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Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:04 pm
by Wagonworks_andy
Six Railways to Merthyr - The Angus Lewis Photographs by John Hodge.
112 pages, 274mm x 210mm, 219 plates, 8 maps and plans.
Printed on silk art paper, laminated board covers.
ISBN 978-09527267-7-7

To be published by WRRC on 18th October, available from the WRRC stand at the Cardiff MRC show on the 18th-19th October.

Or from: Andy Nicholls, 2 Auckland Close, Hereford, HR1 1YF ( )
(Members' price £15) + £3.50 p&p.

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:14 pm
by andrewnummelin
Browsed through this on the train home this evening and am now looking forward to having a really good look.
I had seen a few of the photos in the past but not many of them: most are excellent and very well reproduced, the introduction explains some of the work involved. My initial impression is that this is a "best buy". Well done to all involved in getting it published.
Only two minor criticisms, the photos weren't taken in the 19th Century and colour photography had not been invented....

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:09 pm
by Newport_rod
Here is a review of the book written by Jonathan David and published in the HMRS newsletter Points, reproduced here with permission.

In the first half of the 19th century Merthyr and the area around it was the heart of the Welsh iron industry, and every railway wanted a piece of the action. First on the scene was the Taff Vale Railway, followed by the broad gauge Vale of Neath company which was taken over by the GWR. The Brecon & Merthyr arrived on its way to Brecon, and the London & North Western Railway reached High Street station (that of the Vale of Neath but eventually the only passenger station in Merthyr) via the B&M. The Rhymney Railway gained entry via the Quakers Yard and Merthyr joint line with the GWR, and Cambrian Railways locomotives also appeared in summer months on through services between the Cambrian coast and South Wales. So in the years before the Grouping Merthyr High Street was a colourful place.

Fortunately for us, a railway enthusiast by the name of Angus Lewis decided to record the scene in 1922. His photographs ended up with the RCTS where John Hodge realised what a valuable record they were. He laboriously cleaned up the negatives and produced prints of about 600 photos. John decided that they would make a worthwhile book and approached the WRRC. He also approached Ian Wright for help with the captions because, as he says modestly in his Introduction, all he would have been able to say about the photos was “taken around Merthyr”.

The result is 218 photos divided into chapters for each company plus a chapter describing the rise and fall of Merthyr as a railway centre. Clear maps are provided to help those without an intimate knowledge of the railway geography of Merthyr and Dowlais, and most photos have extended captions. A short text is provided for each company, including some information on timetables of the period.

Sadly for this reviewer, Angus Lewis does not seem to have been much interested in the Rhymney Railway as only six photos were taken showing Rhymney trains and two of these are workmen’s trains on private lines. Even the Cambrian manages seven, despite the fact that Cambrian locos only worked to Merthyr for a few months in the summer and then apparently not on all the through trains. However, the other companies are much better represented and for those for whom LNWR Coal Tanks or B&M locos are an interest this book will be essential reading.

Although the blurb talks about the photographs “showing the 1920s countryside around Merthyr and Dowlais”, most of the photos are essentially of the locos. However, at least Angus Lewis took a good many photos of goods trains in most of which at least some of the goods wagons can be identified.

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:38 am
by Newport_rod
Does anyone have a spare copy of this invaluable book please? I gave my copy away (for a very good cause) on Saturday not realising that it was out of print. (note to self - check first next time!)

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:51 am
by RichardHC
Several copies on
I hope you have deep pocket!
Could the Circle consider a reprint?

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:08 pm
by Wagonworks_andy
I don't think that the Circle will be reprinting this title.
We have experience of reprinting titles and being left with large stocks to sell.

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:35 pm
by Rhobat Bryn
The Publications Working Group can consider a reprint and I will raise it at the next Publications Working Group in May. We would have, of course, to consider the points raised by Andy regarding negative past experience.

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 7:28 am
by Newport_rod
A Circle member has very generously let me have his copy, so panic over.

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:45 am
by Angus
Cwestiwn i Newport Rod: Pwy oedd "Twm Glan Crawnon"?
(Dim rheilffordd oedd yng Ghlan Crawnon - dim ond "dramroad").

Re: Six Railways to Merthyr

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:46 pm
by Newport_rod
Angus wrote:Cwestiwn i Newport Rod: Pwy oedd "Twm Glan Crawnon"?

I don't know who he was, but he wrote a poem about the B&M, which was reproduced in Parry's history on the railway.

But I think we can all agree that Twm was spot on in his opinion. :)