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Welcome to Irwell Press

Welcome to Irwell Press

We distribute a wide range of high quality railway books, from those covering the main lines of Britains railway network to highly detailed locomotive histories. We have a growing list of industrial railway books and a popular series of colour books which have recently been expanded to include buses. In addition to our range of railway books we also publish two railway magazines, British Railways Illustrated and Railway Bylines. As well as the latest issue you can also find back issues of these magazines and a comprehensive index. If you cannot find the book or magazine your are looking for then you can check our forthcoming books section, or alternatively give us a call on 01525 861 888 and we will be happy to help.

Fed up wandering the streets trying to find BRILL or BYLINES. Well now you can find them on-line. Simply click the image on the right and be directed to our 'Magazine Retailer Search engine'. Type in the magazine title, your post-code and it will tell you where you can find the mags or indeed where you can order them.

Have fun.

This months news

This months news

It's a wet day in London and time to catch up. Apologies for not updating the web site as often as I should but preparing the books for this Christmas has been a huge job for all concerned at Irwell Towers. I hate to use the word Christmas at the end of August but we of course have to think ahead. The books you will see are the usual mix of colour titles to the more volumous tomes and popular reprints - our latest Bookazine, only available from most W H Smiths High Street stores and us, covers a period now becoming very popular - we hope you like it. Keep an eye out in the press in the run up to Christmas.

Best wishes

George Reeve

Last updated 25 August

New Books and Magazines

INTO THE BLUE

INTO THE BLUE

9.99

PUBLISHIED SEPTEMBER 2014

AVAILABLE FROM MOST W H SMITH HIGH STREET SHOPS OR DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER

From the Author Tony Wright

As an unashamed trainspotter of the ‘urchin’ generation of the 1950s/1960s, as my steam favourites disappeared my life became a natural progression to other activities. Any shabby railway photographs of that time, taken with poor equipment and inadequate expertise, were confined to shoe boxes or discarded. By the time a decent camera was acquired, all but the fag end of steam presented itself, and just a handful of green or maroon diesel pictures were the result. Then, after pursuing the End of Steam ‘15 Guinea Specials’ (around Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumberland, in a Ford Zodiac, would you believe?) no more railway pictures were taken. That is until the early 1970s, when after my mother’s untimely death and my distraught father’s return to his Yorkshire roots, as part of his recovery he and I went back to the places he’d taken my brother and me to watch trains; but this time I did the driving. By then I’d acquired a reasonable 35mm camera (a Pentax K1000 – the best ‘budget’ camera in my opinion) and I decided to take some ‘decent’ railway pictures. But I was astonished at how relatively little the railway infrastructure had changed. Though the flat crossing and South signalbox had gone, Retford still had a forest of semaphore signals, the level crossing gates at Botany Bay were still hand-operated and Black Carr Junction still looked exactly as it had done nearly two decades before. Thus was reborn my interest in photographing railways.

More distant horizons were contemplated and, over the next fifteen years or so I sought out more and more subjects. Though not geographically comprehensive by any means, much of the subject matter was concerned with the steam-age infrastructure and the classes of locos coming to the end of their lives. Teaching as a career allowed me the freedom of extended holiday periods to pursue my interest. My wife accompanied me on ‘holiday’ visits (say, a week in Southern Scotland) as did my two sons as small boys when we holidayed together as a family. Singular days out were in the company of like-minded friends, where four of us would pool petrol and take turns in our cars to visit our chosen locations. When the Pentax finally gave out, a second-hand Nikon F with a photomic head was acquired. Film was originally Kodachrome but then my preference changed to the faster Fujichrome. All the pictures presented here were taken with the Pentax or the Nikon, though later still I graduated to a Pentax 6X7 – surely the finest film camera for taking railway pictures ever produced, but that is another story.

