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Phil Bullock

Master Neverers

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Been browsing again tonight....what absolute gems!

 

I'm away on business so saving these masterpieces until the weekend - it's my birthday on Sunday, so the question is, can I hold out!  

 

Last night though I had a copy* delivered in person by a bona fide MNA member - we discussed his trips over the Waverley Route at some length - I was an embarrassing fanboy for sure!

 

 

 

 

* I don't recall ordering two copies as it happens, but it's far from impossible  :senile:

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A large, heavy box was delivered this morning but I don't intend opening it until Christmas Day - that will take some self-restraint!

 

Bill

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A large, heavy box was delivered this morning but I don't intend opening it until Christmas Day - that will take some self-restraint!

 

Bill

 

From what I've been told, Bill, you will most definitely not be disappointed.  My informant/ insider reckoned they had to do special justice to the WR because it was simply the ultimate railway for capturing steam at its most graphic and photogenic.  And I'm certain the Peak main line and S&C will remain on terms...  :angel:

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I collected a heavy box from the local post office today. Inside was a very well packed four volume book set in a slip cover.

 

I have browsed volume 1 and it is simply wonderful.

 

Definitely a superb set of books.

 

Cheers

 

Darius

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Also received mine today. As a word of note, the limited edition certificate wasn't in the package containing the box/books but separate in the delivery box and I nearly threw it out with the packaging.

Only had a quick skim through one of the volumes, but looking at the quality of the work so far I may well be some time (with apologies to Capt Oates).

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I collected a heavy box from the local post office today. Inside was a very well packed four volume book set in a slip cover.

I have browsed volume 1 and it is simply wonderful.

Definitely a superb set of books.

Cheers

Darius

...and a belated “thank-you” to Phil Bullock for starting this thread, without which I might never have been aware of these books and the Master Neverers.

 

Cheers

 

Darius

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A week on from taking delivery, I am still coming to terms with this publication.  I always thought it would be good, and my high expectation has been exceeded beyond that which I thought possible.  It has taken a week to read most of the first of the four volumes, and what a journey it has been! 

 

It would be easy to comment on the splendid images and the exquisite reproduction, but this work is so much more.  The time and effort expended must have been enormous, and this extends to the composition that has been so well thought through.  The care that has been lavished is impressive, and the publication team should be extremely proud with the result.  The sub-chapters that comprise a main chapter display a refreshing approach resulting in a good format.  And the physical aspect of the format is also good, at 11" x 11".  The text, written by different members of the MNA, is apposite, entertaining and informative.  The captions are imaginatively written giving additional pertinent information, and free from the tired format so prevalent these days. 

 

I could go on, but will conclude by saying this is a magnificent celebration of the final years of BR steam and a fine tribute to the staff of BR and the MNA who ensured it ended in style.   I am sure the remaining three volumes will be enjoyable to read, and look forward to looking at them again in the years to come.

 

This publication is exceptionally good value for money, and at the pre-publication offer price represents a true bargain. 

 

Finally, I thank the members of the MNA for having the foresight to produce this publication.                 

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Mine arrived today and Ive had a quick look through and even with such a cursory view I can confidently say these are the finest books in my railway library, quite simply wonderful.

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...and a belated “thank-you” to Phil Bullock for starting this thread, without which I might never have been aware of these books and the Master Neverers.

 

Cheers

 

Darius

 

Welcome Darius. Knowing something of the involvement of the gentlemen concerned with early days of preserved railways I was prepared to pin my colours to the mast early on with this project. My faith has more than been repaid!

 

Now about that Class 120 in your avatar....

 

Phil

Edited by Phil Bullock
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Yes thanks Phil, I'm in the same boat.

 

I got my set today (for the record if anyone is counting, I applied by post and my copy is no 956.

 

An incredible body of work. My only criticism is that some of the images, and their captions, are spread across two pages, and with quite a tight bind, it is to the detriment of the photos. It's also hard to read the text in some cases. That said, thankfully there aren't too many instances where this happens, and it's therefore not a reason to not buy the books.

 

Volume two, particular, is of interest to me with a wealth of Glasgow-Aberdeen trains documented.

Edited by scottystitch

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Oh dear!   An enormous amount of work had gone into this set of books.   The pictures and text are great.  Sadly, my enjoyment has been ruined by the brownish/sepia tinge to the b/w shots.  No real black, and some variability.   I do hope David P and Colin G solve this problem before Colin Gifford's book is published.   They, and I, would be heartbroken if they had the MNA result - please see the the Transitions thread for a technical discussion.

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Oh dear!   An enormous amount of work had gone into this set of books.   The pictures and text are great.  Sadly, my enjoyment has been ruined by the brownish/sepia tinge to the b/w shots.  No real black, and some variability.   I do hope David P and Colin G solve this problem before Colin Gifford's book is published.   They, and I, would be heartbroken if they had the MNA result - please see the the Transitions thread for a technical discussion.

 

I opened my set yesterday, albeit I have not looked at the books in any great depth yet. Initial impressions? - the content doesn't disappoint, in fact much of it is superb, with a good balance of text and pictures. But it is rather obvious that all of the set has been printed using a four colour process, hence the brownish tinge mentioned above. That said, viewing the books under daylight or daylight balanced artificial light minimises the effect and I'm loathe to make too much of it given what good value for money the set of books represents, particularly at the early special offer rate.

