Great Western Scene An album of photographs by Maurice Earley Dust Jacket
Great Western Scene An album of photographs by Maurice Earley Dust Jacket
Great Western Scene An album of photographs by Maurice Earley Dust Jacket
Great Western Scene An album of photographs by Maurice Earley Dust Jacket

Great Western Scene An album of photographs by Maurice Earley Dust Jacket

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Great Western Scene An album of photographs by Maurice Earley Dust Jacket
 
The Great Western Scene An album of photographs by Maurice Earley
Hard Cover with  Dust Jacket  (dust jacket has tears)
Copyright 1970, 57 pages
Preface
You will no doubt notice that there are a few pictures in this little book which have been taken in Sonning Cutting, nr. Reading, a most delightful location for the railway photographer, especially in the pre-I940 days when it was not so well covered by others on the same mission. Why did I select this famous setting for so many of my pictures? In those pre-1940 days when decent coal was obtainable, Great Western locomotives rarely produced any dark smoke, so with the photographic materials which were then available, it was difficult to render the white exhaust against a blue sky, but the Cutting sides gave the necessary contrast to show up the exhaust. In addition, the brightest weather frequently comes when the wind is from a northerly direction, and tends to blow the smoke down on the photographer's side when he is working on the south of the tracks, which is the sunny side during the middle of the day as Great Western lines run East and West between Paddington and Reading. The Cutting sides therefore provide a wind shield and help to keep the smoke upwards. Finally, on this stretch of line the two fast tracks arc together on the south side, which gives little room for the photographer, so once more the Cutting assists, this time in giving valuable elbow room.
Having always lived in Reading, a focal point of some importance on the Great Western Railway, naturally most of my collection has been taken within a 40 miles radios of Reading. Accessibility to the railway in Curse days was important since the car era had yet to come, and Sonning Cutting  was only a 20 minutes walk from my home. However, there was the Birmingham " road " of the Great Western via High Wycombe, easily reached by rail via Maidenhead, my favourite location being at Saunderton, near the top of the 1 in 164 climb to the outskirts of Princes Risborough. The direction of the sun later in the day was ideal for photographing the down trains at this spot but unfortunately, compared with the old Main Line, traffic was rather sparse.
After the last war I visited fresh Great Western territory, mainly westwards of Reading, such as the Box Tunnel, Bristol and the famous inclines of South Devon between Tomes and Plymouth, Hemerdon being an especially attractive location, with the dense woods on the curve of the gradient. It was quite a contrast for me to sec and photograph (heat Western engines working so hard, compared with the almost level Main Line from London to Reading.
Many of these pictures cannot claim any artistic or pictorial merit, but were basically intended as a factual recording of the scene, through the camera lens, over the years from 1922 to 1961, and they represent only a fraction of the subjects in my collection. It is possible that some of the pictures have been seen before, but they are repeated here in view of their interest value or possibly because of their pleasing composition.

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