THE CASTLE AND THE BEAR/GOOD AND SAFE WEE RAILWAY
Excellent introduction to two pre-Grouping systems. Could do with more pictures of trains.
Inspired by SR472’s feature on Scottish pre-Grouping engines, I plucked these titles from the ever-growing reviews pile and quickly found myself being educated and entertained at the same time.
In just 80 pages (The Castle and the Bear) and 64 pages (Good and Safe Wee Railway) the author provides an engaging introduction to the Scottish lines that bore those nicknames – the North British Railway and the Glasgow & South Western Railway respectively. Both chronicle the complicated rivalries, takeovers and amalgamations of the time in simple terms, telling the compelling story of how each company grew into a major player. Doubtless because of space constraints, both contain relatively few pictures, and most depict stations rather than the gloriously colourful locomotives and trains of these lines. The maps, however, are good and clear, providing a useful guide to the networks. Neither pretends to be a detailed or in-depth account – but they are enjoyable enough to inspire the reader to research the subject further. Great value at just a tenner each.