Thursday, 27 December 2012

Santa Loves Narrow Gauge

He must do, because this is what I found under the tree on Xmas Day - a new cutting mat and a copy of Gordon Rushton's epic work recounting the story of the restoration of the WHR.

My old cutting mat was well overdue for replacement. Various accidents with solvent had left it not exactly flat anymore, which made cutting long straight lines rather difficult - unless extreme pressure was placed upon the piece you were cutting the line would often come out slightly curved. So a new one is very welcome.

The book is being slowly thumbed through. It is sumptuous in terms of text and illustrations. Indeed one might say it should be for the rather high price (£68) that the publisher has set.

But Gordon has a unique insight into the birth of the restoration project and has followed it very closely since and this thick volume is positively encyclopedic in the detail given of the historic, political and engineering aspects.

From my point of view, given the current projects I am working on, it is a shame there is no chapter devoted to the freight stock imported from South Africa, but there are plenty of pictures to peer into the corners of to discover hitherto unknown details.

I have to say that I have come across quite a few instances of typos and missing or duplicated words in my quick perusal of a few chapters, but if you read this blog regularly you'll find plenty of those here so people in glass houses etc..... (Although, of course, I'm not charging you £68 to read this...)

But let none of that distract from the fact it is a marvellous book and in my opinion anyone with an interest in the rebuilt WHR should be looking to buy one, even if they will have to save their pocket money first.

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