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Geoff Williams Aylesbury LNWR Researching and Modelling the Prototype


Not Jeremy
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I am very pleased to announce that Wild Swan's latest modelling title has just been delivered. Written by Bob Williams, Geoff's son, it is a very nice account and description of both the man and his famous and ground breaking model railway. Designed and beautifully laid out by Steve Phillips, it is absolutely packed with photographs and information on the model and the prototype it represents. Fully indexed, it also forms something of a history of the hobby after the war, the layout appeared in many articles (all listed in the book) and Geoff had many visitors and made many friends though his building of the layout, all again covered in the text.

 

The layout is now owned by the Risborough MRS, who carried out a very effective restoration to enable the layout to appear at "Railex" in 2016, this is also covered in the book, which includes a contribution from Paul Bambrick on restoring the backscene.

 

Our very own Andy York was on hand at Railex to photograph the layout for British Railway Modelling and he and Warners have very kindly given me permission to include the wonderful pictures he took in the production of the book - thanks Andy!

 

120 pages, high quality softback, £24.95, available from your usual stockist or direct from The Titfield Thunderbolt Bookshop

 

Simon

Aylesbury.jpg

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This sounds rather interesting.

 

You might be getting an order soon. Whilst I think of it, I might also see about getting some MRJ back issues (I might have to work out which ones first).

 

Just out of curiosity, do you know if Wild Swan have any plans to reprint their book about the GWR / AEC Diesel railcars - or the David Jenkinson book about carriage construction?

 

(OK - I understand you might not be in a position to answer that question - just a bit of "wish listing" on my part ... .)

 

 

Huw.

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Thank you @Not Jeremy for the copy which arrived safely today with a lovely note. It's all been a bit hectic today so I haven't had chance to do any more thank skim through but there's such a lot in there and so many period pictures.

 

We've included Aylesbury in the virtual show this weekend with a recommendation for further reading in this book - it's almost like it was planned!

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10 minutes ago, Blandford1969 said:

This looks fascinating. Is it likely to find its way to other bookshops when they reopen?

 

If they order it, yes. Wild Swan is happy to supply any retailer with stocks of all of its titles. Bill Hudson books will have stock on the way already, the Alton Model Centre should have it hopefully, there are quite a few stockists.

 

It won't be available through Smiths or Waterstones however, for various reasons and in common with nearly all the other specialist publications in the UK.

 

Simon

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This is great news. I was thinking about Aylesbury a few days ago when I was looking through MRJ 53 (for carriage lining tips) and wondered if it still existed. It looks like all my questions will be answered for a small outlay. 

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2 hours ago, AY Mod said:

Thank you @Not Jeremy for the copy which arrived safely today with a lovely note.

 

2 hours ago, AY Mod said:

We've included Aylesbury in the virtual show this weekend with a recommendation for further reading in this book - it's almost like it was planned!

 

You mean it wasn't?

 

Joking aside, as I suggested yesterday, I'll be ordering a  copy in the next day or so - together with some other stuff, which I'll need to finalise beforehand.

 

 

1 hour ago, Blandford1969 said:

This looks fascinating. Is it likely to find its way to other bookshops when they reopen?

 

47 minutes ago, Not Jeremy said:

If they order it, yes. Wild Swan is happy to supply any retailer with stocks of all of its titles.

 

47 minutes ago, Not Jeremy said:

It won't be available through Smiths or Waterstones however, for various reasons and in common with nearly all the other specialist publications in the UK.

 

Simon

 

I must admit that I've heard about some of those reasons, "via other channels".

 

Without going into too much detail, or breaking confidences, I suspect that it just isn't cost-effective for a number of specialist publishers to do business with certain large companies.

 

 

Huw.

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7 hours ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

Ordered yesterday from Simon's Titfield Thunderbolt Bookshop, arrived this morning. Excellent service and what looks like will be an excellent read.

 

Did the same and mine also arrived today. Feet up in front of the fire with sleeping dogs and glass of red, bliss. I'm a couple of chapters in and thoroughly enjoying it - pre group prototype based terminus is right up my street. The book has a wonderful look with a combination of Andy York's stunning colour shots and historical views of the layout from its early years - I particularly like the trio of shots of Geoff working on and operating the layout from around 1970 on pages 48/49.

