STATIONS AND LINESIDE VIEWS IN AND AROUND LONDON
A varied and nostalgic set of photographs. A few pictures unsympathetically cropped.
All the grimy atmosphere of London’s post-war railway scene is brought back to life in this album of monochrome pictures, taken by retired British Medical Council researcher and author Dr Ben Brooksbank. It does a good job of covering its vast subject, if in a ‘broad brush stroke’ way; indeed, one’s first impression is that it’s a book of station pictures, for it’s not until page 32 that studies of locomotives begin to appear in any great numbers. That’s not so much a criticism as an observation – for they document some locations well off the beaten track as well as the famous termini, and their informative captions document their history well. The fact that the pictures date from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s make for a pleasing variety, both in motive power (from all the ‘Big Four’) and liveries; and all are of good quality for the period, obviously having been taken with a decent camera. A handful have been poorly cropped, with locomotives’ buffers chopped out of the frame, though it’s not clear whether this is a failing on the part of the photographer or the publisher. While there’s no one thing about it that’s particularly outstanding, it’s a good, solid record of the general railway scene in the capital, and very evocative of its era.