I have completed what was going to be my last book. It is called ‘The Great Western’s Last Year’. I sent the corrected proofs to ‘The History Press’ on 5th June and mailed the Index to them on 16th.
That’s the end of two years work, from May 2011 to May 2013, researching and writing. Between travelling to the National Archives in Kew, to planting my crops, to changing the oil in the car and researching and writing quarterly articles for the North Norfolk ‘Joint Line’ Journal and what-all else it keeps a chap’s mind and body active – and bank balance – unbalanced. The ‘weight’ off my back whenever a book is totally finished is a good feeling. But of course, I have the Autumn article to finish for the NNR and I have to now write the text for ‘Railways in the Vale of the White Horse – or Vale Rail for short. I have done the 160 illustrations and captions but there’s the 40k words of anecdote and history to start and finish. While I was writing ‘Last Year’ with the intention of it being my last book – I suddenly remembered that I had had this ‘Vale Rail’ book in mind for a number of years. Pendon Museum have been very kind and helpful to me with the illustrations.
‘GW Last Year’ is 90k words and 100 pictures. The words are written to tell the story – or something of the story – of the Gentlemans’ Railway using nothing but the GWR’s Minutes and Reports. The illustrations are almost all scans of those used in the GWR Staff magazine. The few ordinary photos I’ve used were made in 1947 – except the very last one which my father made in September 1960. But that is a very special and relevant picture for the end of the book.
‘The Great Western’s Last Year’ was published on 13 September 2013. A signed book from me by mailing your request.