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Books on Bristol
Tim Mowl with photographs by Chris Bland
Paperback; 96 pages; 92 b/w photos
This is a celebration of the extraordinary richness of architecture in Bristol of the period 1837-1910. It is not a comprehensive gazetteer of everything built in those years but a highly personal selection of those buildings, both public and domestic, large-scale and small, which deserve attention. Bristol's real architectural treasure is its business 'square mile', largely an eclectic richness of Victorian and Edwardian buildings, all attempting wildly to outface each other. They represent the great age of the Merchant Princes' confidence, when capitalism believed that gain and the spirit could and should go hand in hand. The root of this architectural extravagance lie essentially in the mud of the harbour, colliery and brass foundry. What 19th-century London, capital of a rich empire, once was, Bristol still is.
Colin G. Maggs
Jacketed Hardback; 176 pages; 155 b/w photos; 17 maps; 44 line drawings
For more than 150 years, Bristol has been at the hub of a railway network. This is, to a large extent, still the case today, though only the main lines remain. Branch lines which once thrived throughout the area have closed, their tracks long ago lifted and stations demolished or converted. But here they are brought back to life. The Bristol & South Wales Union Railway, The Bristol Port Railway & Pier, The Bristol and Portishead Pier & Railway Company, The Bristol Harbour Railway, The Bristol & North Somerset Railway - all these and more are fully described, along with the GWR and Midland main lines.
Over 150 photographs and many maps, timetables and printed ephemera provide a fascinating visual record, not jus of the locomotives, but more of the railways in the landscape, the buildings and the people who worked the line. They provide a fine complement to the various stories and anecdotes which abound in the text.
Paperback; 72 pages; 23 colour & 96 b/w photos
The famous 'Bristol' scroll which many people will remember on the side of Bristol buses is celebrated in this splendidly pictorial account. Published to mark the centenary of the first appearance of the scroll, this book traces its use, first in 1911 by the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company, later to become the Bristol Aeroplane Company and finally part of the British Aircraft Corporation. Later it appeared on Bristol Tramways Company's engines and vehicles, and then with Bristol Omnibus Company's buses, where the scroll became its well known fleetname throughout the Bristol region from 1965. The scroll also appeared on cars, lorries, boats and even on pre-fab houses in the 1940s. It is still in use today for heritage purposes. Illustrated with many photos never seen before, this is a comprehensive and beautiful survey of what was surely the most widely used and recognised symbol in transport after the London Transport bullseye.
Hardback; 176 pages; 308 b/w photos
A full history of the bus body building activities undertaken by the Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company between 1907 and 1956 at the Body Building Works in their Brislington depot. BBW bodies were supplied to many different operating companies and were therefore seen all over the British Isles.
The book contains 16 chapters, each with a wide variety of photographs. The total of 308 photos include a large proportion of official company shots as well as many others not seen before. Unusually there is a very even coverage of all periods of production, with particular strength in the first 30 years.