Somerset & Dorset Then and Now, The Mac Hawkins Dust Jacket 1986 Lots of photo

Somerset & Dorset Then and Now, The Mac Hawkins Dust Jacket 1986 Lots of photo

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Somerset & Dorset Then and Now, The Mac Hawkins Dust Jacket 1986 Lots of photo
The Somerset & Dorset Then and Now By Mac Hawkins Dust Jacket 1986 Lots of photos both black & white and color.  267 Pages
Rolling through some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain, but serving an essentially rural and isolated population, the Somerset & Dorset railway line was an unlikely candidate to survive the Beeching Axe: indeed, 104 years of continuous operation finally ceased on 6 March 1966.
It was not just a railway line that came to an end. Railwaymen, many of whose families had worked the system for generations with a pride and enthusiasm that was second to none, lost their jobs; the Mendip hills themselves seemed poorer for the absence of the mighty Bulleid Pacifics, the 2-8-0 Class '7Fs' and more latterly a variety of BR Standard Class and exGWR locomotives toiling over their summit. Yet images of all this had been caught on film. The line was recorded in its heyday by railway photographers of the first order, talents like those of No Peters, Derek Cross and Dick Riley, men who recognized the unique variety of stock and scenery afforded by the line. Their pictures document the impact of the railway upon the landscape and capture the true atmosphere of the era. In this book will be found many previously unpublished examples of their work.
Two decades after the closure of the Somerset & Dorset another photographer returned to the scenes of his predecessors' work and embarked on an unusual mission -to document what remained of this once proud line, and, even more ambitiously, to record what can still be seen today from the same vantage points. Working out the precise location from which an earlier photograph was taken, Mac Hawkins has gone to extraordinary lengths to recreate the work of his antecedents, even to the extent of using fork-lift trucks and mobile cranes to arrive at the height of a long-demolished bridge or signal gantry.
Including over 150 pairs of 'then and now' photographs and many maps, this unique record of the passage of time is considerably more than a volume of railway memorabilia - it is a fine tribute to the art of the earlier photographers and the skill and patience of Mac Hawkins. Railway enthusiasts will treasure this book, photographers will appreciate it, lovers of the English countryside are certain to enjoy it.

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