|THE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY RECORD
© DECEMBER 1969
R E V I E W S
PENRHYN CASTLE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY MUSEUM. 24 pages, 8¼in x 5¾in, card covers, printed on art paper throughout, 24 photographs. Published by the National Trust, 42 Queen Anne's Gate, LONDON, S.W.1. Price 2/6, post free.
Penrhyn Castle Museum, Caernarvonshire, came into being in 1962 as a result of a suitable home being sought for Neilson 1561 of 1870 which had been presented to the Industrial Locomotive Society by the North Thames Gas Board. For some time the National Trust had been considering possible uses for the extensive stables at Penrhyn Castle, the former home of Lord Penrhyn whose extensive slate quarries were about six miles to the south at Bethesda. In view of the slate industry's dependence on industrial railways until recent times, it seemed appropriate to establish a museum of industrial locomotives at Penrhyn Castle and this was officially opened on 25th June 1965. This Guide illustrates most of the exhibits which include models and trackwork in addition to several items of rolling stock from various quarries and eight locomotives. (KPP)
THE GENTLE ANNIE TRAMWAY, by F.H.E. King. 12 pages, 9in x 6in, paper covers, printed on art paper throughout, 11 photographs, 4 drawings, 1 map. Reprinted from The New Zealand Railway Observer and published by the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society Incorporated, P.O. Box 5134, WELLlNGTON, New Zealand. Price NZ 25 cents (2/6 sterling), post free.
This booklet tells the story of a 2ft 6in gauge roadside industrial tramway in New Zealand which ran from the Gentle Annie quarry to a depot at Gisborne railway station, a distance of some twelve miles. It was operated by the Gisborne Borough Council for only four years with two Bagnalls, JACK (1879 of 1911) and ANNIE (1922 of 1912), and a Straker steam road waggon converted to rail use. JACK and ANNIE assisted with the dismantling of the tramway after the closure of the quarry in 1915, and were then transferred to the Motuhora Stone Ouarries Company where they worked for another five or six years. Bagnall enthusiasts will find this a useful acquisition, and the price asked is modest in relation to the contents.
INDIAN NARROW GAUGE RAILWAYS, by Hugh Hughes and Frank Jux. 39 pages, 9¼in x 7¼in, printed in litho on art paper throughout, with glossy card covers, 16 photographs, 5 maps. Published by the authors at 18 Cedar Terrace, RICHMOND, Surrey. Price 7/6, post free.
The British railway enthusiast, tiring of his diet of standardisation and dieselisation, is fast becoming aware that steam still flourishes elsewhere in the World. European trips have become commonplace, and the trend is moving towards those Meccas of steam, South Africa and India. How many of us will be able to afford such journeys remains to be seen, but whether or not you intend to travel, this book is worthy of your attention. The authors define "narrow gauge" as being less than 1 metre; thus the book is concerned with the 2ft 6in and 2ft 0in gauge public railways - over 3000 route miles served by some 500 steam locos and a mere handful of diesels, the latter largely confined to two systems. A fair proportion of the locos are British built - one sees familiar abbreviations such as HE, JF, KS, SS and many others in the lists. General production of the book is to a high standard, and some of the photos positively sparkle. The maps, intended to show the relative locations of the lines, leave something to be desired, and the absence of an effective index is a sad omission. For 39 pages the price is rather high, but for the information contained it is probably quite reasonable. Highly recommended to all steam and narrow gauge enthusiasts.
THE BISHOP'S CASTLE RAILWAY 1865-1935, by Edward Griffiths, B.A. 80 pages, 8½in x 5½in, printed in letterpress on art paper throughout, with glossy card covers, 80 illustrations, 2 locomotive drawings, 3 maps and 3 timetables. Published by the author at 23, Downing Street, FARNHAM, Surrey. Price 17/6, post free. (I.R.S. members may obtain copies at the concessionary price of 14/6, post free, from Mr A.D. Semmens, 44 Hicks Avenue, GREENFORD, Middlesex.)
One of the advantages gained by publishing books privately is the opportunity to include a greater number of photographs than most commercial publishers would allow. In a charming book Mr Griffiths has done just that. A wealth of pictures adequately illustrates a little railway which escaped the 1923 Grouping, having been in financial difficulties for many years. It appears that the management was never too sure of the Railway's title, as contemporary documents reproduced show "Bishop's" both with and without the apostrophe "s"! If the locomotives were an enthusiast's dream - by Brotherhood, Dodds, George England (2), Wolverhampton, Kitson, and one ex‑St Helens Railway as yet unidentified - so too was the coaching stock. Six were second-hand from the L&NWR and, of the three acquired from the GWR, one was an absolute gem - an ex‑L&SWR brake tri‑composite; the other two had formerly run on the Neath & Brecon which had purchased one from the Hull & Barnsley! The text is enlivened with several contemporary references and contributions from travellers and employees. Many of the happenings are typical of British light railway practice, although the railway was built under its own Act over thirty years before the Light Railways Act came into force. The booklet, which is an enlargement of one originally published in 1948, is a companion volume to the same author's The Hundred of Manhood & Selsey Tramways 1897 1935, and both are highly recommended.