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Re: New Books

Postby RichardHC » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:47 am

Just come across this which was published earlier in August.

Barry: It's Port and Railway before and after Woodham's Scrapyard by John Hodge, hardback, 200 pages, 279 x 216mm, Pen & Sword Transport (Publishers), ISBN 978 1 52672 383 3. £30.00

The publishers blurb says:

Many railway historians and enthusiasts only know about the railways in the Barry area, because of Woodham Brothers scrap yard, where so many locomotives were rescued for preservation. However, there is a wider story to be told of the development and history of the railway and docks and John Hodge, the author of this detailed and informative volume, provides accounts of the various aspects of railway and dock activity over the years with details and photographs of the several industries involved. The Barry story is far more than the location of a once-famous scrapyard which, by the end of the 1960s, held over two hundred condemned locomotives. This book covers the history of the railway and docks at this fascinating town, from the construction and opening of the Barry Railway and Dock in 1888/9, through to the demise of its principal traffic, coal, in the early 1970s, and on to the present day.
RichardHC
 
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Re: New Books

Postby RichardHC » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:04 am

The Shropshire Union Canal - from the Mersey to the Midlands and Wales - Peter Brown, hardback, 288 pages, 250 x 193mm, 110 illustrations, 19 maps, Published by the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 2018, ISBN 978 0 901461 66 7, Special price of £30 until 31st October, thereafter it will be £35.00.

Not a railway book as such but the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company (to give it it's full name) was eventually a subsidiary company of the LNWR and the LMS after the Grouping.

The publisher's description is as follows:
The Shropshire Union was created in the 1840s by the amalgamation of the Ellesmere & Chester, Birmingham & Liverpool Junction, Montgomeryshire and Shrewsbury Canals to form a network some 200 miles in length.
The main line went from the north-western edge of Wolverhampton, through Market Drayton, Nantwich and Chester to the Mersey at Ellesmere Port, together with a branch to Middlewich. The long ‘Welsh Branch’ ran from near Nantwich via Whitchurch, Ellesmere, Llanymynech and Welshpool to Newtown, together with a branch to Pontcysyllte and Llangollen. A further branch served Newport, Wellington and Shrewsbury. The intention when the companies merged was to convert many of their canals into railways and to build further railways. In the event, only one railway was built, from Stafford to Shrewsbury. Not long after the merger, the Shropshire Union was leased to the mighty London & North Western Railway.
This book relates the history of the constituent companies all of which were originally formed in six decades from 1770, comparing their policies and progress. It follows the Shropshire Union under railway control, examines the reasons for the decline and closures, then brings the story up to date with nationalisation, revival and restorations. To keep the length of the book manageable, Ellesmere Port, Liverpool docks and the cross-Mersey trade are considered only to the extent that they relate to the canal network.
The emphasis is on the canals as businesses and as part of local history, the economic and social aspects being stressed. As far as possible, the reasons why decisions were made is explained. The final chapter discusses the changing role of the canals and considers the lessons to be learnt from the various restoration schemes.

To order see the publisher's website https://rchs.org.uk/product/the-shropshire-union-canal-from-the-mersey-to-the-midlands-and-mid-wales/or contact your local bookseller
RichardHC
 
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Re: New Books

Postby wokmad » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:29 am

Something a bit different is Policing South Wales Docks: An Illustrated History, by Viv Head, Amberley 2018, £14.99. From the blurb:

"Alongside the emergence of the railways in the nineteenth century came a huge expansion of docks and shipping. Worldwide demand for Welsh steam coal also saw a population explosion in the towns of Newport, Cardiff, Penarth, Barry and Swansea. Foreign seamen, ship owners, opportunists, thieves and vagabonds all came in search of a share in the new prosperity. It resulted in hard-living overcrowded communities where drunkenness, prostitution, thieving, violence and murder flourished. Embryo Borough police forces were stretched to the limit and beyond to deal with it.
Each of these coal ports formed their own police forces to deal with the mayhem. Like needed to be met with like; it was not a job for the fainthearted. The Bute Dock Police went out on patrol armed with cutlasses; and two of its officers drowned on duty on separate occasions, one in particularly suspicious circumstances. Strikes, two world wars, organised crime and drugs were all part of the story. In 1923, the railway amalgamations meant that for the next twenty-five years it was the GWR Police who kept a grip on the docks, followed, in 1948, by the British Transport Police – the first national police force in Britain.
Following privatisation, the police were withdrawn from the docks in 1985. And so it was that after 125 years of continuous police service, the last dock copper took off his helmet, locked the police station door and went on his way. This book tells the story of the dock police in South Wales."

No sources are cited and there is no index, but there are some interesting old photos. A possible stocking filler.

Robin Simmonds
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Re: New Books

Postby wokmad » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:43 pm

RE-SHAPING RAIL IN SOUTH WALES: The railways of Briton Ferry and district – past, present and future, by Philip Adams and Martin Davies, Briton Ferry Books 2018. £25.00.
From the website: "Profusely illustrated with colour and black-and-white photos, maps and diagrams, the book touches on most topics. The bonding agent between them, which makes the book somewhat singular, is the people of Neath-Port Talbot and their social experiences of the area’s railways. The book covers three historical periods:
1. From the inception of the railways until the mid-twentieth century.
2. The mid-twentieth century from 1955 to 1975
3. The final decades of the twentieth century to the present day and the prospects for the future.
No reader should fail to consider the issues raised about future transport needs and how integrated transport systems, with heavy railways as their core, can contribute to the redevelopment and prosperity of regions such as Swansea Bay."
Appears to be a well-illustrated and comprehensive 288 page account of the railways in the somewhat broadly defined Briton Ferry area. The book has 8 appendices, an extensive bibliography, but no index. Two errors were noted on a quick flick through, p.274 the SWMR was not authorised as a standard gauge railway, and the PTR did not "start operating" in 1907.
Robin Simmonds
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Re: New Books

Postby RichardHC » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:57 pm

The full order details for the above book are:

Re-shaping Rail in South Wales – The railways of Briton Ferry: past, present & future by Philip Adams & Martin Davies, softback, A4, 288 pages, colour & b/w illustrations, Briton Ferry Books, 144 Corve Street, Ludlow, SY8 2PG, ISBN 978 0 9930671 4 3, £25.00 plus £3.50 p&p (order on-line from britonferrybooks.uk or by post).

For those who live locally and who want to save postage copies are available from:
Mike’s Newsagents, 173–175 Neath Road, Briton Ferry, SA11 2BX
RichardHC
 
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