There’s something rather special about the picture above. The eagle-eyed will have noticed that it bears my family name. It’s not named after our branch of the family however; I assume it was to honour the famous engineer and canal builder James Brindley, to whom we are purported to be connected in some way. GWR had named a Victoria Class series of steam locomotives after famous engineers such as Brindley, Brunel, Stephenson and Watt, but these were all withdrawn by December 1880. LNWR also had a Brindley engine around 1905 and apparently re-used numbers and names of withdrawn locomotives so that the numbering system became completely haphazard. I haven’t a clue which one this is but instinct tells me it’s the earlier model. My brother-in-law, the stamp and postcard collector, spotted the above picture for sale on eBay and of course it had to be his.
Fellow blogger and bookseller Steerforth posted a picture of a shelf of unwanted books a week or so back.
He was moving premises and wondered whether it was worth taking books which remained stubbornly unsold. Some of us were surprised at the titles which appeared unpopular and I commented that surely 'The Boys' Book of Locomotives' by J R Howden would have been snapped up by an old-style train-spotter.
In those days, of course, only boys were deemed to be interested in such topics, although I wonder how many fathers bought it for sons with a view to ‘borrowing’ it; isn’t that how so many train sets came to be commandeered by fathers on Christmas Day?
Of course I then had to find out about the book with such an exciting title. Someone* had kindly scanned the cover and all the pictures and uploaded them to Wikimedia Commons. I had imagined line drawings but no, these were all clear photographic images of old steam trains, engines and valve gears from across Great Britain, Canada, USA and the continent. There must have been some history of travel as there were engravings of a stagecoach and a stagecoach timetable as well as a camel train in the desert. All in all a splendid book. I couldn’t see the Brindley Locomotive there but I do hope some lover of old trains, engines and/or photographs buys the book.
When my children were young we had a holiday in Yorkshire and visited the North York Moors Railway. I wrote about our trip on the steam train in Are We Nearly There Yet? three years ago before many current members joined. It tells of how we managed to bore the children with an 'exciting’ steam train ride. Perhaps this explains why the book above remains unsold. Old trains are not for everyone.
What is for everyone however is Sepia Saturday which has a prompt picture of a railway station with many possible themes to choose from. Consult your railway timetable and catch the next train over there to see what other commuters have made of the image below.
This very Saturday is the birthday of another Mrs Brindley (married to the owner of the Brindley photograph) so this post is dedicated to her. Happy Birthday G.XX
* Thanks to Andy Dingley