Railways Illustrated

Class 47 BR’s Standard Diesel

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AUTHOR: Tony Wright PUBLISHER: Irwell Press ISBN: 978-1-911262-16-9 PRICE: £10.99

WEB: www.irwellpres­s.com

THIS IS an 80-page, perfect-bound softback pictorial book – almost a bookazine you could argue. The book is subtitled ‘A Personal Observatio­n’, so in that respect no criticism can really be levelled at it for not being a whole geographic­al spread of the Class 47 fleet’s varied life. Plenty of the pictures are interestin­g, but only a few are truly outstandin­g. There’s not much to complain about either, although one or two images could perhaps have been left out.

Where this book falls down is in the lack of research by the author – who, I have made an assumption, may be more of a steam man? That’s only a guess. For example, an image that is quite clearly 47560 Tamar is simply listed as a named 47 that could be Titan, Odin, Atlas or Thor, but you only have to look at it to know there is no way it could be any of those locos.

The author should have done more investigat­ion rather than making a wild – and wrong – assumption.

Captions such as “I was disappoint­ed to see ‘yet another’

47… when I was seeking the great Type 5s”, is also not a comment I would advocate for a Class 47 book. Other captions, such as the one for MR maroon 97561/47973, basically suggest the author does not know a fact simply because he can’t be bothered to find out! Also, saying on one that it’s “unusual to have a flush front”, when over 100 different locos had this modificati­on further highlights a lack of knowledge of the subject. As a final example, the author says the reader of this book won’t “be able to imagine the excitement of a steam loco carrying the same name”. But the chances are they will not care to imagine it. It’s irrelevant.

So, in short, the pictures are generally acceptable, but the captions are pretty appalling overall, uninformed and uninformat­ive. My message to the author is, next time please do research, or ask someone who knows about the subjects, before committing pen to paper. But there are 157 photos included and, as I say, most are OK. In conclusion, it’s not a classic book. It could have been so much better if a good sub editor who knows about Class 47s had gone over it before it was sent to the printers Food for thought? (PD).

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