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West London Gal (Shepherds Bush, London)

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London Under London: A Subterranean Guide
London Under London: A Subterranean Guide
by Richard Trench
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Ackroyd, Better than Brooke, 27 July 2011
I revisit this book frequently and struggle to imagine why it's not been reprinted or expanded. Packed full of fascinating detail and hitherto unseen illustrations, it's one of the best books on 'hidden' London and the only possible complaint is that it's not possible to visit most of the subterranean sites the authors have uncovered. Other similar books have appeared more recently, but none compares.


An Insider's Guide to 150 Spy Sites in London
An Insider's Guide to 150 Spy Sites in London
by Mark I Birdsall
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, and hard to find your way around, 27 July 2011
For the money I'd say it's more like a small glossy magazine than an actual book. Certainly it is packed full of information but the way it's laid out makes it difficult to navigate, with the text leaping all over the place as the authors attempt to follow particular narratives across London. It's not exactly error-free either, which is disappointing for what is obviously an enthusiastic tome, and the pictures are sometimes a bit scrappy. Roy Berkeley's A Spy's London (though out of print and only black and white) is an easier guide to espionage sites, and secondhand copies aren't hard to find.


One Stop Short of Barking: Uncovering the London Underground
One Stop Short of Barking: Uncovering the London Underground
by Mecca Ibrahim
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One for the charity shop....., 19 Nov 2009
What's that old Woody Allen joke about two old ladies in a New York deli? 'The food here's not very good,' says one. 'And the portions are so small', says the other. This book sounded funny, but actually there's almost nothing to it. It's not very funny, it's not very informative - and it's not even very big.


Underground Maps After Beck
Underground Maps After Beck
by Maxwell J. Roberts
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.95

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should do well, but quite pricey., 16 Nov 2009
A big fan of Harry Beck, and a regular tube-user, I bought this after agreeing to go with a friend to a U3A lecture by the author.
It's expensive for a skinny book but good although occasionally heavy going with Dr Roberts being an academic (an 'ologist' not an engineer or transport planner). Also slightly nerdy, at least compared to 'Mr. Beck's Underground Map' by Ken Garland which I enjoyed more.
That said, it will probably appeal to the tuboholics out there and to train spotters, of which there are plenty. Hence the 4-star rating: it's definitely one for the boys.


Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain
Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain
by Robert Winder
Edition: Paperback

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, illuminating read, 12 Nov 2009
Comprehensive and deeply researched but wonderfully readable, I raced through this thrilling story of two-thousand years of in-comers and learned so much more about Britain and its history than I expected to. Covering not just the usual influxes - the Irish, the Hugenots, the Jews pre-war - but every foreign community which has ever attempted to survive and thrive in these islands. Wonderful!


Chambers London Gazetteer
Chambers London Gazetteer
by Russ Willey
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely well researched, thrilling to read, 24 Mar 2008
This book reads like a lifetime's work - the detail is astounding, visiting parts of London most of us have never heard of - and with its wealth of anecdote, ancient and modern, the author deserves a lot more praise than I see on this site.


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