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The Atmospheric Western

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For any fans of George Heiron's wonderful photographs of the Western Region in the 1950s/60s, a new book has been published by The Transport Treasury.  Hardback, contains 145 photos most of which have not been published before in previous books containing George Heiron's work.

 

It is a wonderful read with interesting captions for every photo provided by Leslie Price.   It costs £27.50 and can be obtained directly from Transport Treasury.

 

I have no connection to the publisher or authors, other than a very satisfied customer.   

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I will look out for this. I have always admired George Heiron's work. There are certain photos that are unmistakeably his - almost any picture of a Britannia on the Badminton route for instance.

 

[Edit] I've just ordered a copy

Edited by Andy Kirkham
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Fantastic book, I have it in stock and will be at the Bristol O Gauge show at UWE on Sunday with stock.

 

Simon

 

Wild Swan Books

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All of the titles from The Transport Treasury are available directly to order from our warehouse stock at Strathwood.

 

Including;

The Atmosperic Western

Western Region Non-Passenger Trains – Images from Dick Riley and Peter Gray Collections

First Generation Diesels in East Anglia

The Southern's Withered Arm

Western Ways The R. C. Riley Archive 1937 – 1964: Volume. 1

Somerset & Dorset The R C Riley Archive 1955-1965: Volume. 2

Southern Medley The R. C. Riley Archive Volume. 3

 

Kevin

TTT TAW.jpg

TTT WRNPT.jpg

TTT FGDIEA.jpg

TTT SMED.jpg

TTT WWVOL1.jpg

TTT S&D.jpg

TTT TSWA.jpg

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On 25/01/2020 at 08:18, Not Jeremy said:

Fantastic book, I have it in stock and will be at the Bristol O Gauge show at UWE on Sunday with stock.

 

Simon

 

Wild Swan Books

I purchased my copy from Simon and it was delivered in time for coffee the next morning, usual impeccable service from Titfield Thunderbolt. 

 

The quality of the photos is superb and the captions interesting. 

 

Edited by Captain Kernow
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Somehow, George's photos manage to portray the sheer majesty of the Britannias in a way that no others do.

 

I note that a number of his low-angle masterpieces were obtained while crouching in the four-foot way with his back to the traffic. It's perhaps a wonder that he lived as long as he did.

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On 29/01/2020 at 18:45, Strathwood said:

All of the titles from The Transport Treasury are available directly to order from our warehouse stock at Strathwood.

 

Including;

The Atmosperic Western

Western Region Non-Passenger Trains – Images from Dick Riley and Peter Gray Collections

First Generation Diesels in East Anglia

The Southern's Withered Arm

Western Ways The R. C. Riley Archive 1937 – 1964: Volume. 1

Somerset & Dorset The R C Riley Archive 1955-1965: Volume. 2

Southern Medley The R. C. Riley Archive Volume. 3

 

Kevin

TTT TAW.jpg

TTT WRNPT.jpg

TTT FGDIEA.jpg

TTT SMED.jpg

TTT WWVOL1.jpg

TTT S&D.jpg

TTT TSWA.jpg

 

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Or these can be collected in person from dckits-devideos at the following shows over the next few weeks;

BRM Doncaster.

Glasgow SECC

Preston

Jarrow (Newcastle)

York at Easter.

Epsom & Ewell.

 

See you there.   Charlie

Edited by charliepetty

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1 hour ago, The Great Bear said:

Are the pictures in this book all post-nationalisation?

Yes. You get the impression that George didn't document his photographs ( many of the captions are taken up with deductions made from train reporting numbers and  loco alllocation histories) so few of them have definite dates, or even years. But nearly all of them show locos with the late or early BR emblem and only one (on the title page) with "British Railways". I believe he started railway photography in earnest in 1952 after he'd finished National Service.

Edited by Andy Kirkham
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I saw the George Heiron book today at a mates place. I thought the reproduction was maybe a little flat but that aside the photos are stunning. When I arrived home I ordered all three of the Transport Treasury Western themed books direct from them. Postage for all three to Australia was an incredible flat rate 7.99 GBP which is simply too good to pass up. I do not make a habit of buying 50s and 60s photo albums, but the Heiron book is a must have if you like atmospheric photos.

 

Craig W

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On 16/02/2020 at 09:36, Craigw said:

I saw the George Heiron book today at a mates place. I thought the reproduction was maybe a little flat but that aside the photos are stunning. 

Quite a few people I've spoken to about it have said the same thing. It's down to how it's been printed - David Postle from Kidderminster Railway Museum did explain it to me but I can't remember which it was! It's why Transition took so long to appear, the book kept getting printed in grey rather than black and white. 

 

It's a shame about the reproduction, for me it's made it a good book rather than the stunning book it could be. 

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Ha, the title piqued my interest, but, sadly, I was mistaken!