There will be a little overlap in the chapters and readers will be able to deduce which pictures were taken on the same day, but the various themes are appropriate. Sadly, but entirely in keeping with my indolence and lack of foresight, the taking of any contemporary notes with the taking of the pictures was non-existent, so the captions are written entirely from memory. Thus, if there are mistakes then the responsibility for those is entirely mine.
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LINES TO TORRINGTON

LINES TO TORRINGTON

29.95

AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 2014

By John Nicholas and George Reeve

It is now more than 30 years since publication of the First Edition in 1984, shortly after the line was closed. Fortunately when I first researched the line in the 1970s several of the men who worked on the line, including Harold Mock at Fremington, Owen Hatherell at Bideford, Sid Pring at Torrington, Fred Cooper at Petrockstow and Ernest Holwill of the North Devon Clay Company kindly contributed reminiscences of their work on the line which extended back to the South Western era. Originally research was concerned with construction of a model of the line in the Edwardian period; the model has been completed but the amount of information gathered resulted in the book. In recent years George Reeve and I have collected much more information, original documents and photographs so we decided to write a second edition. The order and contents of the chapters have been changed since 1984 to bring Lines To Torrington into a similar format to our recent books on the LSWR in the West of England. Some of the broad gauge content concerning the North Devon Railway between Crediton and Barnstaple has been published in our book The North Devon Line (Irwell Press 2010) so is not included here.


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The Book of the BLACK 5s - LM Class 5 4-6-0s Part 4 44800-44996, 45472-45499

The Book of the BLACK 5s - LM Class 5 4-6-0s Part 4 44800-44996, 45472-45499

29.95

ON SALE NOVEMBER 2014

By Ian Sixsmith

Part 1 covered the background to the design, the first fifty locomotives from Vulcan Foundry and the 1935 engines built at Crewe, and this part deals with the similar 1935 Vulcan Foundry and Armstrong Whitworth locomotives. Part 3 will describe the ‘Mark 2’ 1936 Armstrong Whitworth locomotives and will sweep up the remaining pre-war engines. Part 4 will deal with the war-time and immediate post-war LMS batches leaving Part 5 for the Caprottis and the final LMS and BR-built locomotives. As we will discover, the Black 5s were not all the same – far from it . The story unfolds in an approximate chronological sequence, which makes sense – at least more sense than other approaches. So the books are arranged in the order in which the locomotives were introduced, with an added twist that particularly in matters such as boilers and tenders there is a certain amount of back and forward cross-referencing. Some details are covered in more depth in the earlier books and only summarised in the later parts.
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THE STEAMING SIXTIES No.9 Meandering Journeys Between London and Carnforth via Nottingham

THE STEAMING SIXTIES No.9 Meandering Journeys Between London and Carnforth via Nottingham

12.99

ON SALE NOVEMBER 2014

By Michael Poulter

One summer’s day in July 2010 the author made an excursion to the Peak District to revisit haunts of times past, to discover if any of that sixties nostalgia still lingered on in those limestone hills. He trod once again on the ground of the Cromford and High Peak Railway at the bottom of the Sheep Pasture Incline nestling in the Derwent Valley about a mile south east of Cromford Village. It was the water tower here that seemed to embody that nostalgia with fatigued paintwork and blobs of mold. Out of use since closure in April 1967 the four ton wrought iron water tank still sat on a five metre high stack of tar covered timber baulks. It would have probably lived through a hundred years in this form. In sharp contrast a steaming sixties reminiscence was sampled on the 30th January 2010 in the form of ‘The Cotton Mill Express’. A bright frosty morning yielded a day of bitter cold. Huddled in the waiting room at Lancaster were many expectant passengers of a more than a certain age. The lack of heating was a chilling reminder of the sixties although when the special rolled in over an hour late with a paucity of information there was a sense that not much had changed after all.
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CAMBUS BUS MEMORIES IN COLOUR

CAMBUS BUS MEMORIES IN COLOUR

12.99

ON SALE NOVEMBER 2014

By Andrew Bartlett

Eastern Counties was one of several large companies that the government decreed should be split up prior to privatisation and on 9 September 1984, its western area operations went to a new company. Cambus Ltd inherited 172 vehicles, of which, not surprisingly, given the Tilling Group background, 128 were Bristols. There were depots at Cambridge, Peterborough, Ely, March, and Newmarket (actually in Suffolk), and stage carriage services were operated throughout Cambridgeshire and into neighbouring counties; Spalding and The Deepings in Lincolnshire, King’s Lynn in Norfolk, Haverhill and Mildenhall in Suffolk, Saffron Walden in Essex, Royston in Hertfordshire and Oundle in Northamptonshire. More National Express and tour work came at the end of November 1985 from Ambassador Travel, the other offshoot of Eastern Counties, along with 24 vehicles.
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WEST MIDLANDS INDUSTRIAL STEAM IN COLOUR

