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Book reviews — February 1979

'The Bollard Story' by Sidney Tringham
Available, price 30p + 10p postage and packing from GLIAS Publications, Peter Skilton, 20 Commonwealth Way, Abbey Wood, London SE2
At first I thought I had been pipped at the post (excuse the pun) by this 24-page booklet, until I read the sub-title; 'How London Street Posts Came to Swanage'. Mr. Tringham starts with an introduction recalling his childhood in SW. London and the posts he came to know there. He goes on to tell us a brief history of how guard posts came to be erected in our streets and gives an outline of their manufacture. The booklet tells the fascinating story of how some of London's street bollards came to Swanage and the many uses to which they were put. Finally Mr. Tringham takes us on 'A Swanage Ramble' describing the various types of post to be seen in and around Swanage. The booklet is well illustrated with photographs and drawings and a map of the area. Mr. Tringham has researched well, not an easy task as the bollards were from London and he lives in Swanage. It is a well written and interesting little booklet. Peter Skilton

William Jessop Engineer by Charles Hadfield & A.W. Skempton
David & Charles 1978-9 pp. 315 £9.50
When two such eminent historians of technology, Charles Hadfield and Professor Skempton, combine resources and research effort the resulting work should be of the first order. They have produced the authoritative biography of this early civil engineer. William Jessop (1745-1814) was trained by Smeaton and became the chief exponent of canal and river engineering during the period of canal mania. The Trent, Grand Junction, Rochdale, Ellesmere and scores of others are covered in well-researched depth. Particularly well covered is the story of Pont Cysyllte aqueduct, where the credit for the final design is given to Jessop rather than Telford. The influence of Prof. Skempton is shown in the coverage of Jessop's dock and harbour work and two chapters are devoted to the improvements in the Port of London and the engineering of the West India Dock. The important Surrey Iron Railway was also a product of Jessop's expertise. Jessop towered over the engineers of late 18th century Britain and this book is a fine tribute. Dave Perrett

© GLIAS, 1979