 

Bill

Edited by Bill Jamieson

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Brilliant set of books. Only 2/3rds through volume 1. Love the photos of the Waverley Route - the lighting was just different from elsewhere to produce dramatic shots. The short story on cab ride on City of Coventry at speed adds that human element to the books. Roll on vol2,3 and 4.

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Four superb volumes: great photographs, well reproduced on good quality paper.

I knew I'd made the right decision (on buying from an unknown publisher) when I unpacked the set: a box within a box and corner padding.

They are one of my better buys - I'm looking forward to slowly looking through the volumes whilst sipping some of the Scottish amber nectar.

Well done.

Peterfgf

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I opened my set yesterday, albeit I have not looked at the books in any great depth yet. Initial impressions? - the content doesn't disappoint, in fact much of it is superb, with a good balance of text and pictures. But it is rather obvious that all of the set has been printed using a four colour process, hence the brownish tinge mentioned above. That said, viewing the books under daylight or daylight balanced artificial light minimises the effect and I'm loathe to make too much of it given what good value for money the set of books represents, particularly at the early special offer rate.

 

Bill

Thanks for the tip about daylight viewing.  It helps a bit but shouldn't really be necessary.  Odd that b/w printing has gone backwards.

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Got mine, number 273 out of I assume 1,000?

If you are wavering-don't. It is truly superb and more than worth the price. Not noticed any sepia as mentioned, my copies are perfect.
One of the best, if not THE best set of rail books I have ever seen.
Almost all the shots are unpublished and the quality is excellent throughout. A bloody good read.

 

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Thanks for the tip about daylight viewing.  It helps a bit but shouldn't really be necessary.  Odd that b/w printing has gone backwards.

 

What seems to have gone backwards is the normal offering from printers - I presume it's  far easier to print everything using four colours, no doubt because colour output is now the norm. Duotone printing using two plates, black and a spot grey, should give excellent black and white, but this can only be proofed using wet proofing (i.e. using the same press and materials as the print run will be carried out on), which seems to be expensive. On the other hand, only two plates are required per sheet so that must save cost, but I have no idea how it balances out - that said, David Postle seems to be taking the duotone route (or possibly tritone using three plates) with 'Transition' so it can't be prohibitively expensive.

 

There have been some excellent duotone printed railway books in recent years, but these are almost exclusively from the U.S. - the O. Winston Link book 'Life on the Line' and Victor Hand's 'A Steam Odyssey' (the latter has a reasonable number of UK images by the way) are two examples, and I've just come across a relatively new book called 'Essential Witness' featuring the work of another U.S. photographer, Jim Shaughnessy, which is specified as being duotone printed (I haven't actually seen it yet but it is listed on both the Ian Allan and W H Smith websites and I would be interested to hear from anyone who has acquired it ). The RRP is £48, by the way, but this will include the normal book industry mark-ups, which may not apply with 'Never Again'.

 

On a more positive note, there are loads of stunning images in 'Never Again', too many to list, but could I just mention page 199 of Volume One, a Ken Hale shot of two unrebuilt Bulleid Pacifics emerging from Devonshire Tunnel (Bath) into Lyncombe Vale. This must rate as one of the best S&DJR shots ever taken (and I have most, if not all, of the Ivo Peters albums).

 

Bill

Edited by Bill Jamieson
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Got mine, number 273 out of I assume 1,000?

If you are wavering-don't. It is truly superb and more than worth the price. Not noticed any sepia as mentioned, my copies are perfect.

One of the best, if not THE best set of rail books I have ever seen.

Almost all the shots are unpublished and the quality is excellent throughout. A bloody good read.

 

Ditto. Just started volume 2. I have to sit at a table to read them though!

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Superb books with a lot of humour in the text - where those young lads daft or what ??  - still without the likes of the Neverers (and others) we would be much poorer in the last days of steam photographic department.

 

I'm halfway through Volume three - with occasional bursts of laughter - wife & kids saying "what's so funny about a train picture book" !!!!!

 

Train picture book !!!!!! - If only my kids could ever experience as I did, the last days of steam here in the North West back in 66/7/8.

 

This really is a "desert island disc" set of books !!

 

Brit15

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Apparently now sold out. A few individual copies left of parts 1, 2 and 4-pity as part 3 is possibly the best-but they are considering a reprint. if you missed out I'd get in contact and order it as it's a total masterpiece, the photography is fantastic and the tales hilarious and well detailed.

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Apparently now sold out. A few individual copies left of parts 1, 2 and 4-pity as part 3 is possibly the best-but they are considering a reprint. if you missed out I'd get in contact and order it as it's a total masterpiece, the photography is fantastic and the tales hilarious and well detailed.

 

I would agree with your assessment that volume 3 is the best - judged purely on the quality of the photography and not being influenced by favourite lines, loco types etc.

Bill 

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Only realised a couple of days ago I had not had time to delve in to volume 3. As others have intimidated I think I saved the best till last. Jubilees always were a favourite but now even more so.....

 

Phil

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Only realised a couple of days ago I had not had time to delve in to volume 3. As others have intimidated I think I saved the best till last. Jubilees always were a favourite but now even more so.....

 

Phil

 

Don't be, think of us as friends here....  :angel:

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Don't be, think of us as friends here....  :angel:

 

Darn spill chucker - no worries , certainly do!

 

Phil

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