WEST MIDLANDS INDUSTRIAL STEAM IN COLOUR

12.99

ON SALE NOVEMBER 2014

By Terence Dorrity

All the photographs in this book were taken in the West Midlands area as it was considered to be in the 1960s. This included the present West Midlands region around Birmingham and Coventry, the “Black Country” parts of Staffordshire and Worcestershire and the county of Warwickshire. In the 1960s heavy freight trains were, at least at the beginning of the decade, still hauled by steam engines on the railway main lines. These were the lines, and in most cases the locomotives, which before nationalisation in 1948 had belonged to the competing London Midland and Scottish Railway (formerly the London and North Western Railway and the Midland Railway) and the Great Western Railway. Alongside these transport giants, and usually connecting with them, were many industrial rail systems which, because they were seen as less glamorous than their big cousins, were often overlooked despite being an essential part of the distribution network. If railways have trunk lines and branches, these were the important ‘twigs’ where much of the freight started and finished. In the 1960s many of them were still worked by interesting industrial steam locomotives which serviced the factories of this renowned manufacturing area bringing in the raw materials, starting the finished products on their way or shunting around the site.
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The Book of the JUBILEE 4-6-0s

The Book of the JUBILEE 4-6-0s

26.95

ON SALE NOVEMBER 2014

REPRINTED BY POPULAR DEMAND

By Ian Sixsmith

Picture This

Since this book was published in 2002 The ‘Book Of’ series of locomotive studies has developed into something of a library devoted to more and more of the principal BR steam classes. A number of titles have sold out over and over, and have been reprinted or are in the process of being reprinted. The Book of the JUBILEE 4-6-0s sold out in 2004 and with the growing popularity of the series the demand has been to reprint this very popular class of locomotive.


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THE BOOK OF THE WEST COUNTRY AND BATTLE OF BRITAIN PACIFICS

THE BOOK OF THE WEST COUNTRY AND BATTLE OF BRITAIN PACIFICS

25.95

FOURTH REPRINT OF THIS POPULAR TITLE

AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 2014

Little that is wholly new remains to be said concerning any major class of British steam locomotive, though of course there is still a lot to celebrate and illustrate. A similar point was made in the five preceding books of this series. The Book of the BR Standards, The Book of the Coronation Pacifics, The Book of the Royal Scots, The Book of the Princess Royal Pacifics and the Book of the Merchant Navy Pacifics. There are always a few nuggets to be had, and one or two particularly glistening ones have been introduced to the story of the West Country and Battle of Britain Pacifics.d for the third time. AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 2008
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EVER CHANGING BIRMINGHAM in COLOUR

EVER CHANGING BIRMINGHAM in COLOUR

12.99

By Garry Yates

The author was born in the Handsworth district of Birmingham in 1954 and today lives one mile away from where he was born. Growing up in the 1960s he witnessed innumerable changes to the Birmingham skyline, because perhaps more than any other city at the time, Birmingham replaced numerous terraced and back-to-back houses with multi-storey tower blocks reaching a total of 444 across the city, including the new district of Chelmsley Wood. All remaining gas street lighting was replaced by electric lighting, and in the city centre the Inner Ring Road was constructed which swept away many smaller roads and buildings, some of which like the former Josiah Mason College at Paradise Circus would, today, have been listed buildings. The Bull Ring Shopping Centre, (the first indoor shopping centre in the country) opened in 1964 and the Post Office Tower (as it was known then) in Lionel Street became the city’s first tall landmark. However over the years many of these so called ‘improvements’ came to be seen as not very ‘improving’ at all, or were otherwise unsuccessful or deficient. Times and attitudes change and many tower blocks are now being demolished in favour of ground level housing schemes and apartments. In the city centre the Inner Ring Road with its numerous subways, known as the ‘Concrete Collar’ was restricting outward growth of the city centre, and is now slowly being removed as are the unpopular subways; the largest part of this scheme so far is the rebuilding of the Bull Ring and the surrounding area. In recent years many apartment blocks have been built in the city centre especially around the canal network and many more schemes have been planned or started, but at the moment some are on hold due to the effects of the recent recession – hopefully most will be completed, but some will not.
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A LONDON TROLLEYBUS EXPERIENCE