 

unnamed.jpg.f1fbc3fa33f320898729b3e6acee4a81.jpg

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3 hours ago, 5944 said:

Quite a few people I've spoken to about it have said the same thing. It's down to how it's been printed - David Postle from Kidderminster Railway Museum did explain it to me but I can't remember which it was! It's why Transition took so long to appear, the book kept getting printed in grey rather than black and white. 

 

It's a shame about the reproduction, for me it's made it a good book rather than the stunning book it could be. 

 

I recently paid a fair amount of money (ok a lot) for a book called "Unternehmen Ilse" by RZM publishing. This is a large format book of German WW2 B&W photos from the relief of Kovel in March 1944. The reproduction in this book is superb and everything that B&W should be. Maybe my expectations are higher because of that.  

 

The composition of the photos in the Heiron book is stunning, it is not only about the locos, to my mind it is a must have.

 

Craig W

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2 hours ago, Edwardian said:

Ha, the title piqued my interest, but, sadly, I was mistaken!

 

unnamed.jpg.f1fbc3fa33f320898729b3e6acee4a81.jpg

 

Edwardian,

 

I model early 1920s GWR. From a modelling point of few, there is all of relevance to me. But as a record of the late steam era Western it is superb. If you want a book to sit down and take in the atmosphere to my mind this is the one.

 

Craig W

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3 hours ago, 5944 said:

Quite a few people I've spoken to about it have said the same thing. It's down to how it's been printed - David Postle from Kidderminster Railway Museum did explain it to me but I can't remember which it was! It's why Transition took so long to appear, the book kept getting printed in grey rather than black and white. 

 

It's a shame about the reproduction, for me it's made it a good book rather than the stunning book it could be. 

 

FFS

 

Have you actually seen the book?

 

If yes then fair enough, but if not then please at least do the publisher and everyone else here a favour and actually look at it and make your own mind up before damning it.

 

I am a bookseller and am pretty discerning, believe me this book is visually superb and the photographic reproduction top notch.

 

I am also a publisher and comments like this really p*ss me off, sorry.

 

Not George either

 

 

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Sorry, yes, I should've said that I have seen the book and no, I wasn't impressed with the reproduction. The covers are great, but there is a lack of black on the inside pages, everything to me seems quite grey and washed out. The night shots are especially bad. Just my opinion though! 

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On 07/02/2020 at 21:43, Andy Kirkham said:

I note that a number of his low-angle masterpieces were obtained while crouching in the four-foot way with his back to the traffic. It's perhaps a wonder that he lived as long as he did.

 

That was exactly what leapt out at me from the cover picture.  My first thought was "I hope to God he had a lookout-man behind him!".

 

If a lot of his shots are like that, what you say is very true.

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11 hours ago, 5944 said:

Sorry, yes, I should've said that I have seen the book and no, I wasn't impressed with the reproduction. The covers are great, but there is a lack of black on the inside pages, everything to me seems quite grey and washed out. The night shots are especially bad. Just my opinion though! 

 

I can see what you mean, but to describe it as all looking "grey and washed out" is factually incorrect, it just doesn't. It is also utterly misleading to say such a thing in the way that you have done, from the point of view of anyone who either hasn't seen the book or who has more "normal" expectations - potential customers who might actually buy a copy and support the making public George's wonderful images.

 

As picture books go it's bloody good, and at £27.50 it's a bargain too. OK, so it may not be absolutely perfect for those of us with a finely honed sense for photographic reproduction - but perceptions will differ on this point and who sensibly expects absolute perfection in anything anyway? I can say this because I have looked through the book in detail and have also seen numerous people's reaction to it at first hand.

 

It is so very easy to criticise things, especially on an online forum, but stuff here is read by thousands of people and I think that if any of us are going to criticise anything then we ought to do so carefully and considerately.

 

I know a lot of us in this hobby take things very literally, but Life isn't just "black and white" - shades of grey exist everywhere, which rather leads us back to the book I guess.

 

And as for "look out protection" for goodness sake these photographs were taken years ago, and having met George I can confirm to you who are so concerned for his safety that he wasn't knocked down by a train, so you really don't need to worry, it's OK.

 

 

 

 

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Not Jeremy

 

Its an instinctive reaction from anyone who has worked on the railway to ask who was looking after his back.

 

Not Jeremy Either (Kevin)

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19 minutes ago, Not Jeremy said:

 

 

And as for "look out protection" for goodness sake these photographs were taken years ago, and having met George I can confirm to you who are so concerned for his safety that he wasn't knocked down by a train, so you really don't need to worry, it's OK.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for making that very clear.  It is plainly obvious from various of his photos and paintings that were published contemporaneously with them being taken/produced that he would j have had a Lineside Photographic Permit because they were very  clearly taken 'inside the fence'.  Such permits came with warnings about personal safety although very definitely nothing like the situation of today or indeed most of the past 30 years.  Equally obviously - to me at any rate - is that all of his 'inside the fence' photos I have ever seen published were taken before Lineside Photographic Permits were discontinued.  The holder of such a Permit was not required to have a Lookoutman but was responsible for their own safety.  I'm not sure of the exact wording on the permit but if I can ever find mine (which is of course long out of date)  I'd be happy to let people see what it said.

