28 October 2021
Western Times BR (W) The new history periodical for students of the GWR and BRW Issue No. 1. Summer 2021, The Transport Treasury. Price: £12.50
Though I’d never claim to be a student of the GWR and its BR successor, I found this brand new softback to be of particular interest. In fact, I don’t think it should be just reserved for those who follow the way West – it’s really for all enthusiasts in my opinion. In its 80 pages, we’re treated to 18 ‘chapters’ of a very diverse nature. There is a pair of lovely old maps showing the GWR’s extent, shots of some wonderfully-antique 4-4-0s, two fantastic Aerofilm shots of Swindon Works, breakdown crane scenes, abandoned lines, ‘modern’ diesel traction, tales of incidents and accidents, even some pictures of GWR barrows, and a description of Reading Signal Works (at first glance I thought the vehicle illustrated at the bottom of page 69 was a weapon of war!), among many other most-interesting themes. All the work has been printed on the best-quality gloss stock and the photographic reproduction (much in colour) is first class. Historically, has the GWR been the most popular subject for modellers to try and replicate? Certainly, for any who make models of things Great Western, this volume will be an absolute must – as will subsequent issues. Could there be others describing the other main railways, I wonder? For personal reasons, I loved the final picture; that of a guard leaning from his compartment. The destination board above his head, attached to the carriage’s roof will read ‘Paddington, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Chester & Birkenhead. Even though there’s only a tiny bit of it visible, I know, since I saw such boards most days as a trainspotter in fair ‘Deva’. What’s more to say? Highly-entertaining, very enjoyable and superb value for money!
Review by Tony Wright.