Thursday 22 November 2007

West from Paddington

Now here comes the most shamelessly biased Muddy Island Book Review in the history of this blog!

Actually, it's not a review at all. What follows is some publicity blurb that I wrote myself for West from Paddington - a book published by longstanding publishing chum Julian Roskams (he of the sadly neglected blog) under his Etica Press imprint.

The book was designed and typeset by the Other Half of Doyle & Co , and though I shouldn't blow the family trumpet too loudly, I must say that it's all turned out rather impressively well. Our hot-off-the-press copy arrived here today and I'm convinced it's going to be a winner with railway enthusiasts and train travellers from London to the West Country and Wales (NB I don't have a stake in the profits, so I can say this entirely without bias!)

West from Paddington is the essential companion for every traveller on First Great Western Railway. Packed with information on all the landmarks, railway history, geographical features and places of interest that can be seen from your window as your journey unfolds, this indispensable guide covers three great routes

● Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads
● Reading to Penzance
● Swindon to Carmarthen.

A route map for each section of the journey highlights the features described, and the book includes hundreds of specially commissioned colour photographs giving a ‘traveller’s-eye’ view. Each entry indicates on which side of the train the place or item of interest described can be found.

Based on an historic railway map dating back to the 1930s, West from Paddington is full of fascinating facts about everything you will encounter as you travel, mile after mile after mile:

● railway stations
● railway landmarks – engine sheds, branch lines, sidings
● churches, castles, country houses, hotels, the Millennium Stadium
● geographical features – landscapes, wildlife, white horses
● bridges and tunnels
● factories and dockyards

Clearly laid out and easy to use, West from Paddington will turn your journey into a voyage of discovery.
Stuart Cole is Professor of Transport and former Director of the Wales Transport Research Centre at the University of Glamorgan, and a lifelong railway enthusiast. With over 30 years of experience in transport, he has undertaken numerous transport studies covering transport strategy at a local and national level, public transport and investment appraisal.

Pop impresario and TV star Pete Waterman OBE, who wrote the Foreword, is a former fireman on steam locomotives. An ardent railway devotee, he is founder of Just Like the Real Thing – a model railway manufacturer - and the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust – a body that has to date preserved 15 engines for the nation.

"This book will revolutionise your journey so get your head out of the newspaper and look out of the window - you will be amazed! We'll be waving as you flash past our house." - Christine Hamilton (whose house is one of the landmarks listed)


Anonymous said...

Train rides are just the most fabulous things and I even managed to enjoy some of them in my commuting days. I went on the fabulous Rocky Mountaineer this year in Canada but my most memorable journey by far was as a seventeen year old going to Mallaig.This guide sounds great - if only the cost of travelling by train wasn't so high.

60GoingOn16 said...

Well, as it's you J, you're allowed a plug. What a brilliant idea and beautifully typeset, of course.

I did the Devon to Paddington run (and back again) at least once a month for nine years until last summer and this book would have made such a difference. As it was, when my nose wasn't stuck in a book, I was reduced to celebrity-watching, as burgeoning numbers of the breed moved down to Devon and Cornwall. And then there was the rather dishy LibDem MP . . . but that's another story.

PS You can hardly move at Tiverton Parkway Station these days for all the travelling celebs. It's getting to be just like Notting Hill.

monix said...

I went up to London on Thursday, returning today by first great Western, Tiverton Parkway to Paddington. I didn't spot any celebrities, I'll have to look more closely next time! That book would have been a brilliant companion on the journey.