A LONDON TROLLEYBUS EXPERIENCE

18.95

By Doug Fairhurst

What is a Trolleybus? In essence it is a bus that runs on rubber tyres (as a normal road vehicle) but is powered by electricity collected from overhead wires by way of a pair of poles (correct term being booms). It is not like a tram where the power is collected by a single collector and the return of the current is through steel wheels running on steel rails laid into the roadway. The trolleybus gives slightly more flexibility than a fixed tram route in that it can overtake or negotiate normal road vehicles but is still limited to the route of the overhead wiring. Of course, unless on a separate ‘track’, they cannot overtake each other - thus the old saying, “another convoy on its way”. London had one of the largest fleets of trolleybuses in the world and at its peak had about 1,800 such vehicles. They were introduced to give longevity to the then existing infrastructure of the earlier tram systems. The last London trolleybus ran in May 1962. Except for a few original and earlier models, the London trolleybuses were six-wheeled, unlike in the provinces where four-wheelers were more common. Again most British vehicles were double-deck whereas those in the rest of the world were and still are single-deck. For the casual observer all London trolleybuses looked the same, but there were some subtle differences. For example, the class N2 had much thicker corner pillars to the upper deck. Class L2 No.954 had a cream band below the driver’s cab windows. (I was lucky to get a photo of this ‘one off’ on Route 621 at Holborn Circus.


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The Book of the GRANGE 4-6-0s

The Book of the GRANGE 4-6-0s

27.95

By Ian Sixsmith

The second rank of Great Western motive power – the mixed traffic engines if you like – was for years made up of the humble mogul, but this began to come to an end with the widespread use of the new Hall 4-6-0s. The Halls were Saints with wheels reduced from 6ft 8½in to 6ft but most proposals on the GWR went back decades and as far back as the turn of the century, years before even the Halls appeared, a version with even smaller wheels had been mooted. In the 1930s Collett decided to use some of the parts of older 2-6-0s, such as wheels, coupling rods and cab steps, in a class of 80 ‘different Halls’ – a new class called the Granges because of their 5ft 8in driving wheel diameter. The Granges and their smaller brethren, the Manors, were announced at the same time, as ‘the engines replacing the 2-6-0s’.
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The Book of the CASTLE 4-6-0s

The Book of the CASTLE 4-6-0s

29.95

REPRINTED BY POPULAR DEMAND

There were three ‘generations’ of Great Western four cylinder express power. In the middle, between the Stars and the Kings, but greatly more important in terms of numbers and the breadth of their usefulness, were the Castles. They could be regarded as the high water mark of Great Western, or rather Churchwardian, steam practice and probably influenced steam design work across the country more than any other class. Their numbers were made up in a peculiar odd way. Of the total of 171 in the class only 155 were built new – and it took 27 years to do it. The rest were five rebuilt Stars and the rebuilt Pacific THE GREAT BEAR, together with the last ten Stars, originally built with Abbey names after Churchward retired and then ‘rebuilt’ into the 5000 series, 5083-5092. The Stars (also retaining their names) and the Pacific were officially rebuilds but the Abbeys were officially ‘new’. One odd outcome of all this was that the first withdrawal came before the final one was built.
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LNER PACIFICS REMEMBERED

LNER PACIFICS REMEMBERED

24.95

By PETER TOWNEND - Shed Master King's Cross, Top Shed

An unusual book – ‘Much of it’ ... ‘written by other people’ as author Peter Townend puts it. After the success of Top Shed (Ian Allan, 1975 and 1989) he completed a further work entitled East Coast Pacifics at Work (Ian Allan, 1982). The publishers requested that various chapters might be contributed by other people writing about their own involvement and experiences with these locomotives, but this resulted in a book much larger than anticipated and the contributions were not included. Now, with the passage of over thirty years the material has gained in historical interest and is seen here for the first time.

The contributors, men of the time and all providing unique insights into the Pacifics, their construction and their working, read like a roll-call of the Gresley East Coast Age; many well known, others not so.


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RAILWAY BYLINES SEPTEMBER 19.10

RAILWAY BYLINES SEPTEMBER 19.10

BRILL SEPTEMBER 23.12

BRILL SEPTEMBER 23.12

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