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The Derek Cross Collection: (Hardback)

The Southern in Transition 1946-1966

P&S History > By Century > 20th Century Photographic Books Transport > Trains & Railways

By David Cross
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781526754905
Published: 6th July 2022



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Derek Cross was one of a group of outstanding railway photographers, who mostly took pictures during the steam and early modern traction era, 1950s and 1960s.

David Cross his son, has inherited his extensive collection of black & white and colour material, which has many unpublished images. This book covers the Southern from the last days of the Southern Railway through to British Railways days in the mid 1960s, when steam was on the way out.

This is the first book that covers the Derek Cross Southern photographs, which date from the late 1940s through to the end of Southern Region steam and as such, features some very rare locations, unusual liveries and long extinct classes of locomotive.

The author has carefully selected some rare and unusual pictures for this volume, which will be of interest and use to both railway historians and modellers.

The late Derek Cross was well-known for his excellent railway photography and his son, David, has collated this entertaining selection of images of the Southern Region of British Railways, from the early days of nationalisation until the end of steam. The content is split between the South Eastern, South Central and South Western Divisions and the maps help to place the various locations captured in the images.

There’s a splendid array of steam locomotive types, of Southern (and pre-Grouping) and BR heritage, plus a few of the early electric and diesel-powered types that would lead to steam’s demise. Plenty of the routes and stations featured are also long-gone or unrecognisable, making this book essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Southern Region during the steam-era.

Model Rail Magazine

4.9 out of 5

Highly recommended and good value for money.

Read the Full Review Here

Rail Advert

Many enthusiasts who are now drawing their pensions will be familiar with the work of Derek Cross, who was a prolific railway photographer during the 1950s and 1960s, and whose work was widely published. Derek is perhaps remembered best for his photos taken in the North of England and Scotland featuring huge landscapes, but he was particularly fond of his home territory on the former Southern Region. In this book, his son David brings together 144 pages of Derek’s images devoted to the Southern’s three operating divisions, the South Eastern, Central and South Western.

Useful maps are provided at the start of each of the three sections, followed by what can only be described as beautifully composed views showing trains surrounded by the stations and lineside scenes as they were at a time when life seemed a lot less hectic. As well as being artistic creations in their own right, modellers of the Southern Region in the 1950s and 1960s will be able to pick out a lot of smaller details to assist them in creating accurate representations. Some fascinating workings are included too, such as a K Class-hauled weedkilling train, an unrebuilt tender-first Bulleid Pacific at Hailsham on a local working of two coaches, one of which is an LBSCR coach dating from the turn of the century. One photo features a double-headed engineers’ train hauled by two Brighton-built locos constructed over 50 years apart – an 0-6-2T and a BR Standard 4 tank. Other memorable shots show two of the rare 0-6-4 J Class tanks working hard on trains near Ashford.

There is something to suit the tastes of most Southern Region enthusiasts in this work, whether it be the sheer variety of steam motive power, early diesel locos, classic SR EMUs in their heyday, the many well-chosen settings or the little details for the modeller. This is a beautifully presented and printed book which is a fine tribute to Derek’s photographic skill, and is well recommended.

West Somerset Railway Association

For those of us who became enthusiasts during the 1950s and 60s, certain names are indelibly associated with the railway photography of the era. The late Derek Cross was among that notable group, and we are fortunate that his son David has care of his late father’s collected work.

Tenterden Terrier, JOURNAL OF THE KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY - Winter 2022

In his day, the late Derek Cross was railway photographer royalty.

Derek sometimes took along his son David, who inherited his vast collection of images and occasionally unlocks the cupboard to share some of his finest work with us.

Steam World, 66, September 2022

Followers of the Southern Railway/Southern Region will be very familiar with the name Derek Cross who although he did take photographs from all over the country and abroad, his first love was the "Southern" being a Man of Kent and born at Hythe in 1929. Here his son David Cross has put together a fine collection of his late father's work coving the Southern transition period between 1946 and 1966.
David Cross shared his father's interest and later would often join him on his photographic expeditions and is to be congratulated on bringing out a fine collection of Derek Cross "Southern" photographs to the public.

Highly recommended.

Branch Line & Light Railway Publications

Derek Cross was one of the foremost photographers of his generation and his work across the Southern Region of England has provide many useful shots of locations, Locomotives and infrastructure that I have found useful in my modelling career over 40 years. This monochrome photo album therefore does not disappoint. This volume contains some truly magnificent work from the early years of British Railways through to the first appearance of Class 24 and then Class 33 diesels on the region.

Kitmaster Collectors Club

About David Cross

David Cross is the son of the late Derek Cross, who was well known as a great railway photographer. David has had an interesting career in the shipping and container industry and also lived and worked abroad at times in his career and life. He often accompanied his father on railway photographic trips when he was very young and caught the railway bug, which has led to a life long passion for trains and railways. He lives in Essex, where he still pursues his great passion for railways and photography. This volume largely taken from his fathers' work is his latest offering.

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