Great Western

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Shrewsbury To Chester

Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith    [Publisher:  Middleton Press  2012]    Hardback    96 pages

The standard "Middleton Treatment" for a still busy part of the Great Western's erstwhile main line to Birkenhead. The photographs are well chosen to show the variety of trains and traffic over the route over the years, including the recent imaginatively conceived direct service to Marylebone.

Supplement To West Gloucester & Wye Valley Lines

Neil Parkhouse    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2018]    Softback    48 pages

Slim but beautiful, all the new colour images and a few minor corrections that have gone into the new edition of the main book, this enabling the very many original purchasers to enjoy new material without buying a whole second edition. Without exception all of the images are full of interest and atmosphere, and quite a few are just achingly beautiful.

T.E. Williams The Lost Colour Collection Volume 1

John Jennings    [Publisher:  Irwell Press  2017]    Hardback    124 pages

A glorious large format colour album, depicting the steam railway in its Post War heyday. The photographer lived in Stratford Upon Avon and the pictures tend to be Great Western and central UK, but with excursions to further afield. The pictures have been restored from slides and the resulting images are very fine, with the colour reproduction and printing also being carried out to a high standard. Whilst many shots are "traditional" 3/4 views, they are nonetheless full of interest, showing good details of rolling stock and even the loads being carried, all in very natural colours. The lineside is also well featured, a particular pleasure being the views of the SMJ station at Stratford together with the late through freight workings on the line. There are a very few "foreign" subjects, including the S&D, East Coast Pacifics and a superb shot of an LM Garratt awaiting attention at Crewe Works. All in all this is a magnificent pictorial record of the steam railway, before terminal dilapidation permeated everything as steam traction was hastily abandoned.

West Gloucester & Wye Valley Lines in Colour

Neil Parkhouse    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2018]    Hardback    328 pages

A second and enlarged edition of an epic of a book, a phenomenal collection of all colour images illustrating the railways of Gloucestershire, the first of a planned series of eight. This volume covers Gloucester West and Llanthony lines out as far as Chepstow in the south to Monmouth, Ross and Hereford in the north. The Wye Valley branch is covered and although the vast majority of this book is steam age there are some diesel pictures, including some terrific Hymek shots at Tintern Quarry and an 03 shunting on the Llanthony branch. The infrastructure and surroundings are very well covered, images are sourced from a wide variety of sources as explained in the foreword and have benefitted from Internet auction site purchases. This is a really interesting and monumentally impressive collection of images, nicely assembled into an attractive book and still extraordinarily good value at the slightly increased price that this enlarged and revised edition is.