An absolute treat for anyone interested in the history of our great hobby, highly recommended.

 

jerry

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I ordered a copy yesterday, along with volume 5 of The South Wales Main line which I had missed. Post to Australia is horrific - 30 GBP for the pair, but the choice is pay or no books :)

 

Looking forward to receiving and reading both books.

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

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As previously "threatened", I've now also ordered a copy of the new "Aylesbury" book - plus some other books - and some issues of MRJ.

 

I'm not panicking about them - quality reading is worth the wait - but I know I'll enjoy them all when they arrive.

 

 

Huw.

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Thank you all for the nice feedback, the book does seem to be well received.

 

Supplies are now on their way to Cath at Book Law in Nottingham for those who wish to support this splendid emporium. Bill Hudson Books also have it in stock.

 

Authors and complimentary copies all went out today too.

 

Simon

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  • 1 month later...

Looking forward to getting my copy via Alton Model Centre - supporting my local model shop!!  Was Aylesbury featured in other magazines pre MRJ??  I'll have to dust down my old Railway Modellers and have a look.

 

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1 hour ago, Martync said:

Looking forward to getting my copy via Alton Model Centre - supporting my local model shop!!  Was Aylesbury featured in other magazines pre MRJ??  I'll have to dust down my old Railway Modellers and have a look.

 

Yes, in the old MRN - can't say when exactly but must have been late 60s/early 70s.  I was surprised and delighted to find this was the same layout which still stands muster today.

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I'm too young for MRN but I do have a short run covering 1969-71 that I was given many years ago: Another Aylesbury, Vol. 47 No. 557 (May 1971) pp. 184-190, including a photo of the famous perspective street from the level crossing. An article that fascinated me when I first read it and a deeply influential layout, as far as I'm concerned.

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When you get your copy of the book, it lists all of the various model railway magazines that "Aylesbury" featured in. There were a lot of articles as it was/is a truly great layout!

 

Simon

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2 hours ago, Not Jeremy said:

When you get your copy of the book, it lists all of the various model railway magazines that "Aylesbury" featured in. There were a lot of articles as it was/is a truly great layout!

 

Simon

 

My copy has arrived in Australia. Tt is a wonderful book and a very fitting tribute to one of the very best model railways (and it's creator) 

 

I remember seeing Aylesbury in the history of model and miniature railways when I was about 10 years old (my Grandparents purchased it weekly and gave me the bound volume for Christmas) and have loved it ever since.

 

Buy the book, I promise you will enjoy it!

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

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10 hours ago, Not Jeremy said:

When you get your copy of the book, it lists all of the various model railway magazines that "Aylesbury" featured in. There were a lot of articles as it was/is a truly great layout!

 

Simon

That's great!!

Many thanks Simon

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  • 4 weeks later...

Have now got my copy, and what a splendid book it is!  Some first class photos, and loads of info on both model and prototype.  The one surprise is how few articles there were on Aylesbury in the modelling press.  My copy will now sit on the shelf next to my Wild Swan volumes on Buckingham - two classics together!!

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6 hours ago, Martync said:

Have now got my copy, and what a splendid book it is!  Some first class photos, and loads of info on both model and prototype.  The one surprise is how few articles there were on Aylesbury in the modelling press.  

It was fixed in place and few would have seen it. 

The magazines had remarkably few editorial pages until relatively recently. RM had a lot of advertising, the others were pretty thin. Model Railway News was the natural home for a layout of that quality and it was thinner than MRJ. Layouts that never leave home had little coverage unless the owner was very interested in writing and/or making a few (very few) bob. The model magazines also had quite a lot on the prototype so less space for layouts. 

 

Paul

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On 18/05/2021 at 17:05, Martync said:

Have now got my copy, and what a splendid book it is!  Some first class photos, and loads of info on both model and prototype.  The one surprise is how few articles there were on Aylesbury in the modelling press.  My copy will now sit on the shelf next to my Wild Swan volumes on Buckingham - two classics together!!

 

Shame there are no volumes of David Jenkinson's layouts to go with these.....more classics of the 60s, 70s and beyond..........  What about a compendium of his MRJ articles??

 

Martyn

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