The book of the Great Western by George Perry

A lavish book, produced by The Times and drawing on a range of different sources. It not only included an adequate text and well-reproduced photographs, but it also had a facsimile of the company seal (in wax), various reproduction documents, handbills, posters and tickets, pasted into the book, not merely inserted as illustrations; and a print by C. Hamilton Ellis and a cardboard model of ‘City of Truro’ in a pocket at the back of the book. Even though I was but thirteen when I was given this book, I recognised its value and so the kit of the locomotive is still there, untouched. It was marketed as a special collector’s edition (I believe it was something like £15 when most railway books cost £1.50). The binding is chocolate and cream, and the whole thing is one of the most attractive railway artefacts I have ever seen. It was a limited edition and I have seen very few ever offered for sale since.

If only the same production team had gone on to do one on the Midland!

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