British Railway Modelling (BRM)
RAILWAYS AND INDUSTRIES IN NORTH EAST WALES & DEESIDE, by Rob Shorland-Ball, Pen and Sword. PRICE: £25.00
I was particularly interested in this book because it describes an area I know very well, having been born and bred in Chester. As such, I visited many of the locations described, and also played cricket on grounds in many of the local towns and villages. It’s an area rich in industrial archaeology, ably described in this excellent work. It’s divided into nine chapters which include descriptions of the various railways’ histories and the men who built them, the numerous industries and the entrepreneurs who created them, how to find the ‘hidden places’, resources (limestone, lead, coal, iron ore, brick and pottery clay), 20th-century decline and fall (numerous closures) and an early-20th century resurgence. The last-mentioned is most encouraging. The whole work is well-written and lavishly-illustrated, all printed on high-quality gloss stock. To complement the range of photographs (which cover the whole history and, in the main, have reproduced well, particularly given the age of some of them) there are numerous drawings and diagrams, all of great use to modellers and historians alike. It’s a book I couldn’t put down, though you don’t have to be a ‘native’ to find it engrossing. You also have to look beyond the cover image of a Class 66, which has almost no relevance to the rich heritage inside. All in all, its 144 pages are fascinating stuff, excellent value for money and I thoroughly recommend it. It might not be that well-known that the LNER and its predecessors had establishments in North Wales, including two stations (and an MPD) in Wrexham, though I doubt if they were ever part of BR’s Eastern Region; not that far west.