Paul Atterbury's Railway Collection

Published 12th November 2012

Author: Paul Atterbury

Publisher: David & Charles

Pages and dimensions: Hardback. 256 pages. 265mm X 250mm approx

Cover price: £25

Available from: David & Charles

Review by Phil Marsh

If this book is anything to go by, Paul Atterbury has amassed a huge railwayana collection and this book says it all, it is his railway collection published as a 256 page book. It is made up of photographs, postcards and other print items which have been collected and turned into Mr Atterbury’s private library.

This is another of his many lavishly illustrated railway books and like the others, does not disappoint and follows a similar format to other books. The author’s favourite journeys feature followed by areas geographically grouped interspaced with chapters on bespoke railway subjects.

The reviewer was initially intrigued as to how the author managed to obtain a British Rail (BR) All Stations first class pass which is featured in several areas! This is explained in the book as he worked with BR writing a book called ‘See Britain by Train’, his first railway book. There is a brief resume of the author’s life telling where he lived and why and what railway distractions occupied him at the time!

His favourite journeys section is an unashamed personal look at just that, his favourite rides. These are well written and illustrated and include diverse areas such as the Isle of Wight, the far north and Cambrian Coast lines for example.

As with some of his other books, station and train scenes are allocated their respective sections before the geographical chapters are presented. But, this book also contains several diverse chapters located between the geographical spreads such as a Mystery Photo section which as the narrative says, is representative of the many photos taken but left by enthusiasts over the years without any clues as to where or when they were taken.

Others include the industrial railway scene, not often a mainstream subject for books like this, others look at staff, people and passengers, foreign travel, bridges, sheds Works and incidents, all with an interesting picture selection.

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The seven geographical chapters are presented in similar format containing a general selection of pictures through the ages followed by a look at ‘lost lines’, advertising ephemera and postcards.

This look at the author’s collection covers a lot of diverse railway activities and subjects and will appeal to pretty much anyone with an interest in railways. There is something for everyone in the book but it does leaves the reader wondering just how large the author’s collection is and where he stores it all!

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