowledge of the current signalling scene is unquestionable.
The book splendidly fills a gap in the market for those wanting to model the current railway scene, as much information is already available for historical signalling but this brings the information right up to date.
The book, of 190 pages, covers all aspects (excuse the pun) of modern signalling systems starting with a brief history of coloured light signalling (where the Southern Railway is suitably mentioned) and then covers topics such as: track design and signalling, compression, signage, principles, level crossings, in cab signalling and train protection systems. Each chapter contains a well written and clear explanations (even for a bear of little brain like me when it comes to the modern scene), a wealth of diagrams and photographs and also relates the prototype practice back to model railways. The book also includes excellent photographs of correctly modelled signalling, so is an invaluable reference to allow anyone building a layout of the current scene to learn about and get this important element of the railway scene correct. It also includes a comprehensive glossary, appendices including details of relevant model signalling manufacturers.
I was very pleased (and proud) to have been able to assist Simon with some advice and proof reading of what I am sure will be his first book of many, that I believe will be become a go to source of information for modellers and those interested in signalling alike.
The second book recently published and provided to me by my friends at Strathwood Publishing is Southern Steam Days Remembered IV. This Landscape format book is in colour throughout, hence the colour theme of this post.
This volume, of 160 pages, covers Southern Region steam in the 1960s and includes further reminisces of ex Nine Elms 70A fireman Roger Carrell. Chapters cover: an introduction “one of those days” by Roger, Back to School days (yes the V Class), Branches and Byways, Names of Distinction, Southern Specials, Sheds & Work Visits, Isle of Wight Sunset and Through the Links.
With all pictures in full colour and most full page size they provide an excellent reference of the hues of the time and invaluable especially for those who like to weather their models (as the best starting point for any weathering project is a good colour photograph).
Although the majority of the pictures are from Colour Rail so will not be new to many of us, they are on the whole nicely reproduced (subject to the condition of the of the original image) at a good size, there are also a number of images from other sources that are not so familiar.
I enjoyed the read and many of the images have a pleasant candid element to them especially if you allow the eye to be drawn away from the main subject locomotive. the combination of the colour details and entire scenes within the photographs will assist modellers of the period and give or take a few years as well.
Both books are well worth a read regardless of your particular direct interest as they include a variety information and inspiration across a wide range areas and topics.
The latest books hot of the press from my good friends at the Irwell Press are firstly two new publications in the excellent hardback “Book of the” series to cover the Southen Railway Moguls. The two volumes cover the initially ex South Eastern and Chatham and later Southern Railway, Richard Maunsell designed and produced 2-6-0 Moguls, the N and N1 Classes in Part One and U and U1 classes in Part Two. The third is a paperback version the Southern Workhorses No.1 Q Class 0-6-0s. Number two in the series of Southern Workhorses, still to be published, will be the Bullied Q1 class.
These three publications all follow the usual brilliant Irwell Press “The Book of Series” with historical background information about each class, their design, liveries and spheres of operation, photographs along, with particular details and photographs of each individual locomotive taken from their works records. the books are of the usual high standard of detail, information and photograph reproduction that we have come to expect from the Irwell Press at a reasonable price of £29.95 for the Mogul hardback versions and £15.95 for the paper Q class publication. As they say available from all good bookstores, and probably some not so good ones too!
Book of the Southern Moguls Part Two N and N1 classes
Book of the Southern Moguls Part Two U and U1 classes
Southern Workhorses No. 1 Q Class 0-6-0s
As with all the Irwell Press‘The Book of the” series they are invaluable for Southern Railway historians and modellers alike and well worth a read.
Further information about my N1 model, converted from a Bachman N class, illustrated above can be read on my Talking Stock posts #12 here. My U Class model is built from a DJH kit, whilst the Q Class was built from a then Wills now South Eastern Finecast kit, sometime ago when I was in my early teens, and is now running on its third chassis but still makes the occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum!
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt