GLOUCESTER TO BRISTOL
VIC MITCHELL
& KEITH SMITH
MIDDLETON PRESS
96pp HARDBACK - £14.95
ISBN 1 9044743571

'Gloucester to Bristol' is one of the latest offerings from Middleton Press, and is in their 'Midland Main Lines' series.  The book covers not only the main line from Gloucester through Yate and Mangotsfield down to Bristol, but also the branches to Nailsworth, Dursley and Thornbury, with almost a third of the book being devoted to these.  Perhaps a little disappointing, but understandable, is that the section from Mangotsfield to Bristol is quite short (just twelve pages) - as explained in this volume, this section of the line is covered in greater detail in Middleton's 'Bath Green Park to Bristol' Book (Click HERE for a review).  The publishers have wisely not reprinted any of the photographs from this book, instead there is a completely new set including some interesting views of Barrow Road shed and Bristol Temple Meads.

There is, of course, no need to change a format that works so well, and like most Middleton books this one contains not only a wide variety of photographs from the early days up until quite recently, but also maps of the line, plans of the stations, timetables, sample tickets, gradient profile etc., etc., making it not just interesting from an historical aspect, but an invaluable aid for modellers trying to recreate the scene in miniature.  There is also a geographical setting, an historical background and a synopsis of the passenger services, again both for the main line and the branches.

Photographs cover a wide timescale (from some fabulous historical scenes in the 1890's to a 2004 view of the engineers training school at Westerleigh) but do not just concentrate on traditional views of trains.  There are photographs of stations, signal boxes, level crossings - even the inside of the gas lit footbridge at Gloucester, with a couple of young trainspotters presumably scribbling down their latest 'cops'.  All in all, as one would expect from Middleton, a thorough and detailed look at the line from Gloucester to Bristol, albeit concentrating more on the section north of Mangotsfield.

This book is now available for purchase from the shop at Bitton Station, and don't forget, if you are a member you can get 10% off the £14.95 cost by showing your membership card.

Return to Book Reviews

Return to Reviews Main Page

This page last updated by Tony Wray on 30/08/2004.

If you have arrived here via a search engine and/or cannot see a main menu and Semaphore Signal in a frame to the left of this page then CLICK HERE to enter this site via our home page - after all, you never know what you might be missing  ;-).