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Book reviews — June 1979

John Baker, 1978. £5.95
Smith's Crisps, Babycham, Courtaulds, Burtons, Tesco and prefabs is this the stuff of industrial archaeology? Read the book and decide for yourself.

Kenneth Hudson's foray into 20th-century industrial archaeology should be of special interest to GLIAS members, not only because we had the outline of this book in our AGM lecture in 1977 when he talked about "The Archaeology of the Second Industrial Revolution", but also because our area is rich in examples. Rather than try to cover this broad subject in one volume the topics of food, clothes and shelter are considered as examples. These are very attractive to the industrial archaeologist as access to small industrial premises, retail shops and domestic housing is relatively easy. Much of the change has taken place in living memory. Many of the case histories of firms whose names are household words make fascinating reading. Kenneth Hudson's book makes one realise just what has gone from our lives in the last few years, some good, much, to be rejoiced over.

Few GLIAS members will read with equanimity that 90% of old industrial buildings would be better cleared away (see p. 8) and some errors of fact and over generalisations detract from the value of the book as an authoritative reference source. These are minor criticisms, however, when set against the overall value of the work, which is to be recommended to all who wish to broaden their outlook and discover a wealth of new sites for industrial archaeological activity; moreover, it is a good read and is well illustrated. Bob Carr

© GLIAS, 1979