Dr Beeching's Axe 50 Years On: Memories of Britain's Lost Railways Paperback – 21 Feb 2013
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About the Author
Author and photographer Julian Holland spent his formative years, notebook and camera in hand, trainspotting on draughty station platforms and in smoke-filled engine sheds and travelling the highways and byways of the British Railways' network in search of that elusive locomotive number. In his more recent years he has written many best selling books on railways including The Lost Joy of Railways, Amazing & Extraordinary Railway Facts, The Lost Lines of Britain and has co-written The Times Mapping the Railways.
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Top Customer Reviews
The maps are particularly useful as they were in fact, the maps that were actually used in the 'Beeching Report.' This is something others have not realised, and that I would like to point out!
The style of the writing reminds me that many people at the time do not realise the damage that had been had been done and that if the investment had been put in today we would have an integrated transport system that was fit for purpose
The book is described on the back cover as a "memorial" to all that was lost following the publication and implementation of the Beeching report. This is a fair description. As I ploughed through the lists of closures in every region, it reminded me of the endless lists of soldiers' names we find on war memorials commemorating those who died, especially in the First World War. It should be remembered that some of the lines not listed for closure in the report nevertheless closed in the following years, though a few lines listed for closure in the report were subsequently reprieved.
The content of the book is easy to explain. There is a brief introduction of about six pages explaining the background to the Beeching report, a profile on Beeching, details of the report and a brief summary of its implementation. The remainder of the book is devoted to a brief description of the history (with photographs) of every line listed in the Beeching report (and lines which were not listed in the report but nevertheless were closed) and this is arranged on a geographical basis (Central England, Wales etc). The closures were so extensive that even though the descriptions are short, the book is nearly 200 pages long!Read more ›
The maps are poor. I dug out the very good Railway Atlas: Then and Now (by Smith & Turner), and had it open alongside this book. This helped on many occasions to understand what was being described.
A lot of research is embedded here, and the pictures are of interest, but there are many livelier and more colourful books about the old railways.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very interesting book we'll worth the cost and MUCH cheaper than from some suppliersPublished 12 months ago by T M
A very detailed study of the consequences of the 1963 Beeching Report, giving details of the lines that were closed, along with good quality photographs, many in colour. Read morePublished 14 months ago by robin westley
Well written with plenty of archive informationPublished 15 months ago by Mr. Richard F. Whitehouse
Good edited account and diary of the mad closures of our once wonderful railway network.Published 16 months ago by C. R. Bentley