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Radstock Coal and Steam: History v. 1: Somerset and Dorset at Radstock and Writhlington Hardcover – 25 Oct 1991
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Radstock is perhaps best remembered for die regular summer Saturday confrontation at die infamous level crossing gates where a main road and vital holiday route from die north bisected one of die busiest main railways to die south coast. The tremendous traffic jams are now only a distant memory and it is difficult to imagine the bustling scene at Radstock's Somerset & Dorset station and yard. No trace of these now remains and gone are the collieries too, only their dirt batches reminding us of a past way of life.
Radstock was an industrial, mining community set incongruously amidst some of die most beautiful countryside die south has to offer. This book sets out to tell the comprehensive story of the S&D at Radstock, from its canal and tramway predecessors, through its development and changes of ownership, trials and triumphs, to its final slow decline and closure. The railway's relationship with the whole variety of industries which went to make up the town is fully covered, in particular its dealings with die collieries. Details of tramways and rail workings to Clandown, Writhlington, Braysdown and others are all included along with much material illustrating the development of the town itself.
The author has drawn on many original documents to provide details of the history which will ensure this book becomes an important work of reference. He has also talked to many former employees who provide fascinating accounts of the day-today running of the line. Many photographs, maps and detailed drawings complete the picture.
Volume 2 will include a more detailed study of the station and yard, with all their buildings; the motive power depot and its locomotives; signalling; and an account of the workings of the colliery lines. Many more photographs and scale drawings will complete the picture for historian and modeller alike.
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2 May 2018
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
For those with an interest in the history of the SDJR particularly in relation to the Bath extension and the importance that the Somerset coalfield had to the line this and its companion volume (2 - Buildings, Locomotives and Workings) are a fascinating read and there is much wonderful information for those interested in modelling the line. For instance who knew that on the SDJR "Jintys" were never called that but instead "Bagnalls" after their manufacturer! (Hornby and its Somerset Belle be aware).