reviews

BOOKS


british railways road vehicles 1948 - 1968 This month, Mike Forbes, Editor of our sister publication Diecast Collector, looks at some of the latest books to come from Trans-Pennine Publishing, which will be of interest to modellers, vehicle enthusiasts and collectors - and we bring you a special offer too!
great western railway road vehiclesThe 'Nostalgia Road' series of books from Trans-Pennine sets out to provide 'The Illustrated History of British Motoring', providing a host of period pictures of many different types of vehicle - very useful for modelling purposes. More than a dozen titles have been published, some sub-divided into the 'Famous Fleets', 'Classic Marques' and 'Fare Stage' series. The authors' depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for their respective subjects is evident, making all these books absorbing reading.
vintage horsesNew titles are Mechanical Horses by Bill Aldridge and British Fire Engines of the 1950s and 1960s by Simon Rowley. Both give an interesting insight into the background to the design and operation of these specialised vehicles, backed up by a range of contemporary photographs, including a number in colour. The 'Famous Fleets' series started off with British Railways Road Vehicles 1948-1968, which covered a wide range of different vehicles from mechanical horses and parcels vans to heavy haulage tractors, in the different liveries used during the early years of the nationalised railway system. This was followed by books on ambulances and The London Brick Company - all fascinating stuff. Another fleet covered is Great Western Railway Road Vehicles. Many features of this innovative fleet were carried over to the BR operations, and again the collection of pictures offers unrivalled coverage of the many types of vehicle which were used to complement railway haulage of goods.
david brown tractors 1965 - 1988Two books deal with the history of David Brown tractors, a must for all tractor enthusiasts in the hearts of many of whom this marque holds a special place (That's me! - Ed.), while for those interested in everyday saloons and estate cars produced during the 1950s and 1960s, the 'Classic Marques' series from Nostalgia Road will be particularly interesting. The first two volumes cover Ford Cars and Vauxhall Cars during the period 1945-1964, the latter the first result of collaboration between Trans-Pennine and Vauxhall Motors making use of the manufacturer's photographic archives to produce something of a difinitive history of its products. The second book to result from this link-up is the first in the 'Fare Stage' Series, Bedford Buses of the 1930s and '40s, which covers all the early models up to the famous OB with some very interesting pictures, many of which have not been published for many years if at all. Further volumes, covering later decades, are in preparation. Few bus and coach operators have not used Bedfords at some time, so this is a new look at a subject familiar to many.
refuse collectionThe volume dealing with Fifty Years of Ice Cream Vehicles is another covering vehicles we all know, but also provides a lot of background on the production of ice cream and the 'mobiles' used to take it to customers. Co-written by Stuart Whitby, who runs Britain's major producer of ice cream vans, his enthusiasm for the subject shines out. This is a book I found hard to put down, so I look forward to reading the follow-up in the 'Famous Fleets' series on the history of 'Mister Softee'!
fifty years down the lineAll of the books are soft-backed small-format books 21cm x 20cm (8.5" x 8"), with about 50 pages, containing roughly twice as many pictures, usually including a colour section, and edited by Trans-Pennine's Alan Earnshaw, who has co-written a number with other experts on individual makes or type of vehicle. Highly recommended, we are pleased to offer readers a special offer of two of these volumes (usually £6.50 each), for the special price of £12, delivered to your door, post free.
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