The Last Years of the Big Four by Alan Earnshaw & David Jenkinson hits the £1 shelf in my shop.
Atlantic Publishers, 1997, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs;
From the cover: The Last Years Of The Big Four is jointly written by Professor Alan Earnshaw and David Jenkinson B. Sc. two of the countrys leading railway historians. Professor Earnshaw has made a specialist study of the social impact of the railways, examining subjects as diverse as railway safety, the demise of the steam locomotive fleet and the railways at war. To the serious student of railway history, the name David Jenkinson needs little introduction; either on his own or with authors like Bob Essery he has provided detailed information on both locomotive and rolling stock design and construction. Formerly Head of Education & Research at the National Railway Museum, his work in the interpretation of railway history is of international repute. Between them Alan Earnshaw and David Jenkinson have written almost 60 books, coupled with a large number of definitive magazine articles, both on prototype railways and railway modelling. Both originate from the same part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and they have many common interests. However, this is their first joint work, and the skill of the two writers has been neatly combined to provide a fascinating portrait of the last decade of private operation on Britains main-line railways.
As the wheel turns full circle once more, a private operation returns to our countrys national rail network, The Last Years of The Big Four shows the extent to which private railway operation had developed by the middle of the 20th century. The first part of a definitive history of British railways, it substantially develops the Great Days series of books written by David St. John Thomas and the late Patrick Whitehouse, which is now part of the Atlantic Transport Publishers book list. The Big Four were formed in 1923 as a direct solution for resolving the abuse the railways had endured through over-use and under-funding during World War One. A quarter of a century later the same situation would become evident at the end of World War Two, and at this time the first post-war Labour Government would announce its intention to nationalise the entire transport industry within the life of that Parliament. For many commentators, the change was an anathema, but others felt that by the formation of the Big Four in 1923, the Government of that day had stopped short of its desired objective of complete nationalisation at that time. By 1938, however, the Big Four railways had rebuilt themselves as world-leaders, yet this was not destined to last for long. In the pages that follow, Messrs. Earnshaw and Jenkinson relive the highlights and the failures experienced during The Last Years of The Big Four.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.
Burgundy boards with Gilt titling to the Spine.
208 pages. 11″ x 8¾”.
This book will be listed, sooner or later, for £6.50 on my delightful website… but get 50% off buying from my blog… below…