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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb volume showing the forgotten era of modern traction, 4 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Dawn of the Diesels: v. 1 (The nostalgia collection) (Hardcover)
It is my opinion that John Spencer Gilks is one of Britain's best, but most least known modern traction photographers. In the late 50's and 60's, when many photographers were not photographing the new diesels that were appearing, or staying in and around the main stations and lines Gilks was out and about on a single-handed mission to record the disappearing country stations and rural lines which were at sharp contrast with the shiny new diesel locos and units that were operating them as steam disappeared. Often he would travel to unmanned, outlying stations to record trains passing through and in doing this probably became one of the few photographers ever to record a scene at that location. Many of these locations have now been redeveloped or simply returned to nature.

Gilks' photographic composition is also superb. Moody skies, wild scenery and interesting viewpoints in the country contrast with bustling urban photographs showing the whole railway scene. Gilks also clearly knew the benefit of using a good film and camera, as 40-odd years later the pictures are pin sharp and do not lose any quality in reproduction. The photos are laid out well in the book, with some given a whole page, such is the detail of the pictures.

Entertainment is also provided by Gilks' comprehensive captions, which in some cases act as somewhat of an autobiography - he indicates that he consistently kept a diary during the years he was taking the photographs and this shows in his captions - even right down to one where he indicates what he had for tea that day! He also records information about his mammouth project 'Three Men in a Train', in which he and two friends travelled on most of the BR network during the 1960's, many lines that are now gone.

This First Volume of Gilks work is probably the best of all of his modern traction volumes to date - the variety and quality of the photographs is unrivalled - if you have never experienced John Spencer Gilks' work I suggest you buy this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 April 2015
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Mr. C. A. Carey "Chris" (Cambridge,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dawn of the Diesels: v. 1 (The nostalgia collection) (Hardcover)
Brilliant reference book for the railway historian.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 April 2015
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This review is from: Dawn of the Diesels: v. 1 (The nostalgia collection) (Hardcover)
very good and informative
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Dawn of the Diesels: v. 1 (The nostalgia collection)
Dawn of the Diesels: v. 1 (The nostalgia collection) by John Spencer Gilks (Hardcover - 1 Mar. 1998)
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