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Great Western Railway Gallery (Hardback)

A Pictorial Journey Through Time

P&S History > British History P&S History > Reference Photographic Books Transport > Trains & Railways

By Laurence Waters
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Railway Gallery
Pages: 184
Illustrations: 200
ISBN: 9781526707031
Published: 30th January 2019


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It could be agued that the great Western or 'Gods' Wonderful Railway' was for many years the most famous railway in England. Much of the railway that we see today was the work of probably one of the great engineers of his time, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The company was also served by locomotive engineers such as Gooch, Armstrong, Churchward, Collett and Hawksworth, who between them produced a series of locomotives that were well designed, elegant and powerful.

Serving many holiday resorts of the south west, with trains such as 'The Cornish Riviera Express', the publicity department exploited to great effect the Great Western as the 'Holiday Line’. It is probably true to say that in the years before the Second World War the company was producing some of the most effective publicity material in England.

Using previously unpublished material from the extensive 'Great Western Trust' collection at Didcot Railway Centre, the book illustrates in both black and white and colour many facets that made the Great Western 'Great'.

Featured in

Great Western Echo

This quite substantial book seems to be one of the best pictorial surveys of the GWR seen for some time.
Recommended, especially for students of the GWR.

Railway Correspondence and Travel Society

As featured in

British Railway Modelling, May 2019

Featured in crossword competition giveaway

RAIL, May 2019

A pictorial album arranged by themes, including engine sheds, camping coaches, passenger shipping, signalling,staff and many more. The photos cover most aspects of the Railway and are nearly all of excellent quality often Company publicity shots and, as we expect from Pen and Sword, superbly reproduced.

There are plentiful colour pictures of GWR publicity, most could give valuable detail for modeller's.

Welsh Railways Research Circle

A very interesting book about a very famous railway in its time. Its large number of photographs help to know this railway and its trains. But the most important section is advertising, with some of the best posters have been created on a railroad.

Read the full Spanish review here

Unes Cuantos Trenes Blog, Jorge del Valle

This is the latest in Pen and Sword’s series of railway books, and again it contains rare and superb photographs of a different era in British railway history. Magnificent.

Read the full review here

Books Monthly

Using previously unpublished material from the extensive 'Great Western Trust' collection at Didcot Railway Centre, "Great Western Railway Gallery: A Pictorial Journey Through Time" by retired professional photographer and photography teacher Laurence Waters wonderfully and informatively illustrates in both black and white and color many facets that made the Great Western 'Great'. An exceptional photographic study, the "Great Western Railway Gallery" will be an enduringly valued and appreciated addition to personal, community, and academic library Railroading History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

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BBC Radio Oxford with presenter Lilley Mitchell, 18th March 2019

Although there is nothing new in this book it brings together in one large volume some of the best photographs. With the notable exception of Temple Meads station

As a single volume it’s excellent and highly recommended

James Simmonds
 Laurence Waters

About Laurence Waters

Laurence Waters has written a number of books for Pen and Sword and is a well known railway historian of Great Western subjects. The Author has had a life long interest in the history and operation of the railway in Oxford . This book on the history of the railways in Oxford is his latest work, and covers the growth of the railway and its effect on the economic and social development of the area.
He lives in Oxford and is the honorary photographic archivist for the Great Western Trust at Didcot Railway Centre.
He has been instrumental in saving a number of important photographic collections for the Great Western Trust and currently leads a small team of volunteers who research and catalogue the ever increasing collection of images being donated to the Trust’s archive.

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