 

So in very simple terms, apart from your conclusive evidence of his continued existence after taking such photos, it seems that - to use the well known words of a generation ago - 'he was in a place where he was authorised to be doing something which he was authorised to do'.

 

Back to books please.

Edited by The Stationmaster
correct minor typo
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As one who knew George, used many of his pictures in print over the years, some of the comments above suggest to me that publishers should include a short piece about the photographer and his work by way of introduction to those who are apparently too young to know of the photographer, his reputation or the conditions under which he took his pictures. Perhaps they are unaware of the relationship between the railway and authorised photographers, which existed until it was overwhelmed in the run-up to the end of steam? George's own prints were usually superb but he printed huge sizes, too big for easy storage, which resulted in  damaged edges which required either retouching (difficult before Photoshop) or cropping to eliminate damaged areas. He was interested in the picture, not the train, its time or its destination, so he seldom recorded such things, even if he knew them. Mostly, his caption, hand-written on the back of the print would be "Castle in the Hills" or "King talks to the sky" or some such lyrical wording which wasn't much help - particularly if the book required the usual formulaic caption - location, loco, train, time, date, credit. I went, once, to negotiate (unsuccessfully) the purchase of his negatives - they were kept in a shoe box.  (CJL)

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20 hours ago, Craigw said:

 

Edwardian,

 

I model early 1920s GWR. From a modelling point of few, there is all of relevance to me. But as a record of the late steam era Western it is superb. If you want a book to sit down and take in the atmosphere to my mind this is the one.

 

Craig W

 

I daresay that I was entirely alone in having my hopes raised, but then dashed, by the title!

 

It seems that the consensus is that these are quality pictures of an enduringly popular subject, and you almost tempt me to make the purchase.  I say 'almost' simply because I recall my childhood devotion to the Great Western, and the frustration of only ever being able to find albums predominately of WR steam (as opposed to pre-War) has stuck with me.  When the GW in the 'Thirties volumes came out, it was like manna from Heaven, and there's been a couple of Pictorials and a Norman Locket volume since, also giving pre-war coverage. 

 

None of this is to say that the volume in question is not among the best of its genre and doesn't deserve a place on the book shelf. My comments were really off topic, and I hope I am forgiven.

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4 hours ago, Edwardian said:

 

I daresay that I was entirely alone in having my hopes raised, but then dashed, by the title!

 

It seems that the consensus is that these are quality pictures of an enduringly popular subject, and you almost tempt me to make the purchase.  I say 'almost' simply because I recall my childhood devotion to the Great Western, and the frustration of only ever being able to find albums predominately of WR steam (as opposed to pre-War) has stuck with me.  When the GW in the 'Thirties volumes came out, it was like manna from Heaven, and there's been a couple of Pictorials and a Norman Locket volume since, also giving pre-war coverage. 

 

None of this is to say that the volume in question is not among the best of its genre and doesn't deserve a place on the book shelf. My comments were really off topic, and I hope I am forgiven.

 

 

I also have the Soole books and the Norman Locket ones. They are superb books but this book is different. The previously mentioned books are all technically excellent and the composition is also very good. But the atmosphere book combines that technical excellence with a certain artistry that the other two lack. I am not one for collecting late steam era albums either, but I would really recommend this one. 

 

No need to be forgiven for having an opinion as far as I am concerned :)

 

 

Regards,

 

Craig w

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Rather like Edwardian, my interests are pre war GWR and I love the books quoted above particularly the Geen eg al GW in the 1930s with the very helpful appendices!  However, I was wondering how much WR practice had actually changed from 1935 to 1955 and hence how useful as a guide to what might have been running in ‘35 would a book of ‘55 be? (I’ll probably end up buying anyway....)

 

As an aside, I was delighted to discover on reading a forward to the latest volume of TE Williams pictures, a forward by RJ Blenkinsop.  My late mother gave a copy of ‘Shadows of the Great Western’ to my father in around 1972.  I remember pretty much memorising the book as a smallish child and it was one of my formative influences to being a GWR man (despite being born a mere quarter of a century after its official demise!).  In the way odd details stick with you, the one that remains with me is the picture of the author on the fly leaf sitting on a safety valve cover converted to a stool surrounded by railwayana.  I still covet a safety valve cover and a chimney (copped capped obvs)...‘Shadows of the GW’ now safely stashed in my own collection.

 

David.  

 

 

 

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