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London's Lost Power Stations and Gasworks Paperback – 1 Apr 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752487612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752487618
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 385,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ben Pedroche graduated from De Montfort University in 2002 and has been living and working in London since 2008. He enjoys writing books about the greatest city in the world, London. He has published one book so far entitled 'Do Not Alight Here: Walking London's Lost Underground and Railway Stations'; and has written extensively for a range of different magazines.


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London's Lost Power Stations and Gasworks is not just an informative book, but an accessible one too. As someone who has only really started looking into the history of London in the last year, I felt that this book offered insightful commentary into a less-talked about area of industrial history in a language I could understand. I haven't yet read the author's other book about London's lost underground stations but after reading this volume it is definitely very high on my reading list. In addition to the carefully constructed prose, the photography in this book illustrates the transitions described and is also thoughtfully shot. In summary - if you're interested in reading something more compelling than the average London guide or want to better understand London's industrial history without wading through lengthy, dull tomes, you can't go wrong with this book.
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Format: Paperback
I read this after enjoying another book from the same author about tube stations. It has lots of interesting history about buildings I see a lot, like Battersea and Lots Road, and old gasometers near where I live. There are also lots of good bits about more places I didn't even know were there. It has plenty of nice photos with a good mix of new and old ones. Well researched and written. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
A previous reviewer has noted the technical and grammatical errors in the book - which really should have been corrected at the proof reading stage - but those aside, I felt the book would have been improved by the inclusion of additional archive illustrations - especially of now demolished sites. The final sections relating to the present and the future seem to have been tacked on the end, and, at least in my opinion, add little of real substance to the overall story.

That said, the book is undoubtedly suitable for both the general and more specialist reader with an interest in industrial archeology.
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Enjoyed the book, both text and pictures, covering an little studied aspect of London history (as opposed to things underground, for instance, which is drowning in books at the moment).

One factual issue - on p165, when describing the changes to the electricity industry in the 1920s/1930s, the author talks about the creation of the Central Electricity Board (CEB) and its roles in introducing the early grid. However, it says "Using direct current (DC) as standard, again pioneered by Ferranti...", which seems highly unlikely given the issues with using DC for long distance power transmission, and Ferranti being a major proponent of AC (I think it was Edison in the US who was into DC)... The UK grid, initiated by the CEB, was of course 132kV AC.

Otherwise, one plea if ever updated - the book is crying out for a couple of maps, showing the location of the sites for both Power and Gas, especially given the discussion about the importance of the proximity to the river. Just simple, hand drawn maps would be great.

It would be pedantic to mention the typo where "sight" and "site" get confused.....

None of which should stop you buying this book, it's got some fascinating detail (especially around the history of and competition between the companies as the market got established).
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A delightful book for those interested in London's industrial heritage. Well written on the whole but always gripping.Makes one go out to look at what remains!
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Fascinating read of places I knew but mainly are no more!
Well presented, interesting photos
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