Great Western Wagons Appendix by J H Russell Hard Cover 1974 193 pages indexed
Great Western Wagons Appendix by J H Russell Hard Cover 1974 193 pages indexed

Great Western Wagons Appendix by J H Russell Hard Cover 1974 193 pages indexed

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Great Western Wagons Appendix by J H Russell Hard Cover 1974 193 pages indexed
 
Great Western Wagons Appendix by J H Russell Hard Cover 1974  193 pages indexed
PREFACE
Only the kind permission of the Public Relations Office at Paddington in granting access to the Photographic Sections of the Western Region has made this collection of pictures possible and worthwhile.
The old Great Western Railway Company was very record-conscious, and it would seem that any departure from the normal was duly photographed and documented, which has resulted in a massive library of pictures, not only of engines, coaches, and wagons, but of a multitude of subjects, ranging from station lavatories to portraits of Viscount Churchill.
The two departments responsible for photographs were the Civil Engineers at Paddington and the Mechanical Engineers at Swindon, both having their own cameras, darkrooms, files, and records, plus of course, expert operators.
When it became known that these files were to be dispersed and packed away in mid-1973, it was thought that a thorough search amongst the negatives, looking for objects of interest to enthusiasts, was not only vital but of great importance for posterity.
So it was that my publisher and I spent several exhausting days in the Aladdin's cave at Paddington, amongst the dust and cobwebs of 50 years, painstakingly taking down, looking at, and restoring, hundreds of large, heavy 12 in. X 10 in. glass negatives!
This small room situated way up on the roof of Paddington station, is seldom visited nowadays, and no register exists of the thousands of negatives stored there. Nevertheless, it was a privilege and a thrill to be allowed to look through this fantastic collection, and literally see the history of the Great Western Railway pass before one's eyes.
The most difficult task was to choose which negatives to ask for printing, and which to pass up. It is very necessary to be strong-minded and ruthless, otherwise it is so easy to overwhelm the dwindling resources in the photographic sections. At both Paddington and Swindon there is still a great sense of 'pride in the job', and every picture just has to be right; I would like to pay tribute to both my friends Cyril at Swindon and 'Mac' at Paddington, for their endless patience and help in the production of the official pictures.
This, then, is the background behind so many of these wagon pictures. First taken with a huge camera, some more than 50 years ago, the negatives retouched, and in some cases blocked out and finally stored, perhaps only to see the light of day again when two eager collectors, covered in dust, tired, hot, but happy, discovered them again and caused them to be published in this series, for everyone's interest and pleasure.
I only hope you find these wagon pictures as interesting to look at as I did to collect and document.

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