Splendour of the Somerset & Dorset Railway
This seventh book in the series on the Somerset & Dorset branch line continues the pattern of photo-graphs and memories which has proved so popular in the previous volumes.
There are accounts of going to school from Templecombe to Cole with the inevitable schoolboy pranks, and of growing up at lonely Catcott Crossing on the Somerset levels. A driver recalls a typical trip on the Pines Express and firemen tell of many an escapade. Mike Beale recounts the lives of his father Cyril at Bath and grandfather Vic at Blandford, both with many wartime memories. A Concorde pilot remembers using the S&D line to navigate when training on Chipmunks, while John Simms provides a delightful history of the 7Fs working on the S&D - 'mountain goats' as some railwaymen called them.
These stories are accompanied by a fascinating range of photo-graphs covering over 60 years of working on the line. Obviously there are shots of trains and sheds, of stations and signalboxes, but it is the people who stand out, going about their working lives. Formally posed or relaxing with colleagues, they were the heart-beat of what many remember as essentially a family line.
Jools Holland, who used to travel south on the Pines for his holidays as a child, has written the foreword.
Hardback with dust jacket, 160 pages, black & white photographs
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