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GWRSwindon

George Dow's GCR Trilogy Reprint?

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George Dow's trilogy on the Great Central Railway and its predecessors is frequently regarded as the definite work on the company, but it has been almost 35 years since its last printing, and obtaining copies at anything like a decent price is nearly impossible. I'd like to ask: is there sufficient interest among us to justify a reprint by Ian Allan?

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I'm quite happy with my volumes bought several years ago via the usual Ebay/ Abe Books channels (bully for him, I hear you cry). 

 

However;

 

If the text were to be reprinted with an expanded range of illustrations, and the appendices provided with more drawings at 4mm scale, I'd be interested in a new set.  I'm not sure such a work would come under the remit of a reprint though.

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18 hours ago, GWRSwindon said:

and obtaining copies at anything like a decent price is nearly impossible

What is your idea of a decent price?

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As I write this there is a copy of Vol3 available on Amazon at £15. I bought my copy from Bill Hudson about 15 years ago for £20.

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2 hours ago, Nile said:

What is your idea of a decent price?

I would probably say something in the range of $70-$100 USD (about £56-£81 GBP). I'm from the US, please pardon the dollars.

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Is that per volume or for a full set?  I paid, if I remember rightly, £30 - £35 each when I put my set together 8 or 9 years ago. 

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1 minute ago, James Harrison said:

Is that per volume or for a full set?  I paid, if I remember rightly, £30 - £35 each when I put my set together 8 or 9 years ago. 

I had been thinking for a full set. I'm aware that this is more than a little optimistic, but that would be my ideal price.

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1 hour ago, GWRSwindon said:

I had been thinking for a full set. I'm aware that this is more than a little optimistic, but that would be my ideal price.

Very optimistic I would say. Most in print railway books of the GCR type nowadays seem to be in the range £30-50 with £60 not being impossible. 

Perhaps it's best to stick to second hand from the usual on-line suppliers

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2 minutes ago, PenrithBeacon said:

Very optimistic I would say. Most in print railway books of the GCR type nowadays seem to be in the range £30-50 with £60 not being impossible. 

Perhaps it's best to stick to second hand from the usual on-line suppliers

True, except going this route is quickly becoming more and more difficult, and the price only keeps climbing. I argue that reprinting the trilogy (with maybe some additional bits and bobs added for good measure) would be better for everyone as a whole.

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It's my understanding that Ian Allan doesn't now exist as a publisher. Crecy Publishing has taken over their titles. Since the 3 volumes of "Great Central" were published between 1959 and 1965, I would have thought that it'd be a big task to reprint them. And would it be financially viable? Better to have a look on Abebooks or similar!     

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20 hours ago, GWRSwindon said:

True, except going this route is quickly becoming more and more difficult, and the price only keeps climbing. ...

Perhaps, but the second hand books essentially come from the estates of deceased railway enthusiasts and are being recycled back to a younger generation. The price of books is escalating anyway; a fortnight ago I bought the first volume of a history of the District Railway, remaindered from the £30 publisher's price. I notice that volume 2 is £37!

 

Provided that legatees continue to put books on eBay and not pulp them there is no reason why books like the GCR trilogy shouldn't go on for several generations yet.

 

Regards 

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On 19/10/2019 at 19:45, GWRSwindon said:

I would probably say something in the range of $70-$100 USD (about £56-£81 GBP). I'm from the US, please pardon the dollars.

Being in the US might make things a bit difficult, but this is an example of what's available:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Great-Central-Railway-books-Three-volume-set-by-George-Dow-VG-first-editions/163888869508?hash=item262889b084:g:ytcAAOSwURhdlLKN

As indicated above the second hand market is now being flooded with books like this, making the economics of a reprint rather weak.

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9 hours ago, Edthefolkie said:

It's my understanding that Ian Allan doesn't now exist as a publisher. Crecy Publishing has taken over their titles. Since the 3 volumes of "Great Central" were published between 1959 and 1965, I would have thought that it'd be a big task to reprint them. And would it be financially viable? Better to have a look on Abebooks or similar!     

I think the only part of the Ian Allan group that still exists is only the shop at Waterloo. 

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There's a few copies of Volume 1 on Ebay right now for a bit under £20.  Also a copy of Volume 3, same place, £6. 

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